needs them and many more like them : Charlie Baker meets with leaders of Local 26 Hospitality Workers
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The Boston Globe’s ongoing poll of the Massachusetts Governor race reports now that 44 percent of Democratic candidate Steve Grossman’;s voters prefer Charlie Baker if Grossman does not win the Democratic nomination. And that only 32 percent of Grossman voters prefer Coakley if she is the Democratic winner.
Grossman currently polls at about 21 percent of Democratic voters. 44 percent of that equals about 9.6 percent. Charlie Baker needs a lot more support than that from registered Democrats,. Let’s look at the numbers to see why ;
In Massachusetts, 52 percent of voters have no party affiliation. 12 percent are Republican. 36 percent are Democrats.
assuming that Baker wins almost all the 12 percent who are republican, and adding the 62 percent of “no party’ voters who the poll says support him, Baker can tally 44 percent of the vote. To win, he must add 7 of the 36 percent who are Democrats. That’s 20 percent of Democrats. The 9.5 percent who say they prefer Baker fall far short.
Adding 9.5 of the 36 percent who identify as Democrats gives Baker a total of 47 percent. Not nearly good enough. That’s a six point loss, almost as bad as Scott brown’s eight point loss to Elizabeth Warren in 2012.
So, the question arises : where can Baker find the additional ten percent of Democrats without whom he cannot win ?
Don Berwick currently draws ten percent of the Democratic primary vote. Can Baker win any Berwick voters, much less all of them ? Berwick voters are very progressive minded, almost as ideologically passionate as Tea Party ideologues albeit in the opposite direction. I doubt that Baker can win more than two in ten of Berwick voters. Adding two of ten Berwick voters gets Baker to 47.8 percent. (I am talking just the two candidate vote. Independent Jeff McCormack draws votes too.) 47.8 percent is still a 3.5 percent loss — about 70,000 votes in all.
The remaining votes that baker needs if he is to win can therefore only come from martha Coakley. It’s sort of a law of politics that one candidate can take a maximum of about ten percent away from the other candidate, if all goes superbly in his campaign. But the other candidate can do the same. If Baker can get to 52.2 percent if all goes superbly, so can Coakley get to 56.9 percent if her campaign runs superbly.
One can count on Baker this time to run an excellent campaign. So far he’s done just that. Bold, urban, even progressive, and definitely in the Massachusetts reformer mode that our state has proven it likes a lot. But Coakley has ramped up her own once unready campaign skills too. She won’t be rolled over.
Nonetheless, the campaign that I have been covering pretty intensely now since January shows Coakley continues a vaguer presentation, a glib persona, and — Baker’s trump card, maybe — an insider’s view of the political world. Being a Beacon hill insider isn’t exactly high on most voters’ wish list these days. But how many of Coakley’s current supporters can be moved away by that sort of argument ?
The answer to that question will likely decide this election.
—- Mikr Freedberg / Here and Sphere