^ winning the “north Side of Boston” : Karyn Polito speaks (top) and (bottom) Charlie baker hears John Capone read the (impressive) list of political activists hosting a significant event at Ecco restaurant in East Boston
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Campaigns are won by the votes of voters, and voters live where they live. Geography matters; the candidate who can build up a huge home area base has a leg up on those candidates who don’t.
In this year’s Governor campaign, it’s been pretty obvious for a while that Charlie Baker is making the North Shore his “home base.” He speaks of it in just those terms, and at a large meet and greet at East Boston’s Ecco restaurant last night he made it a point to extol his love for what he called “the North Side of Boston,’ making sure that everyone knew that he includes “Eastie” in that geography.
How successfully has Baker established primacy as “North Side of Boston candidate ? Very successful;. just in the past month of filed campaign reports, he lists hundreds of donor contributions from Swampscott, Marblehead, Salem, Peabody, Danvers, and Beverly — 37 from Swampscott alone. Granted that Essex County isn’t everything — maybe twelve percent of the entire state — but it’s a significant area for a GOP candidate to win handsomely, because the candidate who wins it usually wins the entire state.
Right next door to the “North Side of Boston’ sits Boston itself. Our state’s capital city (plus Chelsea) totals another twelve percent of the state’s vote. Boston’s a key part of the usual Democratic vote majority; even good GOP candidates usually now lose the City 70 to 30, or worse. Baker cannot let that happen, and he is campaigning the City relentlessly as a result. The effort has not gone unrewarded; Baker has drawn significant segments of at least political Boston to his side. Many key names were on hand at Ecco Restaurant last night to cheer on Baker and his running mate Karyn Polito. (Polito is of Sicilian ancestry and has campaigned intensely in the Italian-ancestry neighborhoods pof Boston and nearby. More on this topic later.)
Baker’s Boston campaign takes shape in his donor filings. Here’s a breakdown, by zip code, of the number and amounts of his donors this past month :
02108 (Beacon Hill) : one —- 250.00
02109 (Financial District) 4 —– 1,490
02110 (Waterfront) 12 ——- 2,500
02111 (Leather District) 2 —- 250.00
02210 (Seaport District) 3 —- 750.00
02113 and 02114 (North & West Ends) 3 —- 185.00
02115 (Kenmore Square) 0 —— 0
02116 (Back Bay & South Ehd) 7 —– 2,600
02118 (South End) 6 —— 1,850
02119 (Roxbury) 4 ——- 1,250
02120 (Mission Hll) 0 —— 0
02121 (Blue HIll Avenue) 1 ——- 100.00
02122 (Central. Dorchester) 5 —– 2,000
02124 (Southern Dorchester) 11 —- 1,050
02125 (Savin Hill, Uphams Corner & Jones Hill) 6 —– 1,200
02126 (Mattapan) 0 —— 0
02127 (South Boston) 15 —– 3,475
02128 (East Boston) 3 —– 400.00
02129 (Charlestown) 6 —– 950.00
02130 (Jamaica Plain) 6 —– 850.00
02131 (Roslindale) 7 — 600.00
02132 (West Roxbury ) 9 —– 1,310
02134 (Allston) one —- 500.00
02135 (Brighton) 2 —- 125.00
02136 (Hyde Park) 7 —– 1,120
02150 (Chelsea) 6 —– 1,750
Total ; 29,965.00
Surprising here is the lack of big oney from Beacon Hill and the large donation list from Dorchester. Posibly baker raised his beacon Hill money early on. As for the Dorchester sums, much o it comes from the Viet namese community ( nine individual donations); but a big chunk of it cpomes from a Union leader (Patrick walsh of the laborers) and 1,000 of it from Feeney Brothers contracting. This 1,500 sure has the look of Marty Walsh supporter money.
Nonetheless, there is much work for baker to do in Boston. Of the $ 308,657.01 that he reported raising in the one-month period that I have detailed, only about 9.5 percent of it came from Boston and Chelsea. As I see it, he needs to raise at least fifteen percnt of his money from Boston — probably more than that — if he’s to command a winning vote on November 5th. Boston is the ciommercial and political capital of our state. How can a candidate win if he can’t command a larger than average portion of the Hub’s campiagn donations ? Note also that I found only one significant Boston political name — Roxbury contractor Arthur Hurley — among Baker’s last month’s in-City contributors.
Last night’s Ecco fiundraiser surely will help. It also hslps that Karyn Polito, his running mate, has raised her own big bucks ; Baker announced at Ecco that her total donations have topped one million bucks. Baker will n eed every penny of it.
—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere
UPDATE : As I prepated to post this column, word of the Boston Globe’s new poll lcame to me. It shows Baker now actually leadiong Martha Coakley, 38 to 37 as well as extending his lead over Steve Grossman : 37 to 33. I will analyze the poll rersults in my next cvolumn.
NOTE : Baker’s concentration on italian-name areas of boston and adjoining cities — in cludeing many on the North Shore — isn’t merely “hometown-ism.” Baker made bhis political name servong thed late Paul Cellucci ‘s governor administratyion. dellucci, who died two years ago of ALDS, was a beloved figure among italian-name voters, and baker’s connedctoon to him is well remembered and respected by Ce;llicci followers. All campaign long, thkis connection has boosted baker’s vote; it waas the driving f9rce of last night’s meet at Ecco. How could it not be there is no italin namd candidate on the Democratic side — none for any statewide office at all — and Massachusetts’s Italian-name voters have always shown the,selves well aware of, and ready to act upon, their political heritage.