By guest columnist Jed Hresko —

There’s a concept of “overreach” in politics, usually when ideologues or loyalists decide to double down… and ultimately alienate the center and lose the big contest:

– Question 2: expanded bottle bill. Everyone is used to the nickel on soda. I bet if the question had solely been to expand the nickel deposit to other drinks, it could’ve passed. But no, the environmentalists also had the indexing provision. The bogeyman of paying a 25 cent deposit freaked voters out.

– Coakley: I get why certain unions wanted to reward Coakley for taking legal action on behalf of their members, but really, here we are again where Coakley was pushed through the Primary over candidates who would’ve done better in the general election. Enough already.

– Charter schools: my non-political 12-year-old who attends a charter school told me that he was voting in the school’s straw poll for Baker because, “Baker supports charter schools.” This, at a Boston charter where I’m sure most of the parents and staff are progressives or Dems. Lesson: Senator Chang-Diaz and some anti-ed-reform lefties in JP doubled-down last year and ground charters to a halt, with some inexplicable help from Deval Patrick’s Dept. of Ed. Did this provoke a major backlash? Of course not in terms of statewide numbers. But did it matter in a close election? Sure.

– public employee unions: the general policy of deny-deny-deny the need for reforms doesn’t hold water with regular voters. Baker was able to make the argument that he’ll be a better manager and that he’ll be a check/balance against the status quo of a Dem legislature, Dem governor and public sector unions that are overwhelmingly Dem supporters.

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