The Republican nominee for the US Senate seat vacated by John Kerry is really between a rock and a hard place. In order to attract moderate voters, Gabriel Gomez needs to put a lot of distance between himself and his party’s leaders in the US Senate. If Gomez’s campaign against Democrat Ed Markey is about improving the position of the Republican Party in the Senate, then the Republican nominee’s chances go from bad to worse.
The faint hope Gomez has of victory is entirely dependent on convincing voters that this race is about Gomez and Markey; fresh and capable leadership against the same old “politics as usual.” It has to be about the candidates NOT the parties! Of course, successfully creating the necessary candidate-centered frame for this race isn’t an inexpensive proposition. How do you define yourself as the ant-elitist, anti-partisan politician, AND raise enough money to get that message out well enough for it to work? Sadly, you pretty much have to get at least some assistance from a few folks who voters might be forgiven for seeing as elitist, politics as usual, partisan politicians.
I suppose the key to success here for Gomez would involve obtaining the necessary help without alerting the public to the source of this help. To this end, according to the Huffington Post, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has done Gabriel Gomez no favors lately.
From Huffpost on Sunday:
“A Republican majority in the Senate begins with your support today,” McConnell wrote in the email message. “Securing a victory for Gabriel Gomez.. is crucial to taking back the Senate and removing Harry Reid from power. Help us put the reins on an out of control Washington D.C. and begin changing course.”
Oops… Thanks for nothing Senator McConnell. Adding insult to injury, the same Huffpost piece indicates that Senator Elizabeth Warren sent out her own fundraising appeal on behalf of Ed Markey. Not only did she generate more than double what McConnell hoped to get for Gomez, but her partisan appeal reinforces a frame in the Mass senate race that benefits her fellow Democrat, Ed Markey, namely that electing a Republican will help the Republicans gain control of the Senate.