Tag Archives: Charlie Baker

Globe Poll: So Much Data, So Little Context

Conflict and controversy are marketable media commodities and stability is just plain boooooorrrring. Thus we have Sunday’s Boston Globe story based on the newspaper’s poll showing that if Martha Coakley loses to Charlie Baker in November it might be attributed to disloyal Democratic followers of Steve Grossman.

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Has the Globe’s weekly poll impacted the Guv’s race?

The Globe’s Frank Phillips recently called the ongoing race for the corner office in Massachusetts “one of the least-energized statewide races in years.” His Globe colleague Jim O’Sullivan speculates that this might have something to do with “a candidate lineup that has not, to put it politely, exactly set the electorate on fire.” While I agree that there have been few fireworks to date, I wonder if the Globe’s own coverage of the race hasn’t played a role.

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Probation Mess: Go for the Jugular, Charlie

Yesterday my colleague Professor Duquette counseled Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker to forego attacks on the Democrats over corruption. Professor Duquette’s reasoning was that an attack on the leadership in the wake of the Probation Department verdict would incite legislative Democrats to deploy their mighty organizations against Baker; thus campaigning on Democratic corruption would backfire on Baker.

Professor Duquette is wrong. Here’s why.

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Probation Mess: Perception v. Strategic Reality in Guv’s Race

Political scientists have long been debated the relative significance of various factors in determining electoral outcomes. One debate focuses on the relative significance of turning out base partisan voters versus attracting so-called “swing” voters, or voters not wedded to casting a straight party ballot. Another angle on this debate focuses on the relative importance of voter mobilization versus voter persuasion. When media reporters and analysts cover events like the probation trial and verdicts in terms of the impact such things will have on the elections they put greater emphasis on the significance of swing voters and voter persuasion. They pretty much have to do this in order to make their work interesting and relevant to their audiences, but the campaigns of the major party statewide candidates put much greater emphasis on turning out (i.e. mobilizing) voters. To the folks running the Coakley, Grossman, and Baker campaigns public opinion about headline grabbing events, as measured in campaign season media polls, is much less important than most people (and most media analysts) assume.

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Grossman’s free media miscalculation

Steve Grossman had a plan. The plan was to spend the pre-convention period building the best campaign infrastructure and volunteer army. The post-convention summer period was supposed to be when the political media’s horse race coverage of the treasurer’s post-convention bump and the backs and forths between the Coakley and Grossman camps would provide the one-on-one media narrative necessary to move the poll numbers and soften the ground for Grossman’s late summer “air campaign.” By primary Election Day, with Grossman’s viability having been established by free and paid media exposure, the superiority of the treasurer’s ground operation would get him over the finish line ahead of the AG. Unfortunately for Grossman, the media has not fulfilled its part of the plan.

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“time for some self reflection”

Yesterday, my colleague, Professor O’Brien, wrote a moving piece on the practical impact of the Supreme Court’s decision in McCullen v. Coakley, the buffer zone case.

The response is illuminating.

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The Casino Question Could Help Baker

Charlie Baker’s biggest liability is his party label. Association with Republicans in Washington is to be avoided like the plague. The SJC’s decision to put the casino repeal question on the November ballot complicates the work of all the statewide candidates, but may help the Republican nominee for governor by steering the political narrative away from national politics.

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Stop or stomp? That’s not the story.

Did Congressman Tierney really call on his supporters to stomp a tracker? Pretty clear he didn’t and it’s also pretty clear he handled himself with calm in the face of being pursued by an opposition operative.

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Should Coakley Cancel Her Globe Subscription?

This could be the week that Martha Coakley cancels her subscription to the Boston Globe.

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Poll Results: This Just In, Nothing Happening

A few years ago my friend Jonathon and I attended the second Arturo Gatti-Micky Ward fight in Atlantic City to cheer for our favorite, Ward. Like all Ward fights it was an exciting match but our guy was outclassed and lost the decision. Afterward we were consoling ourselves with a mild restorative when we ran into Larry Merchant, who had called the fight for HBO. Even though Ward had won the first fight Merchant felt that Gatti had established himself as the better fighter. But we asked, will there be a third fight? Well, he replied, there’s no boxing reason to do it but there’s a business reason to do it, so probably there will be one.

And that brings us to yesterday’s Boston Herald/Suffolk University poll.

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