Post Primary Observations

Some random thoughts on the election that I scribbled down during the past 24 hours:

I never would have guessed that the iconic image from the 2010 primary election would be a pair of men’s dress shoes. Chris Doherty used the shoes with the hole in them to good effect, but Eileen Donoghue countered nicely with the shined-up pair and the “they’re big shoes to fill so pick the person with the most experience” message.

Other than his home town of Boston, Steve Murphy didn’t win many communities in his quest to become state treasurer. He did beat Steve Grossman in Lowell, however, which might be attributable in part, at least, to the vigorous support he received from State Representative Kevin (no relation) Murphy.

In two “down ballot” statewide races (Auditor and Treasurer), the two candidates whose names appeared first – Bump and Grossman – both won defeating Glodis, Lake and Murphy. A coincidence or evidence that first place on the ballot counts for a lot?

Of the four candidates for those two offices who will be on the ballot in November, Steve Grossman is the only male. He’s matched against Republican Karen Polito for treasurer and the auditor’s race has Democrat Suzanne Bump and Republican Mary Connaughton. Pundits sometimes claim that when one woman appears amidst a bunch of men on the ballot for a somewhat obscure office, the solitary woman benefits. Wonder if the converse is true?

All five candidates from the 2007 Democratic primary special election for Congress where on yesterday’s Democratic primary ballot: Niki Tsongas was renominated to Congress; Eileen Donoghue and Barry Finegold where nominated for state senate seats and Jamie Eldridge was renominated for the state senate seat that he has held for the past term; and Jim Miceli was renominated to his state representative seat.

This afternoon I caught a bit of the drama to our north as a recount in the Republican US Senate primary loomed. I must have snoozed through the passage and implications of the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) act. This legislation requires absentee ballots for federal elections bound for those in the military or living overseas to be in the mail no later than 45 days before the election. In New Hampshire, that would have meant if a recount was requested, it would have to start tomorrow morning and be completed by Saturday morning. Having been involved in a couple of recounts, that timetable is completely unrealistic. I would guess that September primaries may soon become a thing of the past which would have a dramatic domino effect with conventions, caucuses and nomination signature deadlines.

This year’s 1st Middlesex State Senate race brought a couple of novel (in local election) tactics into the mainstream. One is that direct mail over-sized postcards have now supplanted newspaper ads as the primary message delivery system. The other is the distribution of “vote for me today” reminder notes on election day morning. Both candidates did this. I found my note from Chris Doherty at 5 am when I ventured out for a run. I did have one homeowner tell me that when he glanced out the window at 2 am after his dog started wildly barking and saw a stranger leaving his porch and mounting a neighbor’s, he was about to call the police when he realized it was a campaign worker doing a literature drop.

I became convinced that Donoghue would win at noontime on election day when I dropped in at the Daley School to cast my vote. There was a thirty-something Doherty supporter who I didn’t recognize holding a sign for Chris. There were five sixty- or seventy-something Donoghue supporters, all well known in the neighborhood, holding signs for Eileen. I saw the same thing at two other polling places I passed on my way back to work. When folks from the most reliable voting demographic in the city – the elderly – not only support you but spend the day holding your sign at a polling place, you’re candidacy is in pretty good shape.

2 Responses to Post Primary Observations

  1. Marie says:

    Excellent catch on the 2007 5thCD candidates.If things go the Democratic way and they should on November 2nd – three of them – Donoghue, Eldridge, and Finegold will be serving together in the same legislative body. Having worked with all 5 candidates on a unity event post-2007, I saw the genuineness of their commitment. I know that the issues and institutions in Greater Lowell that I care about will be well-served by this legislative trio. I’ll be calling!

  2. Jack Mitchell says:

    On Facebook, Chris Doherty is reaching out to supporters to support Eileen. This is good. Doherty is credited with broad appeal to young voters in the First Middlesex. Tha makes Facebook a great place to start.

    Saw Eileen and crew at Andover/Nesmith corners, this morning. The message was “thank you.”