(We have, social-cons, paleo-cons, and neo-cons. Now added to that list is pseudo-con. Tim Cahill’s picture is in the dictionary next to the deffinition of pseudo-con. – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)
Many people in this election have been making the argument that “a vote for Cahill is a vote for Patrick.” This is a fair argument to make and is used in most elections. However, it may not yet be the time to be making it.
During the Scott Brown senate campaign I made a similar argument to the supporters of “the other” Joe Kennedy. There were some legitimate criticisms against Scott Brown. He voted for Romneycare in the State Senate and has made some votes I have disagreed with as a United States Senator such as voting for the so-called “jobs” bill.
In the closing days of the election it was obvious that Joe Kennedy had no realistic chance of winning. If polls show a 49%-49%-2% race or even a 40%-40%-20% race those who support the 3rd place candidate can often be convinced to vote for their second choice based on this pragmatic argument. As a closing argument it can be effective.
The downside to this argument is an unfortunate concession. It says to the supporters of the 3rd place candidate that even though the candidate they support is better they should abandon him for pragmatic reasons. This is why it should not be the lead argument at this stage.
With the general election over 6 months away, Baker supporters should be making the argument that he is better that Cahill. This is especially important considering the aggressive strategy Tim Cahill is making to capture Republican and conservative voters. Cahill has pick a former Republican state Representative as his running mate, gone on Glen Beck to bash Obamacare, showed up at both the Boston Tea Party rally and MassGOP state convention events. None of this makes him more conservative than Baker on policy, but it can have a real impact on politics.
MORE BELOW THE FOLD….
Tim Cahill is not Joe Kennedy. He has more cash on hand than either of the other 2 candidates, has been elected statewide twice and is polling over 20%. Treating him as a 3rd tier also-ran is a strategic mistake.
What if polling shows Cahill taking a lead over Baker again? If the base of the Baker argument is merely pragmatism, that same argument can be used against him especially during a time when the polls are in such flux.
Cahill may fade as the election progresses. Convincing his supports to for Baker in the name of pragmatism in October will likely make for a strong closing argument. In April, as an opening argument, it’s weak.