Disastrous Night for the Mass GOP – Key Questions Moving Forward

Nationally, whether the mood was anti-incumbent, anti-Obama, or anti-Democratic, whatever the reason, it was a bad night for Democrats.

But not in Massachusetts.

The Mass GOP was equipped with the best (so we thought) crop of candidates in many years for many offices – and plenty of cash to run strong races.

Republicans did not pick up one Constitutional office – not even Auditor! Polito lost by 10, McKenna by over 25, Campbell by over 30, and Connaughton by just 3.  And Baker-Tisei by 7.

In Congressional races, the GOP went 0-for-10. Again. And only in the 10th was the race even kept to single digits, as Jeff Perry lost by about 4%.

The State Senate might be the embarrassment of the night for the Mass GOP as the already tiny crop of GOP State Senators shrunk further, from 5 to 4, as Richard Tisei’s seat went to Democrat Katherine Clark.

The only mildly bright spot of the night for the Mass GOP was the State House of Representatives. The GOP picked up at least 11 seats: 3rd Barnstable, 2nd Bristol, 4th Bristol, 9th Essex, 17th Essex, 18th Essex, 22nd Middlesex, 7th Plymouth, 8th Plymouth, 2nd Worcester, and 8th Worcester. Also, 3rd Bristol has a GOP lead for a pick-up, separated by only 47 votes out of over 11,000 cast – stay tuned there. Same goes for 3rd Hampden, with a GOP lead of under 100 votes out of over 15,000 cast; and in 4th Middlesex, a 102-vote GOP lead out of almost 15,000 cast; and in 6th Worcester, with a GOP lead of 2 – count ’em 2 – votes out of 13,000+ cast.  And, for some reason, 12th Norfolk is still awaiting most results, and 18th Worcester is awaiting enough votes to be determinative.

So:

0 Constitutional offices

0 Congressional seats

-1 State Senate seats!!!

+11-17 State House seats — which is still not enough for the GOP to sustain a veto.

Key Questions:

1) Where does the Mass GOP go from here? Put every egg available into holding Scott Brown’s seat? Re-focus on the state legislature over statewide/Congressional seats? What?

2) After such a massive failure at the statewide level and in the Congressional races (and in losing yet another state senate seat!), should Jenn Nassour resign immediately?

3) Looking especially at the Congressional races, given the 0-for-10 run, have the Mitt Romney and Scott Brown endorsements lost their luster, if they ever had much?

4) Does losing all 10 Congressional races bode poorly for Scott Brown in 2012? Or does it mean nothing as far as Scott Brown is concerned?

5) With at least a tiny bit of a foothold in the state house, should the bulk of the 26-to-32 Republican state representatives begin looking at state senate races for 2012 and countywide/statewide runs in 2014? Or should they count their blessings and plan on sticking in the house for as long as they can hold on?

6) With Charlie Baker all done, who runs for Governor from the GOP in 2014? Richard Tisei didn’t help his ticket and Karyn Polito lost by a lot more than expected. Is Mary Connaughton on deck after a not-lousy performance overall? Is it up to one of the state legislators or countywide officeholders to step up? Is there another businessperson who wants to take a swing? Maybe the GOP should go with a re-tread like Jim Rappaport or Reed Hillman?

What did you take from Election Night 2010 for Massachusetts politics in 2012 and 2014?

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