I have always been a supporter of the Bielat campaign, but honestly I’m not totally sure how I feel about this:
MA-4 In a move already sparking controversy and sharp words from both sides, Republican candidate Sean Bielat has officially changed his name to Sean Bielat Kennedy.
According to the newly rebranded “Sean Kennedy” campaign, the move is in response to internal polls showing that “with the Kennedy name out of the picture, Joe Kennedy’s numbers fall apart.”
“When you take Joe Kennedy’s name out of the equation he falls short, so this idea that he’s running on something other than his name isn’t supported,” said Kennedy, who pointed out that Kennedy has been saying he’s not running on his name.
Given a description of the candidates’ qualifications, 57 percent of those polled supported Sean B Kennedy, while 29 supported Joe Kennedy III.
Democrats, as you might predict, are jumping all over this:
A Kennedy spokesman called the Kennedy move a “cheap political stunt” that Massachusetts voters would see through on election day.
“Joe Kennedy III, is the son of former Congressman Joe Kennedy II and grandson of former Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Sean Bielat ‘Kennedy’ is merely trying to capitalize on a family dynasty to which he has no right.”
… while rank and file Democrat voters have reiterated their allegiance to the Kennedy name:
On a recent night in Milford, his fourth trip to the town of 27,000, voters made no secret of their reverence for the Massachusetts dynasty. “Knowing the Kennedy family, I know he’ll do something for us in Congress; the Kennedys listen to the middle class,” says Elaine Nigro, a retired teacher. Marie Romagnoli says simply: “You can’t go wrong with the Kennedys.”
Personally, I cannot fathom that voters are unserious enough to vote solely on a name in the first place, much less vote for the wrong Kennedy! But apparently the strategy has already been bearing fruit:
… ” first internal poll from the Sean Kennedy campaign showing Sean with a narrow 4 point lead in the head to head poll [Sean Kennedy vs. Joe Kennedy III]. While this is technically within the margin of error, the Kennedy campaign is confident that it can move further ahead by contrasting Kennedy’s experience and accomplishments with those of Kennedy, and by stressing the issues which 4th district voters care about most [in which they align with Kennedy] …
Incredibly, at least one union has already donated to the Sean Kennedy campaign:
While Joe Kennedy III has received strong donations from national labor unions, some even dating from before his campaign announcement, Sean Kennedy’s latest FEC disclosures show hefty contributions from both the California Teacher’s Union, and from Connecticut based Teamsters Local 671. When asked if the contributions may have been in error, the Kennedy campaign had no comment. Spokesman for the two unions could not be reached for comment.