Today, Frank Philips writes, in the Boston Globe, about the state of the Massachusetts Republican Party and the electoral chances thereof. His thesis is that the GOP is on life support and because “big names” are sitting out the election the party is close to doomed. This is far from the case.
“It’s been bleak for some time for the Massachusetts Republicans, but it’s just a bit bleaker now,” said Peter Ubertaccio, director of the Martin Institute for Law & Society at Stonehill College. “Their high-water mark may have been January 2010. It has been a slow and steady decline since then.”
“Brown’s leaving, so soon after his loss, is symbolic of the demoralized state of the party,” Ubertaccio said. “They don’t have the farm team available to step up.”
In another blow, Gabriel Gomez, the party’s US Senate nominee who ran a surprisingly competitive race against Markey last year, has taken himself out of the mix of GOP candidates for the 2014 elections.
Professor Ubertaccio has this all wrong. While we lost the Gubernatorial election of November 2010, we doubled our seats in the House of Representatives. That is where our focus should be. Looking back to a November 4, 2013 post Red Mass Group looked at the 2010 elections and showed that Scott Brown won a majority of the State Representative and State Senate districts and Deval Patrick got under 50% in a similar number of them.
more after the jump
Charlie Baker, on numerous occasions over the past four years has shown that he understands that the key to long term success of the Republican Party in Massachusetts is through a focus on the legislature. That is why he has led the formation of the first coordinated campaign in a long time in our party. Every candidate, from State Representative, to Governor will be working together to turn out the vote. The silo approach of the past is going away.
Baker saw that he won by larger margins in districts where there were Republican legislative candidates who also won. That is why he has put so much effort into legislative candidates over the past few years. Even donating $3000 in 2012 to the Marlborough Republican City Committee who has been at the forefront of helping legislative candidates across the state.
The state of our party is strong. We should expect similar, if not better results, in our legislative contests as we saw in 2010 with another significant increase of members in both houses this time. And the Demcoratics have taken notice. In the State House News Service January 17, 2014 round up how the Democratics are looking at this race was summed up:
So perhaps it was fitting that as the verdict was read House Democrats were huddled in a hotel down the street from the State House discussing their prospects for the upcoming elections. The three-plus-hour meeting lasted so long, as members peppered consultants and pollsters about how to proceed on the campaign trail, that DeLeo had to cancel an official Democratic caucus where House leaders were supposed to be discussing the actual business before the House that day.
Polling shown to the lawmakers indicated that the economy and the accompanying unemployment struggles ranked as the top concern for voters, followed by education and then health care.
According to a senior House Democrat who attended the meeting, lawmakers were particularly interested in receiving advice about how to best sell the accomplishments of the Legislature thus far, and how to distance themselves from the controversies enveloping Gov. Deval Patrick’s administration, i.e. the Department of Children and Families and the Connector’s failed Obamacare website roll out.
Our opponents are concerned. By focusing on legislative races, we help our statewide candidates. The state of our party is strong. 2014 is going to be a great year.