Why we need more Republicans willing to run if we are going to win.

( – promoted by Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno)

In 1948, Democrats in Massachusetts were tired of seeing statewide candidates win in districts held by Republican lawmakers. They also knew that in order for their candidate Paul Dever to beat incumbent Republican Governor Robert Bradford, they had to do better than in 1946 when he beat Maurice Tobin. Tobin had been blocked by a Republican legislature in passing his liberal agenda, and Democratic leaders knew that for Dever to avoid the same fate as Tobin in 1950, they needed a Democratic House to help pass his agenda. Democratic leaders targeted 40 Republican held seats, and recruited candidates community by community to run in them, many seats they had previously left uncontested.

John McCormack (Democratic Party Whip and leader of the Massachusetts delegation) offered his support and encouraged O’Neill to campaign hard to make the Democratic Party the majority party in the Massachusetts House of Representatives for the first time in a century. Their effort paid off as they captured 38 out of 40 GOP districts targeted by the Democratic strategy. Tip O’Neill became the first Democratic Speaker of the House.

This is a great lesson we should take to heart. It was great seeing pickups in the House and Senate this year in addition to Governor-Elect Baker. Rest assured, the Democrats are already planning on reversing these pick ups. Take a look over at Blue Mass Group.

I know it’s tough running a campaign in which you know the odds are long to win. I’ve won elections, and lost them. This was the first time I ran knowing that in all likelihood, unless we caught lightning in a bottle, would not prevail. We managed to make my opponent and the Democratic Party spend over $50k on a seat they didn’t worry about in 2012, and that was $50,000 not directed to Coakley or other Democratic candidates. We spent about $3,000. I applaud those that ran similar campaigns in other difficult races.

If you live in a district with a long term Democratic incumbent, but your district voted for Baker, I ask you to start planning for 2016 and 2018 now. Either start asking around for whom the most popular person is in your district, and convince them to run as a Republican, or consider running yourself. A run in 2016, even in a tough Presidential election year will give a candidate great name recognition for 2018. The opportunity exists to grow our party further than the gains made this year. There are a lot of seats that SHOULD be held by Republicans, and a lot of others that could be if the Democratic Party has to spend resources in Suffolk, the liberal towns in Middlesex County, Western Mass, and Springfield and Worcester.  

Start asking around now, and let’s all work together building the party for the future. If you are interested, I urge you to attend a Post-Election Review/Debriefing Tuesday, November 18th at 7pm at the Leominster Veterans’ Center. We will be discussing and reviewing data, and laying out a plan to begin recruiting candidates for the next election cycle. Remember, a successful campaign for 2016 begins with fundraising before the end of THIS year.    

About Rich Bastien

  • OnLooker

    To win many (not all, of course) such districts you need to run Baker-style candidates: with some moderate fiscal conservative streak, but at least moderate liberals on social issues. How many such legislative candidates did Republican party run this time, and how they fared? And if you limit your targets to socially conservative districts (like Micelli’s) – you will never win enough districts to be really relevant…

  • I applaud your efforts this year and I thank you for this post.  Isn’t it a shame all the grief you’re getting ?  It makes one think that the best friend the Mass. Dems have is the MA GOP.

  • the Commonwealth needs is……CLOSED PRIMARIES.

  • David Haak

    Mark Fisher would be a good candidate to run for State Senate in the 2nd Worcester district.

  • Freesoul

    Slightly less progressive is not moderate, it’s just less progressive. That’s the only reason Baker won, he’s slightly less progressive.

    MASSGOP needs to stop turning its back on its own party base instead of trying to identify with the base of the opposite party. Stare long enough into the abyss, and you become the abyss, as it were.

    Perhaps a strategy worth considering would be for a concerted effort by multiple candidates on the campaign trail to criticize the Democratic Party platform, break it down to the sum of it’s parts, discredit each element one at a time, and then leave it up to voters to see how the platform as a whole discredits itself, rather then play offense and defense with that candidate.

    Most of the Northeast is so far down the primrose path to rack and ruin that it’s easier to take the overall agenda of the Democratic Party platform to its logical conclusion, and then reverse engineer it. Only a fool builds his house on sand… take the ground out from under them, if you will.

    Another tactic would be to consider gaining presence in city councils, town halls, and one branch of state government, like the State House, instead of just focusing on the Governors Mansion. You can see how it worked out on the National level, now try it here.

    MASSGOP needs new leadership if it’s ever going to expand its presence in MA. CTGOP fielded candidates for every seat in every district in Conn. MASSGOP barely showed up, fielding and focusing on candidates for executive positions. How well did that work out? The Gov. and Lt. Govs. offices, that’s it. Not Treasurer, Sec. of State, AG, Auditor.

    Baker could have been a lot more successful if all of those candidates election platforms were more consistent with one another, as well as the party’s platform… instead MASSGOP would rather offer slightly less of the same as the opposite party. This makes MASSGOP look like the JV team for the Democratic Party. Knock it off, it’s not good for you.

    And another thing, IMHO, if MASSGOP put Polito out in front instead of Baker, there most likely would have never been a primary against Fisher. And Polito would have won at a greater margin against Coakley.

  • We need a State Party that is committed to turning Massachusetts into the purple state.

    The first step in that direction is getting one house on Beacon Hill that can uphold a Republican Governor’s veto.

    So that means building a farm team of municipal officials. And as Rich said find people willing to run as Republicans. They may actually be conservative Democrats or Independents that are today sitting on school boards, Boards of Selectmen, that we can try to recruit. But you know they need to be convinced they’ll be backed by the party.

    We need to organize our Ward, Town, and City Committees. Those that are organized need to be ready-to-go campaigns in each location for the candidates running in their district up and down the ticket.

    The Party needs a Statewide message each election cycle. It doesn’t have be the whole platform… Hell, I don’t agree with the whole platform… But a message every candidate can latch on to while campaigning on the local bread and butter, nuts and bolts issues of his district.

    We could have had such an message this year… Republicans across the State should have really embraced Question 1 and a major theme in their campaign. Not so much the tax part of it…. but the accountability part of it. The facts that these stiffs don’t want to have even vote anymore to raise our taxes. And the MA-GOP should have made a few generic ads supporting all our down ticket candidates with that message… a tag line in there somewhere… This year before you come out to vote for Charlie Baker, make sure you visit our website and check out the great Republicans we have running in your district. It’s really time to end one party rule !

    So yes we need more people to run. And thank each and every candidate that did run. Even those who knew it was a lost cause, but ran to win, because they weren’t going to let the entrenched Democrap go unchallenged. But the MA-GOP needs to show a real commitment to support our down ticket candidates, not just exploit their volunteers to make calls and knock on doors for the top of the ticket as usual.

    We can’t mailers being promised then not go out, after they take money from the candidate to increase the size of the mailer… as happened on more on than occasion this cycle… And then have the Chair blame the clearing house! Give me a break…. Hopefully they’ll be refunding the candidates that got RIPPED OFF !!! Hello !

    We need a change in the corner office mentality. It’s failed strategy. And while Charlie knows this…. the MA-GOP brain-trust didn’t get the message ! Because they are only concerned with being close to power for personal gain… AKA patronage jobs or business from the State.