Should Rep. Diehl run for State Senate in a special election to replace Tom Kennedy?

Here’s the text of the email appeal by GOP Rep. Geoff Diehl He’s like to know if should run for Democrat Tom Kennedy’s seat. Sen. Kennedy passed away last month.

As you know Rep. Diehl was instrumental in tanking the unaccountable gas tax last fall. He’s an emerging GOP point leader on key issues including leading a broad-based attack on the pending Olympic Boston 2024 disaster.

As you heard, Senator Tom Kennedy passed away last week.  He was a devoted public servant who put in the long hours to make a positive difference.

I have been asked to run for this vacant seat.  I am seriously considering it.

While I am known throughout the district for my work as State Representative and for repealing automatic gas tax hikes last year, and now fighting to stop tax dollars for the Olympics, I would be the underdog in this blue district.

So I am writing to my loyal supporters to ask-should I run?

To win this fall 2015 special election, I will need to raise 5 times the amount I needed for State Representative.  Should I run? …

I believe that I can make an even great difference in the Senate, but I need to know that you are with me.

Anyone up for doing an analysis of the district and Rep. Diehl’s chances? Merrimack Man, I’m looking at you.

About Karl Marx

Left wing libertarian conservative.

  • Joshua Norman

    Scott Brown won this district with 58% of the vote in 2010, when he ran as the 41st vote against ObamaCare.

    In 2012, he still got 48% of the district even though he ran as the 60th vote for Dodd-Frank.  

    Charlie Baker won this district last year by 2,400 votes against Martha Chokely as strength outside of Brockton more than offset weakness in Brockton.  His margin of victory over Chokely was greater than the votes received by the three independent candidates.

    Even John Cruz got 47% of the vote in the 10th Plymouth District last year (even though Brockton accounts for 9 of its 13 precincts) even though he was a RINO squish running against a full-throated ideologue socialist Democrat (Michelle DuBois, who was endorsed by the socialists at Mass Alliance and Progressive Massachusetts).

    It’s not the easiest district, but its not the most difficult.  Its a district that the MassGOP should be fielding a candidate annually, though.

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  • BrocktonDave
  • I’m no MerrimackMan, but I’ll give it my best shot.

    I was actually pretty surprised when I started running the numbers. As an open seat, it’s a competitive looking district. The towns are all reliably Republican. They voted for Charlie Baker twice and Scott Brown twice – no surprises there – but also for Gabriel Gomez and (except the two Easton precincts) for Mitt Romney and John McCain. On the other hand, Brockton is solidly Democratic. Democrats took between 55% (Coakley v. Brown) and 71% (Obama v. McCain) of the vote in Brockton over those eight years. So the question really does come down to what Joshua Norman alluded to – which side can rack up enough of a lead in their base to offset the other side’s base.

    Turnout decides elections. My favorite illustration of that is this little fun fact. In November 2008, John McCain received 1,108,854 votes in Massachusetts. Needless to say, he was crushed 62-36%. Fourteen months later, Scott Brown received 1,168,178 votes to win 52-47%. What’s the key difference? 900,000 more people voted in November 2008 than in January 2010. Conventional wisdom suggests that Republican turnout holds up better than Democratic turnout does (mostly for demographic reasons), so Republicans are likely to overperform in midterms and special elections and underperform in presidential cycles. The numbers in this district over the last eight years bear out this assumption.

    I calculated the total number of votes cast in the 2nd Plymouth and Bristol District in the last six statewide elections (2014, 2013 Special, 2012, 2010, 2010 Special, 2008). Then I figured out the percentage of those votes that came from Brockton.

    2014 = 46.5%

    2013 = 46.7%

    2012 = 49.9%

    2010 Nov = 45.8%

    2010 Jan = 44.9%

    2008 = 49.8%

    The pattern holds. Brockton makes up a bigger share of the vote (almost 50%) in presidential elections and a smaller share (around 45%) in non-presidential races. There’s no meaningful distinction between midterms and special elections in this sample, but those special elections were statewide contests that got at least a fair amount of media attention – a purely local special election may show an even greater shift to the towns. The biggest beneficiary is Hanover, which goes from 12% of the vote in presidential years to 13.5% of the vote in non-presidential elections. Hanover, not coincidentally, is also the most Republican-leaning town in the district.

    This isn’t my part of the state, so I don’t know much about who the Democrats might put forward or how strong they may be. Special elections are always attractive to incumbent officeholders because they can seek promotion without surrendering their existing position. Of course, that works for Rep. Diehl too. In fact, the worst-case scenario for him isn’t to run and lose the special election – it’d be a minor blemish, but he’d probably maintain a firm grip on his House seat regardless – it would be to win the special but lose the presidential cycle general election in 2016, when that Brockton turnout spikes up again. But even that would require a formidable Democrat to challenge a Republican incumbent, and that’s shockingly rare in Massachusetts (sometimes I think the only politicians less daring than Massachusetts Republicans are Massachusetts Democrats).

    For me, the benefits outweigh the risks. The district is winnable. The candidate is strong. This is a major opportunity and I hope Geoff Diehl seizes it.

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    The total number of votes cast in the 2nd Plymouth and Bristol District in the last six statewide elections (2014, 2013 Special, 2012, 2010, 2010 Special, 2008). 2014 = 46.5%2013 = 46.7% 2012 = 49.9% 2010 Nov = 45.8% 2010 Jan = 44.9% 2008 = 49.8% this is the fact about Election. well lets see what happend in future.

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