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Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez didn't count on one thing when McConnell sent out an email fundraiser for the Republican candidate: Elizabeth Warren. McConnell sent out an email to his list on Friday saying that he'd match donations up to $32,000, with the message that a "Republican majority in the Senate begins with your support today." Warren responded with an email to her list asking to match McConnell. She didn't match it, she doubled it. As of Sunday afternoon, Warren had raised $65,000 for Markey.
Markey's campaign needs the injection of some Warren energy. Massachusetts Democrats are reportedly feeling the need to "prop up" the so far very quiet campaign and plan on doing so with an intense ground game.
The specter of 2010, when then-state Senator Scott P. Brown stunned Attorney General Martha Coakley, stirs bile in the state’s heavily Democratic political establishment. That year, a full 107,000 of the state’s most devoted Democratic voters did not go to the polls for a special Senate election that Brown won by more than 109,000 votes.
“To screw up a US Senate special election isn’t a theory for us,” state Democratic Party chairman John Walsh said. “We’ve done it, so nobody is taking anything for granted.” [...]
Markey, who has not exhibited the charisma that helped previous Democratic victors draw voters to the polls, is poised to be the ultimate beneficiary of the party’s thoroughly oiled voter-turnout apparatus.
Carl Nilsson, Markey’s field director, said the campaign has been structured “very much on the tops of the shoulders of Elizabeth Warren and Barack Obama,” borrowing get-out-the-vote tactics and staff.
Still, Markey hasn't really pulled away from Gomez in polling and on Thursday the Cook Political Report shifted the race from "lean Democrat" to "toss up." That rating might be overstating Gomez's chances: It seems based more on the idea that Scott Brown pulled it off so it could happen again, rather than on real signs that Gomez is moving up. But it's the specter of Scott Brown and of the lackluster Martha Coakley campaign that he bested, that lurks in the background.
Elizabeth Warren put some of those ghosts to rest. Her star power might help Markey put the rest of them to bed. And make sure that Mitch McConnell does not get a 46th vote.