I know, I know, it was a pretty rough night in most of the nation. But in Massachusetts, we re-elected Deval Patrick to another term as Governor, and we kept our entire congressional delegation blue - and all of that despite some of the most determined and well-funded challenges we've seen in years, including a couple (the challenge to Barney Frank and the race for the 10th congressional district) receiving a good deal of national Republican support. Not a single Republican won a statewide office, and Republicans actually lost a seat in the state Senate while picking up a few in the House that still leave them well short of enough members to block the Democratic super-majority in that chamber.
What happened here? What's the lesson?
The rest of this post is cross-posted from Blue Mass. Group.
Back in January, Scott Brown rocked the political world in Massachusetts and around the country by winning the Senate seat held for decades by Ted Kennedy. There's no doubt that Brown's victory energized Republicans both here and elsewhere. And for a while there, it was looking like the red tide threatening much of the country would reach into Massachusetts as well.
It hit the rest of the country hard tonight. But we stopped it cold here. Stopped. It. Cold.
Charlie Baker lost by 7 points (exactly as Suffolk polled it last week, so kudos to them for again nailing a statewide race, just as they did with Scott Brown). Sean Bielat, the darling of national Republicans who were salivating over the prospect of knocking off Barney Frank, lost by 11. In MA-10, scandal-plagued Jeff Perry, who had help from Mitt Romney and the NRCC (he was one of their "Young
Bums Guns") as well as Baker and Brown, lost by 4 despite a frankly lackluster campaign by his Democratic opponent. All the other congressional challengers lost convincingly by more than 10 points.
The other seriously contested statewide races, Treasurer and Auditor, also went for the Democrats. Steve Grossman won easily (10 points), despite predictions by some savvy observers that Polito would pull it out. And even Suzanne Bump, who faced a determined opponent and had to contend with some embarrassing stories in the Globe, pulled it out.
Frankly, here in Massachusetts, it wasn't even all that close tonight.
Here's hoping that, as Democrats elsewhere sift through the wreckage of what happened tonight, they look to Massachusetts to see what can actually work. The GOTV operation assembled by the combined efforts of the Deval Patrick campaign, the state Democratic party, and Organizing For America, worked brilliantly. It should be a model for 2012 around the country. And the top of our ticket here ran a largely positive campaign in which he stood up for what he believed, and never tried to pretend to be something he wasn't.
The next couple of years won't be easy, here or elsewhere. But I'm pleased and proud that Massachusetts Democrats will be playing a leading role.