It's true, Gomez could always return next year for round two when Markey would have to run again for a full term. Then again, Scott Brown (R. MA) could always come back for another shot, hence why he may have sat this one out. Of course he's also open to coming to New Hampshire to try and take on Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D. NH). So who knows. But one thing is for sure, Gomez is the farthest thing from a Scott Brown quality candidate for the GOP. Politico lists six reasons why:Massachusetts U.S. Senate candidate Gabriel Gomez says he's not discouraged by polls that show him trailing his rival. And the Republican businessman and former Navy SEAL said Sunday an Election Day loss wouldn’t mean an end to his political career.
“I'm confident I'm going to win. But as a famous general once said in World War II, I shall return. And I know that a lot of people are very excited about our candidacy,” Gomez said on “Fox News Sunday.” Voters in Massachusetts will select a new U.S. senator Tuesday to serve out the term started by John Kerry, who left the Senate earlier this year to become secretary of state. If Gomez loses, he could run again for the seat in 2014.
The Republican is pitted against longtime Democratic Rep. Edward Markey in the special election. The contest has been marked by negative campaigning from both sides: Markey has accused Gomez of being a pawn for national Republicans, while Gomez says Markey’s long tenure in Washington makes him a poor advocate for Bay Staters.
“Congressman Markey has probably done the most misleading, egregious campaign, trying to paint somebody that I'm not, and he's trying to scare people,” Gomez said Sunday. “I think he's scared and he doesn't want to talk about his record. And in the end, people are going to come to the polls, because they're more enthusiastic voting for me as opposed to voting against somebody else.”
Surveys in Massachusetts have consistently put Markey in the lead, though the margins have varied. On Saturday, Vice President Joe Biden campaigned for the 20-term lawmaker in South Boston, becoming the latest high-profile Democrat to hit the state. President Barack Obama and the first lady have both stumped for Markey in the past several weeks. - CNN, 6/23/13
FYI, the latest poll has Congressman Ed Markey (D. MA) leading Gomez by 8 points:1. It’s not 2010
Brown three years ago tapped into leeriness of President Barack Obama and his controversial health care law; even voters in a state nicknamed “Taxachusetts” scoffed at what was being disparaged at the time as an ultra-left agenda. Send him to Washington, Brown promised, and he’d break the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority.
Gomez has run aggressively against Washington, linking Markey to everything unpopular about the federal government.
But Obama carried the state in November by 23 percentage points over former Gov. Mitt Romney. The president’s image has been sullied some by the Internal Revenue Service scandal and the National Security Agency sweeping up phone records, but neither resonates the way the health care overhaul did. This time around, Markey is running on Obamacare and calling Gomez a threat to the law.
2. The no-surprises factor
In 2010, nobody in the Democratic Party apparatus believed Brown could actually win — until it was too late to stop his momentum. This time, the national party machine made an early decision to go all in.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Senate Majority PAC spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads attacking Gomez. And every major liberal interest group also chipped in: environmentalists, unions and women’s groups.
A stream of surrogates visited the state, including the president, first lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton.
3. Big outside GOP money never came
While Democrats were pulling out all the stops, the major GOP groups were standing on the sidelines, seemingly afraid of losing. Donors are fatigued after last fall’s shellacking, and the big groups didn’t want to invest in a likely loser.
“The campaign never got it together,” said a consultant to a GOP super PAC. “And outside groups watch for basic measurements to engage and none of them were met — candidate performance, fundraising, message. … [T]he days of throwing money at every Republican candidate and campaign are over.”
The Americans for Progressive Action super PAC (a slightly deceptive name) finally launched a $700,000 TV ad buy to boost Gomez in mid-June. And the National Republican Senatorial Committee sent $400,000 in mid-May to the state party, while the Republican National Committee transferred $126,000 at the end of May.
4. Gomez’s fix with Republicans
Several Bay State conservatives who supported Gomez’s opponents in the primary said they were much less motivated to work for Gomez because of a letter he sent in January asking Gov. Deval Patrick to appoint him to the vacant Senate seat. Gomez wrote that he voted for Obama in 2008 and even said he would support him on immigration and gun control.
Even as Gomez alienated some base voters, a fundraising solicitation from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and a campaign contribution from Newt Gingrich gave Democrats fodder to tell voters that he would be just another party-line vote.
5. The Stephen Lynch vote
Gomez badly needed to win over working-class, socially conservative Democrats who voted heavily for Rep. Stephen Lynch in the Democratic primary.
But a stream of negative stories, presumably based on opposition research peddled by Democrats, helped keep these voters in the Democratic fold. The most damaging were about Gomez’s background in private equity and a $281,000 tax deduction the GOP candidate took for promising not to alter his historic home.
“A big piece of Stephen Lynch’s support base was organized labor,” said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh. “The labor folks are saying it was a contest between a friend and a brother and they stuck with a brother.”
6. Gomez was outmaneuvered on women’s issues
Brown ran ads last year calling himself “pro-choice.” Gomez says he personally opposes abortion but would not try to curtail abortion rights — and that’s been a difficult tightrope for the political novice to walk.
At the first debate, he suggested both that he could vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice who would roll back Roe v. Wade and that he would support a 24-hour waiting period before a woman could have an abortion. His campaign said immediately after the debate that he would vote against this if it came up in the Senate.
Democrats identify as a turning point in the race the moment Gomez declined to take a position on the Blunt Amendment — which would have allowed employers to restrict coverage for contraception — saying he had not read the text. - Politico, 6/23/13
Despite the polling numbers, Markey and Gomez have been hitting the campaign trail hard making sure voters come out to the polls on Tuesday:The poll, conducted by the Western New England University Polling Institute, found Markey leading Gomez, 49 percent to 41 percent among likely voters, with 9 percent undecided. Markey was boosted by a strong showing among Democrats and among women.
The poll also found what political observers have noted all along – that voters are simply not engaged in this race in the way they were with the 2012 U.S. Senate race between Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
“I think the campaigns have a much more difficult task in front of them than they would in a normal election cycle getting people out to vote,” said Tim Vercellotti, director of the Polling Institute at Western New England University and a professor of political science.
The election will be held on Tuesday.
Markey entered the race with an advantage because registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Massachusetts three to one. The poll found that Gomez is getting some support from Democrats – 12 percent, compared to just 7 percent of Republicans who support Markey. Gomez is also leading by 15 points among independent likely voters.
However, in order for a Republican to win in Massachusetts, he must have a far greater lead among independents to offset the state’s large population of Democrats, Vercellotti said. In the last Western New England University poll before the 2012 Senate election, Brown had a 33-point lead among independent voters – but he still trailed statewide. “It all depends on turnout on Tuesday, but the data here don’t reflect the kind of lead (Gomez) would need to make this a real horse race,” Vercellotti said.
So-called “women’s issues” have played a role in this election, with Markey and his supporters frequently drawing distinctions between the candidates on issues like abortion. Markey is pro-choice. Gomez is personally pro-life. Though Gomez says he does not want to change abortion laws, critics have attacked him for not having an abortion-related litmus test for Supreme Court justices.
Numerous polls have found Markey with a growing lead among women. The Republican/MassLive.com poll found Markey leading by 24 points among women. Gomez leads by 12 points among men.
The poll was conducted June 16-20. The sample of 653 registered voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points. The sample of 566 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percentage points. - The Republican, 6/22/13
Markey has been making the case that he is the candidate who will preserve the American Dream:Gomez planned to greet voters in western Massachusetts, including Springfield, Chicopee and Agawam, before attending a rally in Boston’s North End with former Boston Bruins coach and player Mike Milbury. Markey was stumping in Lynn, Lowell, Waltham, Framingham and Worcester, including stops with Democratic Gov. Michael Dukakis and Vicki Kennedy, the widow of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
Gomez and Markey are vying in Tuesday’s election to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of John Kerry to become secretary of state.
Both campaigns are putting added emphasis on their efforts to ensure their voters get to the polls.
The ramped up get-out-the-vote drives come amid warnings from the state’s top election official that turnout could be very light given distractions like the start of summer vacation and the Bruins’ pursuit of hockey’s Stanley Cup.
The national parties are also keeping an eye on the Massachusetts contest as Republicans try to chip away at the Democrats’ hold on the Senate and Democrats seek to shore up their control of the chamber.
On Saturday, Markey campaigned with Vice President Joe Biden at a rally on the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth campus. Biden was the latest in a string of Democratic heavy-hitters who have campaigned for Markey in recent weeks, including President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton. - CBS Boston, 6/23/13
Markey also picked up another big press endorsement:On the issue of the budget, Social Security and other safety net programs are placed at the top of the Republicans’ chopping block. But people have contributed to Social Security throughout their entire lives. Social Security is not an entitlement. It is an earned benefit. In the Senate, I will fight to defend Social Security from cavalier cuts.
I know how important social safety-net programs are. My mother was the president of her high school class. But after her mother died, she had to sacrifice her dreams of going to college to take care of her younger siblings. Before the New Deal, that was America’s social safety net: One of the girls will have to stay home. Now, Republicans want to cut those safety nets that allow Americans to keep pursuing their dreams.
I believe budgets are about priorities. Before we make any more devastating cuts on the backs of working class families, on the sick, on the elderly, let’s talk about the entitlements that Republicans have championed. Let’s talk about the entitlements for Big Oil. Those companies get $40 billion in tax breaks, even as they tip us upside down at the gas pump every week. Let’s talk about the entitlements for new nuclear weapons programs. They want $100 billion for new nuclear weapons that we don’t need and we can’t afford. Let’s talk about the entitlements that big corporations get for overseas tax evasion. Let’s cut those entitlements before we let Republicans balance the budget on the backs of the poor, the sick and the elderly.
At the core, this election comes down to a choice of priorities. Will we finally get real gun control on the books? I will fight for a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazine clips. Will we finally move past the debate over women’s access to reproductive health care and focus on advancing women’s health? I will defend a woman’s right to choose. Will we make sure seniors can enjoy a secure retirement? I will protect Social Security for this generation and the next.
That’s what I stand for. And I know just how lucky I am to be on the ballot to take that message to the U.S. Senate.
My father grew up on the first floor of a triple-decker on Philips Street in South Lawrence. My grandparents were immigrants from Ireland and they raised their five children there. A few years ago, I went back to that same triple-decker to see who lived there now. I rang the doorbell; the door opened and it was a Dominican-American family with their children. The accents were different, but the aspirations were clearly the same. They want for their children what the Markeys wanted for theirs.
I think that’s the responsibility of anyone who goes to the United States Senate: to ensure that every child on every porch, in every city and town across Massachusetts and our country is able to achieve the American Dream. - 90.9 WBUR, 6/21/13
The Special Election is Tuesday, June 25th. If you would like to sign up and volunteer you can can do so here:In his 37 years in Congress, Markey has proven to be a consummate legislator. While many members of Congress introduce bills and offer amendments, Markey has the prowess to get his passed. He led the way in opening up the Internet to competition and has continued to ensure it remains a place for freedom via his Internet Freedom Preservation Act.
Markey has been a vocal and persistent watchdog of the nuclear industry, and outspoken on all of Plymouth’s Pilgrim nuclear power plant’s shortcomings – though it’s far removed from his district. He’s authored and passed legislation to protect children online, and has consistently been an advocate, working with Republican leaders, for privacy for all.
With everything from his positions on personal privacy for medical and cell phone records, to his consistent votes against the reauthorization of The Patriot Act, Markey has advocated for the people. In the age of hyper technology where corporations and, as we’ve recently discovered, our own government routinely spy on us, Markey’s wonkish focus is vital to ensuring Constitutional rights are preserved as we sort out Spygate. Given his record as a vocal advocate for Massachusetts and consumers of every state, Markey is the better choice. - Somerville Journal, 6/23/13