Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Gaining in Massachusetts
Fresh off receiving his party's nomination last weekend, Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker may be poised to seriously challenge Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick this fall.
Mr. Baker, a former health industry executive, does not appear to be relying on the wave of dissatisfaction over President Obama's health care bill that swept Scott Brown into the junior senator's chair. He has been hammering the Democratic incumbent over what he feels are wasteful spending practices.
Judging from preliminary polling done by local Boston media outlets, his message is resonating with a surprising number of voters, especially independents who make up a sizable voting block in the Bay State. Despite the fact that there is no evidence of any more mismanagement in the Patrick administration than his immediate predecessors, the media perception that Governor Patrick is out of touch is being formed skillfully by the Baker campaign.
Despite the lack of one major rallying point, such as the health care reform bill (which is very unpopular in Massachusetts), Baker seems to be selling himself as the Deval Patrick alternative. It will be interesting to see if the Republican can broaden this anti-incumbent sentiment among voters into a viable candidate in his own right. I also wonder if this "I'm not the Incumbent" platform might actually be his central issue this year.
Over the next couple weeks I will be spotlighting several key races in other states. How much is being the incumbent a liability this year? Stay tuned!