Q&A #4: Senate Debate Topics

"David" asks: 

There's now a debate scheduled on 10/4 for the Democratic Senate candidates. As with most primaries, it seems like the candidates agree on most of the issues. What do you expect will be the major topics? Are there any statewide issues that we should be looking for them to talk about?

I agree, there are unlikely to be many significant disagreements on the issues -- this early, it's more of a forum for candidates to express their "story" and demonstrate their ability to express liberal ideals in a way that resonates with the activist base.

I'd expect Khazei to be most aggressive, for a couple of reasons. First of all, he went through this pretty recently, so he's pretty comfortable with his public positions and how to articulate them. Secondly, he's got a window right now to try to establish this as a two-person race -- so he'll want the forum to gravitate around him and Elizabeth Warren, with the others seeming ancillary. My guess is that he tries to suggest, either explicitly or implicitly, that they'd fight for the same things, but that she'd be too combative to accomplish anything, whereas he's more of a concensus-builder.

As for the topics, jobs, jobs, jobs I imagine, and then the range of usual Democratic issues, and maybe some questions targeted directly at how they would beat Scotto. As for statewide issues -- aside from jobs, jobs, jobs -- I'd expect many of the candidates to try out their chops at giving shout-outs to regional issues. (Two points to the first to talk about the state's hard-working fishermen!)

At this point, it's about choosing a champion on the issues, more than The winner will be the one who sounds most earnest the 8th time they say "I will work hard every day to..."

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