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  • October 18, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    My question, which I've been asking people the past several days, is: Why did the Charlie Baker camp push out "evidence" that their candidate is leading?

    Let's first put this out there: pretty much nobody seriously thinks that anybody is ahead by a comfortable margin in the Massachusetts governor's race.

    Second: Every independent poll since Labor Day -- check that, since June -- has shown Deval Patrick leading with margins ranging from 1 percentage point (Globe/UNH) to 7, as in the Suffolk University poll that came out earlier this week.

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  • October 15, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    "KC" asks:

    Who do you think will win the governor's race? What do you think the final breakdown will be?

    For quite some time, I've been saying that it's about a 55% chance that Deval Patrick will win. I'll stick with that -- I still think it could easily go either way, and frankly the only reason I give the edge to Patrick is that I think it's more likely his team will do the right things in the final two weeks than Baker (who should by all rights be ahead by 15 points).

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  • October 14, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    My rule of thumb for candidates accused of campaign shenanigans/illegalities would be this: Publicly say that you take this sort of thing very seriously, that you certainly hope and expect that nobody on your staff behaved badly, but you're going to take a few days to look into it to satisfy yourself, and the public, that nothing inappropriate took place.

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  • October 07, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    To go along with my feature about Charlie Baker, the Boston Phoenix has posted the transcript of my roughly 10-minute interview with the candidate.

    At the end, as you'll see, I posed a key question to Baker: if you could choose any song to play on WFNX's "My Song/Your Song" challenge, what would it be?

    He chose Linkin Park's "In The End," which seems suprisingly nihilistic, no?

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  • October 06, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I take a look at Charlie Baker, the Republican candidate for Massachusetts governor.

    Baker, I argue, should be much more liked by this point in the campaign than he is. And I suggest that the problem may lie within Baker himself -- that for all the time he has spent thinking about being governor, he has never really thought about the actual people who he would need to persuade to vote for him.

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  • October 01, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Thank goodness Paul Loscocco finally did something interesting enough to write about, so I can have fun with his name. (Side note: If the Flaherty/Yoon "ticket" was called Floon, then the independent governor ticket was "Cacocco".)

    What he did, of course, was humiliate his running-mate Tim Cahill by bailing on him a month before election day to endorse another candidate -- specifically, the one he originally wanted to be running-mate for, but who turned him away: Charlie Baker.

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  • September 29, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    In this week's issue of the Boston Phoenix -- in print tomorrow, online now -- I take a look at the current state of the Deval Patrick campaign.

    I start with this observation:

    By rights, Deval Patrick should have no chance. He's an unpopular governor (a majority of voters believe he does not deserve re-election) running in the middle of a devastating recession.

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  • September 26, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    The new Boston Globe/UNH poll has the Massachusetts governor race at a dead heat, with Deval Patrick at 35%, Charlie Baker 34%, Tim Cahill 11%, Jill Stein 4%, and 14% undecided among likely voters. That's obviously going to give a morale boost to the Baker camp, but I have a strong sense that the Patrick brain trust is not too unhappy with it -- perception of an even race is what they need to gin up interest and involvement from their supporters.

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  • September 25, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Just a few thoughts about the Tim Cahill thing, while waiting for the Globe poll on the race expected in tomorrow's paper....

    From my understanding, what happened this week with the departure of top staff wasn't so much a change in the operation of the campaign, as a public airing of the change in the operation of the campaign that had already been happening -- which is the shifting of power from the outside, national people to the inside, long-time Cahill people.

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  • September 23, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Three days ago, a group called Massachusetts Liberty Preservation Association (MassLPA) held its second annual "Constitution Day" event at the Massachusetts state house. MassLPA grew out of the Ron Paul movement two years ago, and they've generally struck me as a pretty reasonable, serious representation of that conservative-libertarian perspective.

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  • September 22, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    One thing became clear from last night's debate: Tim Cahill is ready to play the class card, and play it hard. This is exactly what I was suggesting for him in my pre-debate "empathy" post, so it got me thinking how, exactly, Cahill can (potentially, maybe, possibly) change the race with this theme -- how to open up an "empathy" gap by arguing that Patrick and Baker, by virtue of their wealth and status, don't understand what people are going through, and are thus unlikely to do anything to help.

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  • September 21, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    The new Suffolk/Ch.7 poll just out shows the Massachusetts governor's race pretty much where it was in May: Deval Patrick leads with 42%, Charlie Baker is behind at 34%, Tim Cahill is well behind but not irrelevant with 14%, and Jill Stein lags at 4%.

    Truthfully, as far as I can tell, not much has changed in this race since summer of 2009, with the lone exception of the big RGA ad blitz in the spring that flipped Baker and Cahill's positions in the polls.

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  • September 20, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    I'll be on WGBH-TV's Greater Boston tonight, previewing tomorrow's WGBH gubernatorial debate -- and tomorrow I'll be on WGBH radio doing analysis immediately after the debate. Please tune in, just in case I come up with any pearls of wisdom. Here are a few thoughts for now:

    --On the issue of who gets to participate in debates, I tend to be a lot less worked up about it than some other folks.

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  • September 11, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Let's face facts, my Bay State Republican friends -- including you, Charlie Baker: in the best election cycle you've had in years to topple the Democratic Congressional incumbents, you find yourself three days away from the primaries knowing virtually nothing about your candidates for federal office.

    I'm not talking about their positions on the issues -- which, as I've written before, are problematic enough

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  • September 09, 2010
    By David S. Bernstein

    Everybody loves to mock and deride the practice of post-debate rapid-response campaign spin -- and most of the time it really is the most inane charade you'll ever witness. But high-profile campaigns have to do it, and do it well, because sometimes it really does make a big difference.

    It seems that we've just seen an example of that -- in which the Charlie Baker team ate the Deval Patrick team's lunch.

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