MA Gov: Patrick's Big Win Augurs Big Changes Email Print

Deval Patrick won a victory in the primary to be the Democratic nominee for governor of Massachussetts that was so large and so sweeping -- that it signals a major shift in the state politics that everyone is still slowly taking it in. It is a victory that further confirms the meaning of Ned Lamont's upset over Sen. Joe Lieberman in the recent Democratic primary for U.S. Senate.  Democrats want real Democrats and they want party and governmental policy reform.

The Patrick campaign issued a press release today with some amazing statistics: Patrick won 321 of the 351 cities and towns in the Commonwealth, and every state senate district in the Democratic primary. Details & some analysis on the flip:

BOSTON - Wednesday September 20, 2006 -Deval Patrick, who over 18 months has built arguably the deepest and broadest grassroots statewide campaign in the history of Massachusetts, won a strong victory in the Massachusetts Democratic primary yesterday that included winning every State Senate District and over 320 of Massachusetts' 351 cities and towns.

In addition, turnout was very high in Tuesday's primary, with reports indicating that over 900,000 voters cast their ballots. Voters across the state were inspired by Patrick's broad leadership experience and his commitment to change the culture on Beacon Hill.

The Patrick campaign focused on building a grassroots effort from the very beginning believing that it is best way to encourage people who have "checked out to check back in."  
Highlights of the final vote tally include:

  • More that 900,000 votes were cast in yesterday's primary, a quantum leap above recent primaries and the largest Democratic primary turnout since 1990.

  • Patrick received 50 percent of the vote statewide in yesterday's three-way race.

  • Patrick won every county in Massachusetts and every State Senate District.

  • Patrick won 321 of the 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts - 91 percent.

  • Patrick received an absolute majority of the votes in the City of Boston, the City of Springfield and the City of Worcester.

-He won the most votes a wide range of communities--including Belmont, Beverly, Agawam, Brockton, Chelmsford, Fitchburg, Framingham, Gloucester, Marlborough, North Attleborough, Plymouth, New Bedford, Sandwich, Taunton and Westwood and Winchester.

In the interests of party unity, the campaign was too polite to remind us that Tom Reilly, the two term state attorney general, was once the seemingly prohibitive favorite and nominee apparent; who had raised $3 million at the time Patrick got in the race. Party insiders said that it was Tom's turn to run. Patrick rejected the idea that anyone in public life is entitled to be a candidate, or to a job. That is for the voters to decide. any of us believe that it is this culture of entitlement that has turned off many voters to the Democratic Party at all levels, and turned people off to participation in public life.  It is also worth pointing out that Reilly did not even carry his childhood home city of Springfield, where he lost decively and had been thought to have a hometown advantage.  Here are the numbers for the state's three largest cities:

Springfield: Patrick: 7,772 Reilly: 4,632 Gabrieli: 2,312

Boston:  Patrick: 50,508  Reilly: 15,980 Gabrieli: 19,155

Worcester:  Patrick: 11,734 Reilly: 4,996 Gabrielli 6,156

The Boston Globe has a break down by town and city.

After Reilly's campaign stumbled last spring, businessman Chris Gabrieli got in the race. He spent $12 million since June, including 8 million on advertising. He got 28% of the vote.

Reilly, who spent more than $4 million, got 22%.

A few other numbers:

The city where I live, Northampton --  Patrick: 4,062  Reilly: 686 Gabrieli: 602.  Nearby Amherst -- Patrick: 3,018 Reilly: 301 Gabrieli: 294.

Patrick also decively won old industrial cities like Fitchburg, Leominster, Lawrence and coming withing 70 votes of taking the Reilly stronghold of Lowell, where the local establishement was solidly for Reilly.

Suffice to say, that Democrats voted decisively,and across the board, for the candidate who most represented a force for change inside the party and in government.

In looking ahead, there was an organization that was there at the beginning for Patrick; an organization that had spent several years building a statewide network of electoral activists that could immediately provide the core of a field organization for the right candidate -- and did so.People said it couldn't be done; even shouldn't be done.People said that we should do something else -- that we should focus on "message" or "issues." Instead, we focused on building relationships, and our individual and collective electoral skills, and engaging in local electoral campaigns. When Deval Patrick was wondering whether it was possible to run against the Seemingly Unstoppable candidate, we wanted him to know that there was a dedicated field organization already in place to help jump start his campaign.

Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts. PDM will continue to play an active role in the fall campaign, and when its over, build for the future. The Patrick campaign ran an authentic grassroots campaign, and relied on grassroots electoral activists. PDM will continue to build on the momenetum of the Patrick campaign; so we can all continue to be able to be effective citizens, and able to meaningfully engage in the most fundamental activities in an electoral democracy -- electing representatives to public office at all levels. The Patrick campaign shows that the big money supported by the consultantocracy and the punditocracy, can be beaten. But the struggle is far from over. Powerful interests to not cede power easily.

This was a slam dunk victory for the grassroots and for the netroots. Change is in the air.


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