There are several high profile New England political races playing out including for governor’s office in Massachusetts and US Senate in New Hampshire. Recent polling shows that, like Malloy v. Foley in Connecticut, these two races are very close.
Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley turned back two other Democrats to secure the nomination (The Shad still believes Mass. Dems missed a great opportunity when Juliette Kayyem didn’t make the ballot). Many voters in the Bay State still remember her disastrous loss to Republican Scott Brown in the race to replace Ted Kennedy in the US Senate (Elizabeth Warren eventually reclaimed the seat for the Dems). Coakley is a career politician who seems to be unable to ignite the base.
Former Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charlie Baker is likely to mount a significant challenge to Coakley despite being a Republican in the bluest of blue states. Baker lost to Deval Patrick four years ago but has learned from the experience. To win, he needs to find a way to cut into Coakley’s lead in female voters.
The latest Boston Globe poll shows Coakley leading Baker 39 – 36 percent (within the margin of error) with 19 percent undecided. Coakley has a huge lead among women, 62 – 44 percent. Baker leads among men, 57 – 38 percent.
The race for US Senate in New Hampshire is similarly close. In fact, this one is dead even. A CNN/ORC International survey shows Brown and Shaheen with 48 percent each. The advertising is intense. Shaheen is tagging Brown as a carpetbagger who moved the Granite State just a year ago, having lost to the aforementioned Warren.
The Shad thinks Baker has a very good chance of knocking off Coakley. But I think Shaheen hangs on to her seat.