So there it is: the Murray campaign is counting on increasing turnout in Worcester County by 40,000 voters. If they do that, good on them, but any seasoned political operative knows an extraordinary field/GOTV operation is good for 3-5% points. Even with Deval Patrick’s purported unprecedented field operation statewide, increasing turnout by 66% is a pipe dream. Taking it one step further, if they are able to increase turnout in Worcester County by that large an amount, presumably working in concert with the Patrick campaign’s GOTV operation, it will be because something bigger than any of them is happening in the state and turnout across the board will be greater – which will help the other candidates and lift all boats.
As I’ve said all along, if Murray can re-write the downballot campaign playbook and win a primary without competing on the airwaves with the bigger spending candidates, I will be happy because it will get us back to where we ough to be – running and winning grassroots campaigns. However, as we move farther and farther away from those grassroots years, I fear that we can’t return to that model in non-top-of-the-ticket races.
So, that’s one element of Murray’s plan.
Here’s the other element of it: a hunger, a drive, and indeed a sense of desparation amongst Worcester-area political operatives who can barely contain themselves about the possibility that one of their own will be elected statewide. They thought they had a shot with D’Amico back in ’86, but that fizzled. And now they have the (pasty) white knight they’ve been dreaming of for decades. Take this quote from “Worcester man-about-town and Democratic Party activist extraordinaire” John Brissette in today’s Worcester T&G while he was directing the set up for Murray’s election night party:
How longs it been? Mr. Brissette said as he directed logistics in the middle of Union Stations expansive marble-floored entry hall yesterday afternoon. Weve got a shot in Worcester to do something really big. We cant blow it.
There you have it. These guys feel a sense of ownership, which is good. But there’s also that sense of desparation; if their man doesn’t win, it seems like these guys won’t know what to do with themselves. But another excerpt from this article shows how confident they are:
If he wins, Mr. Murray will deliver a speech to local supporters before being whisked to Boston to appear on stage with whoever is victorious in the primary for governor.
With a state police escort, I presume? There’s some Herald front page fodder for ya…
But their arrogance doesn’t stop there. In that same T&G article, the Murray campaign is blatantly asserting that their candidate is the one to pick if Deval Patrick wins.
Are you kidding me? I’m not asking that for political reasons, because projecting confidence is important. And each of the LG candidates can make a credible political argument why they are the most appropriate running mate for Deval Patrick or any of the others too. But could you BE more presumptuous, arrogant and disrespectful? People don’t like being told who to vote for, and an article like this certainly won’t help that. People want to vote for winners, people who instill confidence, but when they detect a candidate’s sense of entitlement, that don’t work.
I’d advise the Murray campaign to tone down that rhetoric in tomorrow’s debate because the whiplash can getcha everytime.
So, there’s the playbook: increase turnout in Worcester County and environs and hope that investing in direct-mail advertising and gotv will trump advertising on television. I hope for the sake of democracy they’re right. Otherwise those State Police will have to shift from escort duty to suicide watch.