There is one factor that heavily favors Gabriel Gomez among some independent voters: he isn’t a Democrat. While it’s impossible for most Massachusetts Democrats to understand, there are people who are just sick of seeing us win all the time. They don’t vote for the Republican just because they believe that having another perspective, any other perspective, makes for better government (and they really do think that), they also vote for the Republican because they want the Democrat to lose.
Like watching Susan Lucci lose year after year on the Daytime Emmy Awards, they watch the Republicans lose elections. They think it just doesn’t seem fair. All those Democrats, marching in lock step. It’s the Machine!, they think. The God-damned machine has done it again!
But the Massachusetts Democrats are not some machine with a switch you can flick to elect people. If it were, Martha Coakley would be a United States Senator. Unlike the Yankees, who really do suck and who really do just buy their victories, the Massachusetts Democrats win for two reasons: we’re right on the issues, and we work harder.
We start by listening, and understanding the concerns of most Massachusetts voters, like jobs, education, health care, transportation, climate change, and campaign finance reform. Then we develop evidence-based policy to address those issues. We send our people to knock on doors armed with the facts, and explain what we stand for and how our candidates will make a difference when elected.
Gabriel Gomez hasn’t done any of that. He’s a one percenter who equates speaking English as a second language with growing up underprivileged. He thinks deregulation will create jobs, even though there is no evidence to support that, and Mitt Romney just lost big time trying to pitch that one.
But as long as the Democrats keep listening, using facts and evidence to build their case, and the Republicans don’t, we’ll keep winning even if we don’t spend the most money. Why am I not worried about giving away all the tricks of the trade to the Republicans? Because if they really listened to the voters of Massachusetts, and developed evidence-based policies to address their concerns, they’d turn into Democrats.
Mara Dolan is the host of “Twilight Talk” on WCAP and the Co-Chair of the Policy Committee of the Massachusetts Democratic State Committee. Follow me on Twitter @MaraDolan