First of all, hearty congratulations to Katherine Clark, who won a convincing victory today. With 32% of the vote in a 7-way field (5 of whom were contenders), she beat her next closest competitor by 10%. The final results:
As promised, I am delighted to endorse Clark for Congress, and I’m excited about sending her to Washington.
Here are some thoughts on how other players in the race fared.
Winner: Carl Sciortino. Of the five candidates in the race who were already elected officials, Sciortino has the smallest geographic base, and therefore had the steepest hill to climb. But, as everybody knows, he came up with by far the best TV ad in the race – and maybe the best ad in Massachusetts in quite a while. As a result, he finished much higher than might have been expected, and he raised his profile. I’ve had conversations with people who don’t follow politics closely and don’t live in the district, but who saw and loved the ad, and came away wanting to know more about this interesting young man. He goes back to the State House a bigger player than when he started this race.
Loser: Progressive Change Campaign Committee. Sorry guys – love ya, but getting involved in this race in the way you did was a bonehead move. It was totally fine to endorse Sciortino, phonebank for him, etc. But the last-minute blitz of attack ads against Katherine Clark (a) obviously didn’t work, and (b) have no doubt pissed off a Member-of-Congress-to-be who should be a natural ally. Clark is not some DINO against whom such a campaign might have been a worthwhile gambit. She’s a solid progressive; she’ll be a terrific ally of Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey; but I’m guessing she won’t be hanging out with PCCC in the near future. That’s PCCC’s loss.
Mixed Verdict: Emerson College Polling Society. This outfit, which appears to be a student-run organization at Emerson College, seems to be the only independent organization to have polled the race (more on that in a sec). I didn’t post on the poll they released last Friday because it’s hard to tell if they’re just a student club having fun, or if they are running real polls. The good news for them is that they nailed the winner: they polled Clark in first at 29% +/- 4.5%, which was a good call. The bad news was that they booted some of the other results. They had Brownsberger in second with 19%, and Koutoujian dead last with 14%, whereas in fact, of course, Koutoujian finished second with 22%, and Brownsberger came in fourth with only 15%. They were correct that Sciortino would place third with 16%, and they were close on Spilka’s final tally, though wrong on her position (they polled her at 15% and 4th place; she finished with 13% in 5th).
So, a decent showing. I still wish I knew more about how they’re set up … like, are any grown-ups involved with them?
Losers: Boston-area mainstream media outlets. The only reason any attention at all was paid to the Emerson outfit was that nobody else polled this race. Not the Globe or the Herald. Not any of the TV stations. Not Suffolk, not Western New England, nobody. Nor was it possible to find much substantive reporting on the race, or the candidates.
Honestly, people, this is a race for a congressional seat. I know everyone’s all worked up about who the next Mayor of Boston is going to be, but that isn’t going to be decided until November. Would it have killed you to commission a poll or something?
Who else won, or lost, or did something unexpected?