Progressive Massachusetts Endorses Berwick for Governor!

Their endorsement here.

An excerpt of their statement:

We are a grassroots organization — our members are central to our vision and our work, and that is why our members get to decide who we endorse. And it was overwhelming: We voted to endorse Don Berwick for governor.

He received over 70% of the vote, surpassing by far our 60% minimum threshhold. In a contest with four other candidates seeking endorsement, this is a remarkable achievement.


35 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Excellent for them.


  2. "If you're not excited about this governor's race, you must not have met Don Berwick yet!"

    Read the whole thing.

  3. Berwick Surging!

    This endorsement – not to be confused with the endorsement Don received from Progressive Dems of Mass just several days ago, is significant in that Progressive Mass is an organization open to folks of all parties or no party affiliation, just those who hold progressive values. This group includes in addition to Dems, Independents/unenrolled, Greens and even theoretically progressive Republicans – do they still exist in the Commonwealth? Great news for Berwick, coming on the day that his campaign delivered 16,000 certified signatures to the Secretary of State’s Office, having collected more than 21,000 + raw. In addition his campaign reports that the first half of May has been his best fundraising period yet out – raising all other Democratic Gubernatorial candidates and that his volunteer numbers have increased 5-fold in the past two months!

    • As a member of PDM...

      the endorsement Don received from Progressive Dems of Mass

      My understanding is that PDM did not endorse anyone. Rather, the uncommitted PDM Democratic caucus-goers decided to endorse Don Berwick. A pedantic distinction with a difference, if my understanding is correct.

      • Correct!

        This gives PDM the opportunity to do a kind of endorsement from its delegates before the convention and then as an organization after the convention. Given that their uncommitted delegates voted 70% for Berwick, it is quite likely that their endorsement will hold for Don.

        • Not all of PDM's uncommitted -

          It was just 70% of 60 people.

          • That's sixty DELEGATES

            Big difference. Seems to me that 60 delegates is something that you can take to the bank. More important at this stage of the game than the endorsement of a relatively small group.

            • Not 60.

              42. 70% of 60. Representing “a group of uncommitted delegates affiliated with” the PDM.
              Find out who convinced you Berwick was endorsed by the PDM,
              because they weren’t being honest with you.

              • My understanding...

                …is that all of the delegates committed to go along with the decision in order to have the power that comes with voting as a bloc. It’s only their word that binds them, but you may see most if not all 60 vote for Berwick next month based on this decision.

  4. Wait a second...

    How can this possibly happen? I thought Coakley had already wrapped up the endorsements and the entire primary. And, I thought that Coakley had Kate, which meant that Martha was fully in control of our grass roots.

    So, I guess with this endorsement, it’s possible that an outsider might actually have a chance. Who knows? Maybe it’s possible to win without Emily’s List, Doug Rubin, Kate, and the rest of the Democratic establishment. Wouldn’t that be great?

  5. Terrific news.

    Thanks for passing it along. I know a fair number of people who’re going to be very happy to see this — and interestingly, probably a majority of them are unenrolled/independent voters.

  6. Haven't made up my mind on gov but

    Glad Berwick is getting a good long look by people, rather than getting drowned out of the conversation.

  7. Politics vs Governance

    Donald Berwick is learning to find rhetoric that will bring him to prime time, but it is slow going. None of the other candidates, however, including the Republican has any solid understanding HOW and how much the health care costs are sucking the life out of this state and the nation as well. Decreasing services or monitoring them will not rectify the budget. Health care is a people industry, and is overladen in bureaucratic personnel. This is where the trimming should take place. The Democratic Platform calls for single payer and although it sounds like a one horse pony, it is the most profound way to find funding for other social services. In Europe they spend as much as we do on social services, but the health care costs are a much smaller part of their formula. We need to do the same by convincing the private sector that this is a win-win situation. This was done in Vermont where two people(a doctor and a businessman) and a listening governor made the final pitch that will bring single payer to that state. The Canadian system also started by the single mindedness of a provincial governor.

  8. Berwick's campaign is good for the Party.

    He’s as exciting as a nap, and Medicare For All is hardly an original thought. Jamie Eldridge’s bill of the same name was sent to committee months ago. But the cause Berwick currently champions is at the root of social injustice and is perhaps the most progressive of all issues.

    • Berwick, A Compelling Speaker!

      methuenprogressive, Yes “Berwick’s campaign is good for the party,” and the Commonwealth and our nation as a whole! He is gaining traction as a national voice for progressive values in the Democratic party as Warren did in her campaign. I disagree however that he is not an exciting speaker. When someone speaks the truth with intelligence, integrity and heart — it is always exciting and hearing Berwick speak at the state convention last summer excited many of us delegates. IMHO he was the most articulate and compelling speaker of any of the gubernatorial candidates who spoke there. I challenge you to listen to his landmark speech, “Medicare For All,” given several weeks ago at he BU Medical School and then tell me you’re ready for a nap. Here is the link:

  9. Good news for Coakley

    Coakley starts the primary with highest name recognition and a decent amount of support. I like Don Berwick very much, but can’t help think his recent surge will just split the anti-Coakley vote, if you will, in September, that she will win the primary by 10 points or more, and that she will lose in November. Frankly, I’d rather see her win than lose, but “Governor Coakley” does nothing for me.

    People (myself included) have referenced 2006 quite a bit but this one’s feeling a lot like 2002, with Coakley as O’Brien and Grossman and Berwick as Birmingham and Reich. That one ended up 32-24-24 for the top three candidates. As in 2002, we’ve got waiting in the wings a wealthy Republican who’s learned something from a loss in a prior statewide election.

    There are times to go for the home run. This year doesn’t feel like one to me. I’d love to be wrong on this, but time will tell.

    • I've made that comparison as well

      And generally agree with it. If I could go back, I’d take Birmingham over O’Brien. That said, I think a big difference is that Berwick has a more credible progressive infrastructure in place to work with. PDM, PM, and BMG just to name a few. Reich literally had college students running his campaign. Berwick has access to a solid organizational infrastructure built by the successful candidacies of Patrick, Obama and Warren. The perception and defensiveness of Dems being shut out for 12 years isn’t there, nor is the post-9/11 rally around the GOP factor.

      But I’d agree it’s a risk, and if the polls look like that on the eve I’ll vote for Grossman.

      • Reich did a lot better

        at the caucuses from what I recall. Berwick, this year, had his pockets of support (he did pretty well in Newton, where he and Grossman both live) but not as impressive a systematic organization.

        I will concede that Berwick’s had something of a surge in the past month or so, so it may be possible that the campaign’s firing on all cylinders. It it were Berwick v. Coakley my choice would be clear, but I don’t like the look of this three-way race (and I do think it’s shaping up as a three-way race; if Kayyem does make the ballot I’ll bet she finishes fourth in the September primary).

      • Having just heard Grossman speak in person

        If the polls look like that on the eve I’m voting for Berwick. I mean, I expect to vote for Berwick anyway, barring something that upsets all our calculations. But if I had to choose either Berwick or Grossman to go up against Baker on purely strategic grounds, then without any disrespect to Grossman, who I respect a great deal, I’d go for the guy who can project authority at need. Which Berwick can do, and Grossman is less good at — though both are better at it than Robert Reich was when he was running.

    • Given the new poll out

      Given the poll out showing Coakley up 40whatever, I figure us irregular folks who have actually heard of Coakley *and* Berwick, Grossman, & Kayyem should just vote for who we think is best. If Coakley really has this thing locked up, then it really doesn’t matter about splitting the “non-Coakley voters”, all dozen of them. If somebody is really agonizing between two “anti-Coakley” choices, I’d just say I wouldn’t really be concerned about splitting up Steve Grossman’s 7%.

      In other words, vote for the best candidate and let the chips fall where they may. If you think that’s Coakley, great, if that’s somebody else, great. Not too much strategy to it. And, who knows, maybe that would mean things aren’t so inevitable after all.

      • Nope

        The polls are worthless at this point. There’s still a massive gap in name recognition (and, beyond that, a gap in familiarity among people who’ve heard of Coakley but also other candidates). Past races show us primary polling in May doesn’t hold up. Tom Reilly was up on Deval in May and lost by 30. So I don’t think we’ll get to September and find Coakley with anything like 70%, or Grossman with anything as low as 7%, in a three-way primary.

        I do think she’s got enough support that having two other candidates beat each other up for three months will all but hand her the nomination.

        • Run against the front-runner?

          If I were advising the Berwick campaign, I’d say aggressively promote Mr. Berwick — particularly emphasizing his differences with the front-runner. I’d also aggressively court third-parties to run accurate and devastating hit-pieces aimed at the front-runner.

          If nothing else, the latter will give the front-runner some much-needed practice in playing in the big leagues, facing pitchers with 100MPH fastballs aimed straight at her chin. The last time out, she struck out against a batting-practice knuckle-baller.

          I hope that Don Berwick can win the primary. I think Martha Coakley will lose to Charlie Baker, and it doesn’t matter to me because I think either one will be an abysmal governor.

        • Depends on what you're looking for

          Polls aren’t *predictive* of final results. I tend to agree with you that Grossman won’t be as low as 7%. That’s what a campaign is for. And, as I’ve said elsewhere, this poll has WAY too small a sample size to be considered relevant in the D primary.

          That said, it does give you a good snapshot of where we are. Ignoring the actual percentages, I do think the poll is probably generally right that Coakley is way ahead, and the other three main candidates are about tied way behind, with Grossman leading the second tier pack. How far behind I think is up for debate and this poll is just one data point.

          I think, though, that it’s true that Patrick was behind at this point in time, he had at least shown signs of being right in it.

          In a May 3rd poll, you had Reilly at 35%, Patrick at 20% and Gabrieli at 15%. In another poll conducted May 1-3, Patrick was only down by 4%. In a SHN poll he was down 37-15, but still polling in double digits. By mid-June Patrick took the lead and never looked back. I don’t think, based on the current dynamics, any of the candidates are in a position to take the lead in by mid-June. But who knows? Maybe the convention will be a game-changer.

          It’s worth noting that Patrick had been right in the game far earlier, leading in a January Rasmussen poll, tied in a UMass poll in February and down only 9% in a Suffolk poll in early February. While he was down by more in other polls, fact is, he showed some signs of life from the very beginning in his numbers, allowing doubt to be cast on the other myriad polls showing him down.

          Two things about this. One, yeah, it’s totally possible to be down by double digits and come right on back roaring ahead. So it’s not like Grossman or any of the other candidates should totally lose hope. But, Patrick was at least in the range of Reilly by this point. Being down 20 is very different than being down 40. The closest Grossman has ever been is down 31. I’d like to see more evidence that he — or anybody else — is really in this thing relative to the established frontrunner.

          Second, it’s striking to me to see how many more polls there were in 2006 vs 2014. With a sample size this small in this poll, I think the one thing we can definitely say without being controversial is that we need far more data. It’s entirely possible that Coakley is not nearly as strong as she seems, but with limited polling we don’t know that. The evidence we do have suggests that she is in fact quite strong.

          One last thing, to your point, fenway. I don’t think I was suggesting that candidates beat each other up. I was only saying that given the numbers, it doesn’t strike me that Grossman is *so* much stronger than Berwick/Kayyem or vice-versa that one can actually point to one candidate or another as *the* anti-Coakley choice.

          • Vote your conscience

            Tactical voting doesn’t make sense in a primary, I can’t emphasize this enough.

            I do feel, particularly if Fenways’ fears are realized, that IRV would be an essential reform to the selection process along with an earlier primary. Both would do much to get the names out there and make these campaigns real. It would also ensure that the O’Brien scenario (a nominee sullied by a long, bitter, and expensive primary) doesn’t occur again.

            Grossman is still my second choice, but those who want to emphasize he is ‘more electable than Berwick’ and the only ‘Stop Coakley’ candidate are wasting their breath. He has been a known quantity for over a decade and a statewide office holder and he is only getting marginally better percentages than Berwick-admittedly in a too early poll conducted from a small sample-but one could see why Berwick’s is a floor while Grossman’s may be more of a ceiling.

          • Patrick's primary win was huge

            He was “in it” in the May polling and won by 25 points or something. The winner this year doesn’t need to win by that much. Any win will do. If Patrick can make up 30 points or more, it could happen this year too.

            Like I said, for multiple reasons, I think these particular numbers are worthless. In particular I don’t think Coakley’s support in the polling is particularly deep. Half of the sample’s never heard of the others. Most of those who have heard of them have heard a lot less about them. If they had to vote today, they’d go with Coakley. But they’re not really paying attention. Those things can and, I imagine, will change.

            Of the other candidates, Grossman has the most delegates, the most money raised, the most institutional connections, and he’s run a statewide race before. For all of those reasons I’ve seen him as the strongest non-Coakley candidate, and nothing’s happened to change that assessment. Berwick’s had some recent momentum, so we’ll see.

            • Fair enough

              Don’t really disagree, just saying, I haven’t seen the kind of early energy for Grossman or any of the other candidates in the way I’ve seen early energy and excitement for Patrick. Maybe I’m just spoiled by Patrick’s rhetoric.

              Again, I am not saying they COULDN’T pull it off. Things change, and things change rapidly. I tend to agree that Coakley’s support is not nearly as rock solid as these polls suggest. But given that none of them have even broken 15% in any polling up until this point, I don’t yet see much data to back up the claim that Grossman or any of the others is going to pull off a major upset. But let’s talk about it after the convention because you’re right that this is too early. And, lets go get Suffolk, PPP, UMass, and all the rest to do some real polling of the primary voters because right now there’s not nearly enough data.

              • Enthusiasm Level

                If you look at some of the metrics for feet on the ground, Martha is number one. She was the first statewide candidate to turn in more that 10,000 signatures and has collected more than 25,000 signatures. To my knowledge this is the most that any candidate has announced. A few weeks ago the campaign had knocked on more than 10,000 doors since the caucuses ended. I don’t know of any of the statewide campaigns that has knocked on as many doors over this time frame.

                • A friendly counter

                  16,000 signatures is nothing to sneeze at and they are collecting more every day. We will have to see at the convention. I also found it interesting the MTA choose not to endorse, seems like they are hedging their bets and don’t feel that this race is over just yet. This is because, it hasn’t even begun.

  10. If we don't vote for the most progressive, qualified candidate now,

    at the Convention, then in the primary, what good are we?

    By we I mean those of us who want to see the Democratic party return to our essential progressive values, and stop hedging on the kind of transformative vision and policy that will make real differences. Like progressive taxation, single payer and casinos(anti).

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