I have to admit, I’m stunned — not at the decision itself, but that it has to be made:
With only $51,644 in his account after a year of campaigning, Warren was expected to send an e-mail to his supporters Thursday morning explaining that he did not have the resources to take on the popular Republican, who has a $7.9 million campaign account and consistently high standing in public polls.
“We took a hard look at the numbers and what it would take to run a winning campaign against the incumbent governor,’’ Warren said in a telephone interview Wednesday. “I just saw the challenge was insurmountable, based on the ability to raise the money and the resources.”
The money situation is just untenable, I get that. People have to get paid; ads have to be bought, mailers printed, etc. But I’ve simply never felt that the political situation was impossible: Charlie Baker’s enduring and broad popularity seems impenetrable — he gets mild to strong support even from Democrats. He certainly gains from a favorable comparison to the President, which is not saying much at all. But then (for example) you get this, from MassINC Polling:
Baker ought to be vulnerable. That’s not even an exceptional statement about any politician, but as a transit user and a climate-aware person, to me his shortcomings are especially acute. Massachusetts is doing OK in many respects — cruising on the bolder leadership of past eras — but faces vast challenges of climate readiness and energy transformation; transportation; housing; economic inequality; health care costs; institutional racism; and on and on. Baker doesn’t boldly or even adequately lead on any of these. I don’t think he deserves the support of Democrats. I think a Democratic governor — any of the candidates — would be a lot better.
But even though I don’t understand or agree with Baker’s popularity, I can’t really dispute its legitimacy. People think what they think. But $7.9 million to $50K … that’s tough. Regardless of the polls, you can stay in a race if you have money.
Forget about Democratic politics for a moment; this moment is just bad for accountable government.