In a somewhat surprising move, the Herald’s astute political columnist Wayne Woodlief has given Deval Patrick the early edge to win both the Democratic primary and the general election. From Woodlief’s column (reg. req’d):
So here are the odds Iâd lay now, with the caveat that things can change in a flash:
PATRICK: 3-1 for the nomination; 4-1 for the governorship. His stunning 2-1 victory in Saturdayâs caucuses certified campaign manager John Walshâs ability to build an organization and boosted Patrickâs money-raising momentum. His now virtually-certain convention victory over a sitting AG should bring in even more campaign cash. Heâs taken in over $1 million.
Still, pitfalls remain. âDeval is in danger of being defined by his opponents before he can properly define himself,â said a Democratic strategist. TV ads putting an adverse spin on Patrickâs corporate lawyering or board memberships could come either from the Reilly camp or Healey.
REILLY: 4-1 to win the nomination; 6-1 to win the governorship. His embarrassments of the past week eventually could be corrected.
But Reilly needs to seek out a broader team of advisers, take a deep breath before he makes the kind of call he made on Marie St. Fleur, sit down with some key Democrats, including women leaders, and explain himself better than heâs done. He has considerable strengths â integrity, willingness to stand up to institutions. His campaign has to focus on them again.
HEALEY: Overwhelming favorite to win the GOP nod; 7-1 to win the governorship. Sheâll try to ride her message of lower taxes and her role as a check on Democrats and their tax and spend style. She is smart, attractive and has gained respect among some local Democratic officials as Romneyâs municipal liaison.
But the charismatic Mitt Romney has overshadowed her for three years and sheâll need to spend much of her fund-raising capacity (and perhaps private fortune) to become known. Also, some local officials complain that though she listens sympathetically, she hasnât been able to sway Romney to their causes.
If Mihos declines her invitation to face off against her in the primary and runs as an independent, Healeyâs chances to win a general election diminish substantially.
MIHOS: 100-1 to win GOP nomination; 25-1 to win governorship as an independent. Christy is the guy who helped keep the Republicans in office in 2002, when he commissioned a poll that showed Romney he could trounce acting Gov. Jane Swift and then beat various Democrats if heâd only run.
Mihos may have little chance to be elected, but he has money and moxie to give it a darned good try and keep everybody else on their toes.
I think Woodlief is a pretty insightful guy – his column on the fallout from the Ameriquest settlement (which I discussed here) was the best mainstream media commentary that I saw on it. And this is the first MSM instance I can think of in which Patrick is treated not as a bump in the road for Tom Reilly to overcome, but as a genuine contender who could actually win despite his financial disadvantages vis-a-vis both Reilly and Healey. Fascinating.