While the press has talked a great deal about Governor Patrick’s impact on the presidential race both nationally and in our state, the primary in New Hampshire showed that Obama’s people should be worried about winning here in Massachusetts. That is because during the last week of the New Hampshire race a number of prominent a Mass elected leaders who support Hillary Clinton flooded New Hampshire with their volunteers and staff. This effort seemed to have a big impact and I also think the dynamics of the primary race here in the state work against Obama.
I was volunteering for the Clinton campaign on the last weekend and on Election Day in Manchester and several busloads of Menino supporters were on the ground going door to door in the city on both days (Clinton crushed Obama in the city). I was also told by a friend that Congressman Jim McGovern, his staff and a lot of his volunteers were helping lead the effort in the Concord area. McGovern was also on the radio on Election Day making a strong case for why liberals should be supporting Hillary. I read that the Senate President and House Speaker were also active and brought people up to help. While some people say that Kerry’s endorsement should push Obama over the top, I am not so sure his endorsement will have that big of an impact compared to these elected officials efforts.
With Menino in Boston, McGovern in Central Mass and the Speaker and Senate President cracking the whip on their folks, I think this race is going to be tight. I assume Obama will do well in Cambridge/Somerville/Newton axis and out in the Berkshires, but the vote in New Hampshire showed that Clinton owned the urban vote and cities have a higher proportion of democratic primary voters. I also assume that lots of suburban independents will vote in the Republican primary to either support (or hopefully reject!) Mitt. It seems like the Governor (whom I like and support) should be worried about a high profile loss. Considering that he has been pretty banged up by the Legislature, I think he needs a win, but I don’t think this is a done deal. Thoughts?