Last week Cape Cod Community College held one of the last (if not the last) major debate among all five Congressional candidates, and somehow the night managed to avoid turning ugly, as have so many other debates.
Not only did the audience refrain from hooting, hollering, cheering, and jeering, but the candidates themselves were completely civil – and by “candidates” I mean State Representative Jeffrey D. Perry (R – Sandwich) and Democrat William R. Keating, who have sniped at each other almost relentlessly since the primary race wrapped.
I won’t go so far as to declare any kind of winner, but Mr. Keating, Rep. Perry, and unenrolled candidate MaryAnne Lewis came across as solid candidates. Perry especially stayed on-topic and always answered the questions as posed to the panel, but Keating and Lewis came across as well-informed and were able to articulate their thoughts.
Then there was unenrolled candidates James A. Sheets and Joseph van Nes. Sheets seemed to spend as much time taking potshots at the Democrats as he did discussing the issues. Several times during the evening they went badly off-topic and often failed to directly answer questions, and at times van Nes’s lack of knowledge on a given topic was glaring.
Another note on the Congressional race: a WGBH poll of 400 voters showed that Rep. Perry held a narrow one-point lead over Mr. Keating – 41 percent support to 40 percent – but when voters who are still waffling were asked who they were leaned toward, Keating pulled ahead and took a three-point lead over Perry (46 percent to 43 percent).
On the fundraising front, Mr. Keating is closing in on the $1 million mark, much of that money coming from unions, while Rep. Perry has raised more than $800,000. Ms. Lewis has raised about $57,000, Mr. Sheets has raised about $8,500 according to unofficial sources (he failed to file a report with the Federal Election Commission by the most recent deadline), and Mr. van Nes has not raised enough money to warrant filing a report.
When Charles D. Baker Jr. first hit the scene, there was an air of promise around this fiscally conservative but socially moderate candidate. Governor Deval L. Patrick was not faring well in the court of public opinion and was a prime target for a well-coordinated, focused campaign from the former high muckety-muck of Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.
Over the summer and into the fall Mr. Baker made slow but steady progress on Gov. Patrick, and every month the voter polls showed the Republican challenger was gaining ground on the incumbent. Now the governor appears to be pulling away again.
The latest Suffolk University/WHDH-TV poll of 500 voters revealed that Gov. Patrick was the preferred candidate, receiving 46 percent support to Mr. Baker’s 39 percent. Baker’s numbers are up five points from the September poll, but so are Gov. Patrick’s.
Dr. Jill E. Stein has lost what little support she had; last month four percent of voters backed her, now she’s down to one percent. Two percent of voters have made up their minds, leaving the “undecided” category.
And, not surprisingly, some of those voters came from Timothy P. Cahill’s base; his support dropped four points from September, to 10 percent.
While several voters said they would vote for Baker if Cahill were to vanish from the ballot, one in four said the whole debacle between Baker and Cahill involving turncoat running mate Paul Loscocco and several staffers who may or may not have been GOP moles, is driving them to the Patrick camp.
James H. Crocker Jr. is back on the campaign trail after helping his family deal with the loss of his in-laws.
Mr. Crocker, the Republican candidate for State Senator of the Cape and Islands District, briefly suspended his campaign last week after his in-laws were killed in a car crash.
His opponent, Democrat Daniel A. Wolf, gracefully limited his own campaign work during that period out of respect for Mr. Crocker instead of pouncing on the opportunity to glom all the attention for himself.
Patricia L. Mosca of Bourne, the lone woman in the Democratic primary race for governor’s councilor of the first district, is back to try again. She has announced she will be challenging the brothers Cipollini – Democrat Oliver and Republican Charles – as a write-in candidate.
I normally am not a write-in candidate fan, but considering that this is such a non-race – Charles has said quite clearly he wants his brother to win – I applaud Ms. Mosca for wanting to make Oliver C. actually work for this gig.
And now for the endorsement lightning round!
Thomas F. Reilly, the state’s former attorney general, has jumped party lines to endorse Mr. Baker for governor (delayed revenge for Gov. Patrick trouncing him in the 2006 primary?).
Congressman William D. Delahunt (D) has endorsed State Representative Matthew C. Patrick (D – Falmouth) in his re-election bid.
Rep. Perry was endorsed by the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.
F. Randal Hunt, Republican candidate for State Representative of the Fifth Barnstable District, received an endorsement from Citizens for Limited Taxation.
This week’s event reminders:
The Committee to Elect Therese Murray and Olive and Dave Chase are hosting a fundraiser this evening for Senate President Therese M. Murray (D – Plymouth) at the Sandwich Glass Museum from 6 to 7:30 PM. Suggested donation for both events is $50 per person.
Mr. Hunt is holding his final campaign fundraiser tomorrow at the East Sandwich Grange Hall. The Tony Lujan Quintet will perform.
Lance W. Lambros, Democratic candidate for State Representative of the Fifth Barnstable District, will be holding a (not quite) Halloween meet-and-greet at the Grundman household on Wing Boulevard East in Sandwich. That’s happening tomorrow from 5 to 7:30 PM.
Desperados in Mashpee will on Monday hold a “meet the candidates” night from 5 to 7 PM. That will feature candidates for the Legislature who represent Mashpee.
James M. Cummings, Barnstable County Sheriff, is hosting a fundraiser for Rep. Perry on Wednesday. That’s at the Hyannis Conference Center from 5 to 7 PM.
Political news and announcements may be sent to Michael Bailey, Region editor and senior political reporter, at email@example.com
Tags: 10th Congressional district, 2010 election, Charlie Baker, Dan Wolf, Governor Deval Patrick, Governor's Council - 1st District, Jeff Perry, Jill Stein, Jim Crocker, maryanne lewis, Matt Patrick, Randy Hunt, Tim Cahill, William Keating
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.