Democratic consultant talks about primary

Article By: Jeff Fish

With only one week left until the primaries that will decide the two nominees to replace Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, Democratic consultant Mary Anne Marsh spoke to the Journal to shed light on the race and the Democratic candidates aspiring to fill the seat.

Marsh works for the public affairs firm the Dewey Square Group and has worked on numerous Democratic campaigns, two of which were for Sen. Kennedy. Marsh is remaining neutral in the primary and working as a Democratic strategist.

“Every candidate needs to make sure that they get their voters out there,” said Marsh, discussing what each candidate must do to win.

The frontrunner of the race is currently Mass. Attorney General Martha Coakley, who, according to Marsh, must “maintain her lead and continue the momentum she’s got” in order to win on Tuesday.

Marsh cited a Rasmussen poll that had Coakley winning by 15 percent and said that only a very small turnout might change those numbers. “[Capuano] is behind Coakley, but seems to have the momentum. He’s praying for a blizzard on Dec. 8.”

Capuano is hoping for a low turnout, according to Marsh, so he can “pull voters out of his congressional district.” If there is a high turnout, Coakley will likely win because she has more name recognition.

When asked about Steve Pagliuca’s and Alan Khazei’s prospects of winning on Dec. 8, Marsh said, “It’s hard to see them prevail.” Although Pagliuca has the most ads of the four candidates, he does not have the visibility he needs.

According to Marsh, a poll recently conducted by the Boston Globe said that 40 percent of Mass. voters said that it’s very important to have Kennedy’s traits, while 37 percent said it was somewhat important, so that’s 77 percent of voters that want the next Senator to have Kennedy’s traits.

“All of [the candidates] have embraced Ted Kennedy, but they know they’ll never get another Ted Kennedy, but they will all fight to get people back to work,” said Marsh. “They all bring something different to the table. Capuano has gone to great lengths to define himself like Kennedy in speeches and public appearances.”
After the primary, the Democratic nominee will most likely run against Republican State Senator Scott Brown. “It’s important to continue the campaign and get big support in the general election, said Marsh. “[The winner] will have to run again in 2012, so it will benefit them from Dec. 9-Jan. 19 to get as many people to come out and vote as possible, and help them politically prepare [for the 2012 election].”

As for Tuesday’s most likely victor, Marsh said, “Look at the polls. It’s Coakley’s race to lose.”