“The fact that you have two high profile statewide Democrats running for the nomination starts the Democratic nomination off with a money and resources disadvantage against a unified Republican candidate, which it looks like it may have,” said Frank Talty, a political science professor at UMass-Lowell and director of its Center for Public Opinion. “And if the Secretary of State gets in, that makes it more divisive.
A Public Policy Polling survey released earlier this month, indicated Coakley has a commanding lead in the primary, with 57 percent of Democrats supporting her. Grossman is next with 10 percent.
The Merrimack Valley has been a key part of the campaign strategy of Republicans seeking statewide office in recent years. Last fall, former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown banked his election hopes partly on this area.
Over three elections in 2010 and 2012, Republican candidates have fared well outside of Lawrence. But turnout matters. In the 2010 special election for U.S. Senate, Scott Brown beat Coakley by more than 14,000 votes in the area, according to data from the state Secretary of the Commonwealth. Coakley won Lawrence, but by a margin of only 3,127 votes. She got 6,463 votes there.
Brown won that election by 107,000 votes statewide.
In the gubernatorial election in 2010, Patrick tallied up a few more votes in Lawrence, getting about 9,000. Baker won the area by about 5,400 votes. Patrick beat Baker by about 147,000 votes statewide.
Last year, however, Brown won the area by only 1,433 votes. Elizabeth Warren beat Brown in Lawrence by a whopping 12,000 votes, winning a total of 17,235 in the city and nearly wiping out Brown’s margins elsewhere locally. Turnout was much higher last year because of the presidential election.
Lantigua declined to comment.
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