Republican candidate for governor Charlie Baker has a shot of capturing more moderate Democrats than he did in the 2010 race if he projects a more positive message, according to a prominent Merrimack Valley Democrat who is the type Baker hopes to attract.
Former state Sen. Steven Baddour, a Democrat from Methuen known for his moderate leanings, described Baker’s previous campaign as “very negative” but said there’s room for him to attract more voters with a positive message. A negative campaign doesn’t work, Baddour said.
“He’s got to change,” Baddour told the State House News Service yesterday. “It’s got to be a completely different race than he ran the last time in order to get those Democrats who sort of gave him a look, and then turned away, to give him a second look and say maybe give him a chance this time.”
Baddour said Baker was in a “much better position” in this race.
“It’s a different race altogether in terms of who’s running and I think he’s starting off on the positive and I think that makes a difference,” Baddour said at an event in Watertown.
“The last time was a very negative campaign. I don’t think that worked. It hasn’t worked in the past and I think, going forward, if he stays positive, hopefully from his perspective, he’ll try to attract more Democrats in order to get to that 50-plus-one,” he said.
Baddour said voters are prone to give candidates a second chance.
“People always give you the second bite of the apple. And I think Charlie’s going to get out there, but he has to give them a reason. If he doesn’t give them a reason to give him a second look, then no,” he said. “But if he comes out, he’s talking positive, he’s talking aspirationally; he’s talking about the future of Massachusetts, that’s a different story.”