Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kerry Healey's Worst Nightmare

I wish I could say it's the video I made.

However, it's not. Her biggest nightmare is Tuesday's Deval Country electoral map. With 322 communities under Deval's belt - and almost a million Democratic primary voters in all (half of which voted Deval) - Kerry Healey knows she's got her work cut out for her.

Where are the votes going to come from? North of Boston is frequently where a lot of Republicans get their votes, but I just don't see it this time. Sure, towns like Lynnfield will probably swing Republican, but almost 4,000 people in Marblehead turned out for Democrats out of about 20,000 people living there. Almost 3,000 people turned out for Dems next door, in Swampscott, in a town of 14,500. In working class areas, like Lowell, about 9,500 people showed up for Democrats. Lynn? 9,300 people showed up for Democrats, where Deval did very well. Deval didn't do quite as well in Revere, but a lot of Democrats (around 6,000) showed up.

I don't see Healey doing well in other areas that have swung Republican in the past. Deval has an exceptional presence in Western Mass and Tim Murray could be a large asset beyond 495: he certainly cleanly swept his own city during the primary. In some elections just west of Boston has been an asset for Republican governors, but this year? Deval did not do well in Burlington, but slightly less than 3,500 people turned out for Democrats - a pretty high number. I highly doubt all the Gabrieli voters are going to swing Healey. Most of them will either vote Deval or not vote at all. More than 2,500 people in Westwood turned out to vote for Democrats and Deval got the plurality there too.

While this is a highly anecdotal look at Kerry Healey's outlook; it's an honest one. I'm not picking and choosing which towns I've reported. They were just towns and cities in areas that have helped Republicans win the Corner Office in the past. With the turnout so high in most of these communities for a Democratic primary, I just don't see enough voters going for Healey to swing it in her direction. The scary thing is that doesn't even take into account the huge victories Deval is going to get in cities like Boston, Cambridge, Newton, Quincy, New Bedford, Worcester and Springfield.

Deval is going to win big in most of those communities, while Kerry Healey won't have that same coalition of voters that allowed Celluci, Weld and Romney to win Massachusetts. Healey won't be the outsider, is dealing with the strongest opponent any of these Democrats have had to face and won't have the GOTV operation Deval has built. Not only that, but she's going to have to compete with Christy Mihos. Even if Mihos steals some votes from Deval, it won't be as many. A lot of the socially liberal voters who have voted for Republicans in the past could easily pull the Mihos level, perhaps even attracted to him by his Big Dig record and strong ads (he has one of the best advertising guys in the country).

Kerry Healey is in trouble; there's no doubt about it. That's why she came out with fighting words on Tuesday, but we've had enough of that. This election is going to be about the issues and truth, if Deval Patrick has anything to do with it. As strange as it may seem, perhaps that's Kerry Healey's greatest nightmare?

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