No matter what happens in the Bay State today, we are witnessing what may be a milestone in American politics. A Republican candidate for federal office may well turn Massachusetts red by doing what the Gipper once did, getting the groups, which sixty years ago helped transform Massachusetts into one of the most reliably Democratic states in the union, to vote Republican.
Even as Massachusetts Democrats embraced the cultural left in the 1960s and 1970s, the working class voters remained within the fold. While those voters opted for the Gipper in the 1980s and helped the Democrats nominate a (brainy) social conservative as their gubernatorial standard bearer in 1990 (who lost to a libertarian Republican), the state GOP never developed a strategy to wean them away from the party of George McGovern and John Kerry.
In fact most of Massachusetts comes from ‘hearty stock’, or in other words a Catholic, blue-collar background. And while perhaps not as conservative as other places in the country, as a voting block it is certainly more mainstream than the liberal crowd pulled in and retained by the magnet of Harvard/Radcliffe/Brandeis/Tufts.
What this really means is that a mildly conservative, blue-collar candidate has a lot of unrecognized and untapped reserve to draw upon when running to tweak the nose of Massachusetts’ limousine-liberal elite. Call them the ‘Will Hunting’ voters.
Unlike the past when a liberal who lives in Beacon Hill, and the plumber who fixes his sinks and lives in Somerville could generally be relied upon to both vote for Ted Kennedy, this year the plumber from Somerville has a choice that easily appeals to *him* and will stick it to all those Ha-vahd snobs who have always looked down at him.
Via Instapundit. Perhaps, it was Ted Kennedy’s last name which kept them within the Democratic fold for so long. Union leadership may be ginning up the turnout machine for Martha Coakely, but many of the union rank and file are breaking for Scott Brown.
Democrats would be wise to witness what is going on in the Bay State and instead of doubling down on their own left-wing agenda, might try and figure out why people who once regularly voted Democrat are now pulling for the GOP.