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As requested by KingOfSpades, here's my analysis of MA-06.


But our friends are back
So let’s raise a toast
‘Cause I found someone to carry me home
Tonight, we are young
So let’s set the world on fire
We can burn brighter than the sun
The lyrics of Fun.'s "We Are Young" blasted in my earbuds as I rode the MBTA Purple Line Commuter Rail train up towards Salem from North Station early on a Monday morning. It was fall break at my college and I was in Cambridge staying with a friend at Harvard. He had classes interspersed throughout the day on Monday, so a few weeks before I visited the idea to go help out Richard Tisei's campaign for a day popped in my head.

The witches in Salem were brewing up a storm's worth of trouble for John Tierney during the 2012 election cycle. His claims of not knowing about his wife's involvement in an illegal gambling operation run by her brothers out of Antigua, even as he had visited them in Antigua and his wife filed false tax returns from their condo's living room in Salem, plagued Tierney's public perception in the district. As a Tisei staffer told me, Tierney showed up to the Salem High School turkey bowl football game for the first time he can remember, and this staffer had gone every year of his life. Tierney, who was notably absent from non-Cape Ann and urban portions of the seat for years, suddenly was back in the 6th district every weekend.  Outside groups smelled blood and long-time socially moderate, openly gay, and popular former State Senator and 2010 GOP Lt. Gov nominee Richard Tisei jumped in the race.

As RRH readers know, no race excited me more than the race to defeat John Tierney. As someone who very much likes the idea of living in Massachusetts, who can't stand John Tierney (after meeting him in DC), who likes the idea of moderates running in swingy suburban Congressional districts nationwide, and who really likes Richard Tisei's legislative abilities, I was excited to finally win a House seat in Massachusetts after 16 years without one.

For a little more insight about my trip up on the North Shore, read here:

So, after spending a day on the ground and being impressed with Tisei's staff and his candidate abilities, I returned to Harvard confident that Richard Tisei would soon be Congressman-elect and would defeat embroiled incumbent John Tierney rather handily.

Much to the surprise of nearly everyone John Tierney eked out a win. What happened? How did Tisei lose when Scott Brown won MA-06? What lessons can we take away from the MA-06 race in 2012? Find out below the fold.


Of the towns in MA-06, Richard Tisei represented Wakefield, Lynnfield, and Reading in the State Senate.

Election Results

For the purposes of this diary, I excluded the Libertarian candidate's 4% of the districtwide votes, even as he likely cost both Tierney and Tisei some votes for differing reasons, so I could work with two-way vote data throughout this analysis.

Below is a map of how each of the towns in MA-06 voted for President in 2012. Andover's being split has been accounted for and estimated, although it's possible that Mitt Romney narrowly won the 6th district's share of Andover.

Color Key:
Navy: 65+% Obama
Blue: 57-63% Obama
Dodger blue: 53-57 Obama
Sky blue: 50-53% Obama
Salmon: 50-53% Romney
Red: 53-57% Romney
Crimson: 57-60% Romney
Reddish Brown: 60+% Romney

Below is a map of how each of the towns in MA-06 voted for Congress in 2012.

Color Key:
Navy: 65+ Tierney
Blue: 58-63% Tierney
Dodger blue: 54-58 Tierney
Sky blue: 50-54% Tierney
Salmon: 50-53% Tisei
Red: 53-57% Tisei
Crimson: 57-60% Tisei
Reddish Brown: 60+% Tisei

Richard Tisei ran ahead of Mitt Romney in every town in the 6th district. Below is a map that shows whether Tisei ran far enough ahead or not.

Color Key:
Blue: 0-3 points ahead
Powder Blue: 0-5.23 points ahead
Light Red: 5.23-10 points ahead
Red: 10+ points ahead

Analyzing the 2012 Election Results

Richard Tisei ran ahead of Mitt Romney in every single town and city in the 6th district. Unlike Andrew Roraback over in Connecticut, who underperformed Romney in the Waterbury area, Tisei even overperformed Romney in his opponent's base of Salem. Tisei needed, on average in each town and city, to run 5.24% ahead of Mitt Romney in the two-way vote share in order to win with 50.1%.

Richard Tisei did splendidly well in his old Senate district, running 10.4 points ahead of Mitt Romney in already ruby red, upper middle to upper income, and heavily Italian and Catholic Lynnfield (meaning he nearly got to 72% of the two-way vote share in his childhood home town). Tisei also ran 12.4% ahead of Romney in Reading and an astonishing 17% ahead of Romney in his hometown of Wakefield, which he represented along with Lynnfield in the State House from 1985 until 1991. This strong performance amongst his friends and neighbors he represented in the State House slightly lowered the bar as for how much he would have to overperform in the rest of the district to win the race.

Tisei performed slightly over or slightly under that 5.24% benchmark in most of the district's swingy, affluent exurban North Shore areas like Boxford, Georgetown, Rowley, Manchester, Essex, Newbury, etc. These towns, more conservative than the 6th district as a whole, were good personality fits for Tisei but canvassing Boxford and Georgetown in particular proves extremely difficult with some of those towns' minimum land requirements and winding, private lanes. Regardless, he performed strongly enough in these areas to win the district.

Unsurprisingly, Tierney performed relatively strongly in his home base of Salem, Lynn, and Peabody. These voters were who Tierney grew up and went to high school and college with at Salem State University, and they rewarded Tierney by allowing him to not run too far behind Barack Obama in each of those three towns. Tierney only ran .4% behind Barack Obama in rapidly diversifying and Democratic-trending (read: white blue collar voters are moving out)  Lynn-, Lynn, City of Sin-. Tierney may not have been very visible in the inland towns of the district during his 8-term tenure, but he had brought back plenty of federal money to Lynn and Salem over the years. His popularity amongst the district's union officials also propelled unions to throw very vocal and visible support behind Tierney in the district's two cities.

The fishing towns of the district (mostly on Cape Ann) were a mixed bag for Tisei. While Tierney won each of them handily, he performed relatively well in Rockport and Newburyport while only overperforming Mitt Romney by 2.8 points in Gloucester.  The fishing villages, especially Gloucester, are another area that had seen a comparatively large number of Tierney visits over the years and Tierney had focused on fishing as one of his signature issues in Congress. Regardless, on a whole, Tisei did well enough in the fishing villages in order to win.

The part of the district that Tisei put up a relatively weak, but understandably so, performance in is its western flank. While Tisei performed well in fairly blue Bedford, having campaigned during its Bedford Days Parade, exurban middle/upper middle income Tewksbury, wealthy parts of exurban Andover, along with blue collar/exurban Billerica were new to Tierney. While they were also new to Tisei, these towns provided golden opportunities for Tisei to introduce himself and run up a margin there through bringing up Tierney's issues. however, Tierney and his team campaigned in Tewksbury in the campaign's waning days and seemed to focus on these areas. Tisei slightly underperformed that 5.24% benchmark in these towns, but they should have provided an opportunity to get to 8-9% overperformance. Interestingly enough, similarly blue collar Saugus also showed a Tisei underperformance like Billerica did, meaning that Tierney's originally working class roots in Salem may have helped him in these areas.

Conclusion and 2014

Much like in the race for Connecticut's 5th Congressional district, Richard Tisei ran an excellent race but urban turnout in Lynn and Salem was just too strong for him for to overcome. Tisei ran slightly stronger than Roraback did but, unlike Connecticut were Chris Murphy's campaign was not well run and had no real turnout machine, Massachusetts Democrats were turned out in droves by Elizabeth Warren's well funded turnout machine.

Simply put, Richard Tisei should run again because he can clearly win, with or without John Tierney on the ballot. If Tierney runs again, almost all of of the voters who voted against him in 2014 (many of whom who voted against him on ethical grounds) will still be unwilling to vote for him at any point in the future. Tierney made statements late in the race sounding as if he wished he had retired, although defeating Tisei may have changed his mind on wanting to be retired and only running in his wife's and his honor. Tisei would have a ceiling not far above 50%, as most of those Tierney voters from 2014 likely wouldn't be amenable to voting Republican for Congress unless an incumbent Republican did a surprisingly good job representing the 6th district. However, Tierney's margin in Lynn alone was 3.5 bigger than his districtwide margin and his margin in Salem was nearly 2 times larger than his districtwide margin. Simply put, with turnout lower in Salem and Lynn in 2014, Tisei could win if he campaigns hard in the district's western flank to improve his performance in areas new to Tierney, overperforms as strongly as he did in the district's southern flank (which he represented in the State Senate), and maintains his margins in the district's most Republican region, the exurban inland areas of the North Shore like Boxford and Georgetown and the outskirts of the Merrimack Valley like North Andover.

If Tierney retires, the conventional wisdom on the ground is that Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll would be the nominee to replace him. Driscoll wouldn't have the advantage of being able to cut into Tisei's margins in any of his base or highly-performing areas, seeing as she's a Salem candidate and not from any of those areas. Salem is also smaller than Lynn, so increased turnout in Salem in  a midterm year wouldn't be as crippling to Tisei's chances as increased turnout in Lynn (which is 2.18 times larger than Salem) would be. Salem, while not viewed upon as poorly by residents of the North Shore as Lynn is, still has a gritty and somewhat corrupt political reputation in Massachusetts. Once Tierney's replacement wins this ~D+3.4 (in a Presidential year) seat, they are likely set to hold the seat as long as they want it. However, there is no reason for Tisei to be counted out in a midterm when the seat is ~D+1.5, especially seeing as he had much electoral success in blue towns in his State Senate seat and seeing how he over performed Mitt Romney everywhere in the 6th district in 2012.

I spoke to Richard Tisei via email a few weeks ago and, while his loss was obviously disappointing to him, he seems to be in good spirits.

If Tisei doesn't run, State Senator Bruce Tarr, whose Democratic-leaning district consists of Cape Ann and a large swath of the exurban areas Tisei performed well in, would make an excellent nominee, but I tend to think (and hope) that Richard Tisei will be the GOP's nominee in 2014 (once he defeats gadfly and soon-to-be perennial candidate Bill Hudak).

While listening to "We Are Young" by Fun. still gives me a slightly sick feeling when those lyrics I quoted come up, I'm hopeful that Richard Tisei will run again.

Note: I'm not as hopeful or hopeful at all about many of the open or competitive seats that the GOP lost in 2014, such as CA-26 or most of the Illinois seats, but I do think CT-05 and, more likely MA-06, have strong enough midterm electorates with electable enough candidates lined up that the GOP could win them in a midterm. Don't think I see every seat through rose colored glasses...

Originally posted to IllinoyedR on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 11:45 AM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight and Massachusetts Kosmopolitans.


Will Richard Tisei run in 2014?

58%68 votes
24%29 votes
17%20 votes

| 117 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  State Senator Katherine Clark could do it too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    She has Tisei's Senate district now and picked it up from the GOP in 2010.

    Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

    by KingofSpades on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:19:43 PM PST

  •  GOP commenter Benjamin Disraeli (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pistolSO, Taget, Englishlefty, jackster, Matt Z

    said that a Dem friend/party activist of his said that in the last week, Tisei's ground game was invisible, the volunteers from the Log Cabin R's were working Boston (not in MA-06), and Tierney was busy helping to remind people of what he's done good in the time he's been in Congress.  He said that his surprise win should give Tierney new zeal, but the state party will still pressure him to retire (maybe even beat him at a convention).

    Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

    by KingofSpades on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:22:53 PM PST

    •  He said it's part of a larger problem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of GOP candidates in MA appearing aloof or something.  Tisei pulled a lot of his ground game and was bloviating to the press like he had it in the bag in the final days.

      Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

      by KingofSpades on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:26:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well he was a GOP operative (4+ / 0-)

      Keeping tabs on the race for some of the people who were sinking large amounts of money into. Which is the real missing factor in any future projections. Tisei outspent Tierney this year a margin that was probably around 7 to 2. That is unlikely to be repeated in the future, as donors have an odd habit of resenting it when their money is wasted.

      To be fair to Tisei, the money didn't help much. From the beginning, Tisei's problem is that his hard was not in the campaign. Not in the sense he didn't want to be a congressman - he did. But in the sense that politics in Massachusetts is not a product of "Machines" and the repeated references to them in this piece is more evidence that the out-of-state Tisei staffers who acted as the informants for this piece had no idea of the district they were running in.

      'Machines" in the North Shore mean the local power structures that determine voting habits in a lot of the "older"(and by that  I draw distinction between those who are longtime residents and those who moved to the state after college) communities, but rather than political machines of the sort one sees in Chicago, they are Teachers, Firefighters, Policeman, and the small group of people who actually show up to town meetings.

      This sort of grouping is not very ideological. They know what they want - which is policies that keep their jobs secure and a constant degree of attention that reinforces their sense of importance. If they get that, then anyone, Democrat or Republican is pretty safe. There is a reason almost no incumbents of either party lose in Massachusetts.

      Tisei, like couple moving to a new city at 45, simply did not want to do the work to meet the new power players in his district, and as the candidate was unwilling, the campaign manager knew nothing about the district, and other option was available, they took it. That option was to be a national figure.

      Tisei's sexuality granted him a unique opportunity. To every Gay kid growing up with the dark secret that they loved Ayn Rand or were socially liberal, here was someone who they could rally around to prove to their friends that the party was not what it appeared to be. And to every rich GOP donor with gay family members, here was a way to help ease over the awkwardness at family gatherings caused by that 500K check to Xroads while still giving to the Party.

      Tisei was the toast of the donor class, and because of that, he was also the toast of the party leadership including Cantor and Boehner. Tisei's mistake was to believe he was running to be the Gay Communities representative in the Majority Caucus rather than for the 6th district.

      The campaign steadily became dominated by national figures. Inspired by what he represented, hundreds of 23-year old libertarians descended on Massachusetts knowing little about the state, issues, or even their candidate other than the fact that he was everything they hoped for and Tierney was a crook.

      The campaign ended up embracing them, and in the process drove away a lot of their local activists and supporters. By the end of the campaign, LCR kids were holding signs outside Scott Brown rallies in Boston, and any sort of genuine local field effort had imploded.

      Tierney had problems and the local town "Machines" were willing to consider deserting him in the summer. But Tisei never asked for their support. He pointed to his national support and money and waited for them to obediently jump on the winning team, in the process convincing everyone that he really did not care about fishing in Gloucester or even biotech. Tierney by contrast had done a lot for everyone and made clear the knew it.

  •  Tierney should retire in 2014. (6+ / 0-)

    As a Massachusetts Democrat, I like having all of my state's delegation be Democratic(although I am ready to declare John Kerry persona non grata for makign it easier to Scott Brown to wiggle his way back into the Senate).

    Tisei is experienced, and he has a shot at being the first Republican House member from Massachusetts in 20 years in 2014.   However without the shadow of corruption that has stuck to Tierney(I don't know for sure if he really knew or not), MA-06 would be a more open race and I wonder if Tisei can really separate himself from the nihilistic Tea Party which has made it so it is nearly impossible to govern in Washington D.C.   Although Tisei would also be helped by Brown coattails in the North Shore if Brown(ick!) is the incumbent in the 2014 Senate race.

    Washington and Colorado said that you've got to legalize it. Hope the DOJ respects that.

    by pistolSO on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:23:08 PM PST

    •  Who would you like to replace Tierney? (0+ / 0-)

      My knowledge is limited, but St. Sen. Katherine Clark seems pretty solid.

      Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

      by KingofSpades on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 12:27:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Newburyport is no longer a "fishing town" (11+ / 0-)

    It is one of the most affluent communities on the North Shore. It hasn't been full of Salty Dogs since probably the 1970's.

  •  Thanks for posting this! (6+ / 0-)

    I know it's intimidating coming over to some place of the opposite political persuasion.  So I'm grateful for you posting this well written sober analysis here.

    I was hoping Tierney would be the one redistricted out with Markey taking over much his district.  But alas.

    Hopefully he finally gets the good primarying he richly deserves.

    The lady was enchanted and said they ought to see. So they charged her with subversion and made her watch TV -Spirogyra

    by Taget on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 02:25:35 PM PST

  •  It is perhaps noteworthy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, lonespark

    the my good friend Dan Fishman, the Libertarian candidate, actually did better in the districts Tierney carried that the districts that Tisei carried. Fishman's impression on working the polls was Democrats telling him that they certainly could not vote for a Republican but could not bring themselves to support another alternative rather than him.  By 2014 this effect may fade.

    Fishman is planning on running again.

    We can have change for the better.

    by phillies on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 02:48:42 PM PST

  •  as a long-time resident of the 6th... (17+ / 0-)

    and a Newburyporter, my preference would have been to have Tierney retire. Not having had that happen, Tisei, despite stunning advantages, was not going to beat him.  Come close, but not a winning formula.

    Like Brown, Tisei brought money into the district from the national right wing money machine, and also managed to tap into the seemingly endless supply of young, arrogant, and grass-roots disrespecting staff available- at least some of the ones that the Romney campaign left on the ground. And if they weren't inept enough for Romney, you gotta wonder how good their chops were.

    Tisei had the decks cleared for him by his party- Hudek was literally run out of town by the party fathers, and told don't bother, if he ever wants to run for the state legislature- or dog warden. He stayed out.

    Anyone who knows Tisei from the legislature, and I count myself among the unlucky few who do, knows that he is an arrogant lightweight, with very little moral core- he was censured by a judge for aiding and abetting his felonious parents in hiding assets during one of their numerous real estate scams.

    But worse than arrogant, Tisei had and has a reputation for petulant and unbecoming public meltdowns- his so-called "hissy-fits" while in the legislature are the stuff of legend.  In fact, part of Tierney's strategy was to try to provoke those outbursts, knowing that they are often so disproportionate to the slight that they are embarrassing to watch.

    Arrogant?  The last several weeks here in Newburyport, Tisei, with no ground game in here (I passed through all six wards on election day, and saw no people, and one Tisei sign leaning against a lamp-post), chose to suspend advertising on  television- not completely, mind you. His commercials ran about 30 seconds of pastoral music and landscape scenes- in effect telling residents to sit back and enjoy, it's in the bag. That didn't go over too well.

    Tisei should have done much better in Newburyport than he did, what with Scott Brown on the ticket. Brown has ties to Newburyport- his late father was a city councilor here for 20 years, and served on the charter review commission two years ago. But he didn't.

    One of the big issues here was the struggle to establish a Local Historic District. The No LHD folks were pretty obtuse and poisonous in their actions, and of course, many of them had Tisei signs on their lawns. The Mayor asked Yes and No supporters to lower the volume; the Yes folks took down their signs, the No folks said screw you, we're keeping our No signs up, and then they added Tisei signs to their lawns- with Tisei's background in unsavory real estate development, that was the most unhelpful thing they could do. It's painting with a very broad brush, but it happens- there wasn't anyone on the ground who was engaged enough to warn him off.  Guilt by association.

    There's an old saying here in Newburyport; people vote, signs don't. The subset of that is every sign you see on High Street (the architectural jewel of the city- way  big houses) loses you four votes in the wards.

    Tisei had a lot of signs on High Street.

    As Tip O'Neill said, all politics is local, and Tisei didn't take the time to learn enough about the city to really compete meaningfully here. Brown left an incredibly bad taste in our mouths from his last run- despite his local advantages, he bussed in out-of towner's and people from New Hampshire to make noise - (beating on garbage can lids)- that drowned out a Coakley appearance. We've never seen anything like that before here, and it fell very flat- it was actually appalling. That Tisei had no ground game here lined him up with that rather unsavory crowd.

    Sorry, but he's  not the one to beat Tierney. He's run and lost twice in the Commonwealth- statewide and locally. Add that to the fact that to know him is to really take a dislike to him, and I think he won't take the 6th, even if it is an open seat. Driscoll, who happens to be extraordinarily bright and ambitious, and a woman, will be a formidable candidate.  

    Nice analysis, really.  You ought to come up to Newburyport some time, so that you can appreciate and experience the local angles that someone outside the district can't possibly know of.

    "When you're skating on thin ice, you might as well dance." Jesse Winchester

    by The Poet Deploreate on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 04:42:49 PM PST

    •  I live in Wakefield and you nailed Tisei (11+ / 0-)

      He's blew up at a parade official here on July 4 for not bending the rules so he could march with Brown. I caught him parking in a handicapped space in Wakefield and because I have a placard due to pre surgery mobility issues, he refused to respond when I emailed him about it. Reading residents complain about him parking illegally there as well. He knows which constituents vote and he ensures they were served well.  The rest?  meh. He never lifted a finger to help education in Wakefield. He cozied Up to the Tea baggers to get money. He's an arrogant entitled horses ass.

      I will work MY ass off to make sure he never holds elected office again. He's unfit to serve anyone.

  •  Tierney is one of our best (19+ / 0-)

    He is a real Liberal, steeped in Liberal tradition and reflecting the values of the 6th District. Yes I have met him and heard him speak to a crowd. He is one of the few declared non-religious members of Congress, He is right on every Progressive issue. We love him in Salem and there is no way in hell that we will let him lose his seat. I'm disgusted at his wife, but I can separate the two.

    Tisei ran a nasty one issue, over the top, accusative campaign. A real turn-off.

    Considering that John had an impressive win with the charges flying, I think that may be the worst that he can do in a Congressional election.

    •  Absolutely. (9+ / 0-)

      Tierney is one of the most progressive of the Massachusetts delegation. It really says quite about the commentors here that they are so anxious to run him out of town. If he didn't go down this time, facing a perfect storm, he should be able to hold the seat for a while. The Republican bench is not deep, even though they have plenty of wingnut whiners living here.

      Heaven help the state Democratic establishment if they try to knock him out in a convention. That would be unforgivable for any true progressive.

      I won't believe corporations are people until Texas executes one. Leo Gerard.

      by tgrshark13 on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 06:27:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  There are plenty of other progressives (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kaliope, NMLib, pistolSO

        with less baggage.

        20, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (school)
        Socially libertarian, moderate on foreign policy, immigration, and crime, liberal on everything else.
        UC Berkeley; I think I'm in the conservative half of this city. -.5.38, -3.23

        by jncca on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 07:42:20 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I would be curious to see performance v. Brown (7+ / 0-)

    I know Tierney outperformed Warren in several key cities, including Lynn and Salem.

    30, (new) MA-7, Unenrolled

    Truman: "The buck stops here!"
    Romney: "The buck stops somewhere in the next county..."

    by Marcus Graly on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:17:20 PM PST

    •  Gloucester as well. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Age 23. Voting in NJ-03. Lived most of life in NJ-01. Had Rush Holt represent me during my undergrad years and am now represented by Frank Pallone in my grad school.

      by KingofSpades on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:19:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No "Professor" Tierney problem (4+ / 0-)

      Probably because Tierney didn't have to deal with Brown's class warfare schtick as did Warren.  

      There are still blue collar folks who buy the GOP 3-card monte of voting voting against themselves for the 1% if couched in the right code words.

    •  And Swampscott, which went Brown over Coakley... (5+ / 0-)

      ...but we turned back over to Warren. Nevertheless, Brown did better than Tisei in Swampscott.

      In September, I was pessimistic about Tierney's chances -- canvassing and phonebanking, I ran into a lot of strong anti-Tierney sentiment in both Swampscott and Lynn. But by mid-October, with people paying much more attention to the election, things had shifted. There were indications of huge support for Obama, Warren and Tierney when we held signs on Lynn Shore Drive during the evening commute.

      I think that MA voters, even independents, observed with greater and greater horror the cess pool of hate that was GOP positions. They realized that even a social moderate like Tisei was still going to be a  vote for Boehner, the tea-party-led GOP, and even, as Brown made clear in one of the debates, the Scalia faction on the Supreme Court. And the fact that Tisei is a gay Republican (although, perhaps not surprisingly considering his "base", he hasn't exactly trumpeted that fact from the rooftops) made a lot of people realize that he's obviously a pretty confused person!

      Mass Dems and even  non-mammal-guano Indies said:  "Whoa! A vote for any of these crazies will just encourage 'em!" And Massachusetts, with a long tradition of electing moderate Republicans, decided it was a bridge too far in these times. And went solid Blue.

      NEW PALINDROMIC METAPHOR MEANING TO MAKE A PREDICTION THAT IS ASTOUNDINGLY OFF TARGET: "Pull a Gallup!" As in: "The weatherman said yesterday would be sunny and mild, but we got a foot of snow! Boy, did he pull a Gallup!"

      by Obama Amabo on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 06:48:38 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Indeed, the fact that Tisei would NOT be voting as (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Obama Amabo, Massconfusion, MichaelNY

        a moderate in this House despite his claims, was a factor.  I preached it and heard it as well.  

        No, Tisei has damaged himself and if he ever wants to win again he needs a lot of damage control.  In the meantime, I'll be exposing his sorry ass far and wide.

        We Dems in his hometown know the REAL Richard and it ain't a pretty sight.

  •  Lynn, Lynn... (8+ / 0-)

    City of 90,000 people. More than the populations of Wakefield, Lynnfield, and Reading put together. Throw in Salem and Peabody and you have a serious advantage for the worker towns vs. the management crowd. And the people here vote.

    Tisei has never represented Lynn like he had the villages to the west, and we also remember he was Charlie Baker's Lt. Gubernatorial candidate two years ago. Tierney's little in-law gambling scandal thing was not news to us either, though Tisei's campaign pushed it pretty hard.

    Mass has been a tough place for the negative campaigning in the last few years. Ever since Muffy polled 25% behind Deval Patrick in September 2006 and subsequently veered hard for the gutter (the "Prisoners For Patrick"), it hasn't worked. Scott Brown probably lost ground when he started pushing Warren's native American checkbox as an issue, even though it was also old ground.

    Scott Brown will run for the Kerry seat. So will Deval. Patrick by 8%, minimum three term senator.

  •  Can I just say (7+ / 0-)

    How rewarding it is to get a Republican perspective so well constructed, and civil as this.

    Thanks for the Diary.

    I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
    but I fear we will remain Democrats.

    by twigg on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 05:42:57 PM PST

  •  Wait, what?????? (5+ / 3-)

    You are openly promoting republican opposition to possibly THE most reliably progressive, and thoughtfully progressive member of congress???  Is this the pro republican page of Dkos?? How the fuck are we not HRing this guy into oblivion?? I can give you specifics about how he doesn't know or understand shit about the district but other commenters have beat me to it. John has his problems.  His wife's family is a bunch of thugs, and it's tough to believe his wife didn't know that.  But Tisei's family has its own sleazy deals AND people in the district know that Tisei is an arrogant lightweight.  He's a terrible candidate who couldn't beat a guy who most people respect but KNOW married into a family of (convicted) losers.

    BTW lifelong resident of MA06, Politically active family for 80 years. I don't know much, but I know this.  The diarist is an idiot.

  •  The positive Progressive beat the negative GOPer. (4+ / 0-)

    In Massachusetts.
    Maybe to someone with limited knowledge of MA (Newburyport is a "fishing town? Gloucester is a "village"?) it was a surprise.

    "Simply put, Richard Tisei should run again because he can clearly win,"
    Tisei would need a personality transplant.

    "Your opponent can't talk when he has your fist in his mouth." - Bill Clinton

    by MethuenProgressive on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 08:10:15 PM PST

  •  If Tierney retires, MA-6 will be less competitive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades, Laconic Lib

    If Tierney survived narrowly under a huge cloud of guilt by association, a Democrat with no issues shouldn't have a problem easily winning the seat.

    26, Male, CA-24 (new CA-26), DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Wed Dec 26, 2012 at 09:28:51 PM PST

    •  Kim Driscoll would *kill* Tisei (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KingofSpades, pistolSO, MichaelNY

      And I don't worry about Lynn. Get Mayor Driscoll in Lynn for five minutes, and Lynnites will be beating down the door for her.

      The big question is if she wants it.

      And Driscoll has at least as many ties with Salem State as Tierney does--more, probably, because, as mayor of the city where it is, she's very visible here. (I'm an SSU student).

      "Maybe: it's a vicious little word that could slay me"--Sara Bareilles

      by ChurchofBruce on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:04:15 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  WTF is this doing on the Community Spotlight! (8+ / 0-)

    Someone has really blundered.  Sure Tisei might be a nice guy, but do we really want another Republican in the House!  If this were a diary about trying to primary out a dinged candidate, that would be different, but since when is dKos about advocating for Republicans to get elected!

  •  I'm VERY glad Tisei lost (5+ / 0-)

    I'm all for electing more and better Democrats.  There is NO Republicon that is better than even a DINO seat-filler when it means Speaker Boner rather than Speaker Pelosi.

    If Tisei was as good or as moderate as you imply, he would become a Democrat.

    "As RRH readers know" - some of us don't even know what RRH is.

    •  Red Racing Horses (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's the right-leaning counterpart to Daily Kos Elections (formerly Swing State Project). They analyze elections and campaigns, mostly from a right-leaning point of view, but just as there are (a few) Republicans who participate at Daily Kos Elections, there are Democrats who participate at Red Racing Horses.

      Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

      by MichaelNY on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:34:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Promoting Republicans? No thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ProgressiveMan, Cousin Vinny

    The worst DINO is better than a Republican.  Any day.

    Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

    by Betty Pinson on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 12:59:26 PM PST

  •  Intro paragraph, please. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cousin Vinny, Scioto

    I figured out the following from Google. I suggest putting it in your diary, probably near the beginning, for those out-of-staters (like me) who are interested:

    -Tierney was the Dem nominee.

    -Tisei was the GOP nominee.

    -Tierney won, but it was very close.

    "The true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth, but from the enduring power of our ideals." - Barack Obama

    by HeyMikey on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 02:41:01 PM PST

  •  Tierney is the most progressive... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cousin Vinny

    ...possible member of Congress in a suburban district. He voted against the wars, the Patriot Act, the stupid tax cuts and much more. If the diarist wants to have a more moderate Republican caucus he should elect moderate Republicans in Republican districts, not Dem ones.

    Further, Tisei was the sorriest excuse for a State Senator I have ever seen. Katherine Clark has done an amazing job and could hold the seat forever (she lives in Markey's District) and she actually cares about people. Tisei gave no tangible reason for anyone to vote FOR him only his attacks against Tierney and none of those was on issues.

    This diary is a waste of time and space on a great website.

  •  About that shot at Chris Murphy.. (0+ / 0-)

    Diarist writes: "unlike Connecticut were Chris Murphy's campaign was not well run and had no real turnout machine...

    I'm sorry, but where'd that come from? I've worked most every Connecticut race in some form or another for the past 30 years and I think the Murphy campaign did a great turnout job. It is true that the $50 Million in unrelenting negative ads pushed the campaign back a few steps, and the media perception that he was in trouble worried some insiders, but the (mostly hidden) ground game was superb.

    I have never seen a statewide campaign push door to door voter contact as much as this campaign did. And the targeting, while hard for volunteers to understand (because it wasn't just going after definite supporters), worked out brilliantly. Half the doors I knocked had persuadable voters.

    As it turned out, Chris won by a landslide. But had it been close, his ground game would have been the deciding factor.

  •  Great job once again, IllinoyedR! (4+ / 0-)

    I'd suggest you restrict your tags to DK Elections only in the future, so as to minimize the number of readers who are totally clueless about the nature of the DKE sub-site and react belligerently to the fact that you, as a Republican who supports Republican candidates for office, would double-dare to post on a website like Daily Kos, where they think Republicans are the Devil and should be imagined out of existence.

    Formerly Pan on Swing State Project

    by MichaelNY on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:37:31 AM PST

    •  Agreed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MichaelNY, Answer Guy, Taget

      I'll limit my tags to DK Elections next time. Some nice folks thought this was a good diary and added it to two other communities, but most of those community members surely didn't like that.

      Oh, and thanks for the compliment!

      Home: North Shore of Illinois, College: Main Line of Pennsylvania (PA-07)

      by IllinoyedR on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:36:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Again (5+ / 0-)

    Great diary sir.  I think you overate Tisei's future chances like Roraback's, but I don't blame you for doing as much as they both came very close.  If Tierney runs again I think Tisei has a shot, just not a great one.

    31/D/M/NY-01/SSP: Tekzilla

    by Socks The Cat on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 06:45:55 AM PST

  •  The Good And The Bad (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I enjoyed reading this.

    The Good: The number crunching. Excellent top-level analysis. You figured out exactly where the GOP opportunity  is/was in this district, and where Tisei or the next GOP candidate would need to improve and how. Like the campaign insider perspective, especially valuable from the adversary's point of view.

    The Bad: There's too much writing in here and it got you intro a bit of trouble in a few places.
    * Salem does not have a historic statewide rep for corruption the way that, say, Chelsea and Lynn do. That sentence in particular makes you sound like an out-of-state Republican operative, painting every city with the same brush, and if there's one thing locals dislike, it's out-of-state Republican operatives.  
    * Incessant references to "machines." This isn't Chicago. Most New Englanders are cranky about anything that smacks of machine politics.  Some of the machine mentality persists in parts of Boston, but this race didn't include any part of Boston. I'd say that makes you sound like an out-of-state GOP operative again....but lots of local conservatives throw that tag around with equal abandon, so good work blending in! :)
    * The North Shore doesn't really have fishing towns anymore. Gloucester has a little of it left, but that's it. The biggest industry up there is tourism, and commuting either to Boston or to office parks in its closer-in burbs.  
    * "Village" is not really used in MA. It's a formal NY term for a population center of a town. It's sometimes used informally in CT to refer to a population center of any town that happens to have more than one such center. (For some reason, CT towns tend to have more land area than their MA counterparts.)

     Disclaimer: I'm a Central Mass guy, not a North Shore guy. I'll defer to North Shore folks on anything specific to that area. Loved reading much of the commentary.

    Stuck Between Stations : Thoughts from a bottomless pool of useless information.

    by Answer Guy on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 01:22:55 PM PST

  •  Excellent diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IllinoyedR, wwmiv

    As always, some of the best analysis in DKE.

    British guy with a big interest in US politics; -1.88, -4.05. A liberal, a moderate and a conservative walk into a bar. The bartender says "Hey Mitt".

    by General Goose on Mon Dec 31, 2012 at 07:43:20 AM PST

  •  Great Diary (0+ / 0-)

    Don't mind some of the commenters up top, this was a well-written electoral analysis of a tight race that most election junkies were very interested in. It takes courage to write something from an opposing viewpoint, even if it is still very much topical to this site.

    I have to admit I thought Tisei would take this one, however with the way Warren beat Brown and Mitt predictably underperformed, it was a bridge too far.

    I do have to agree however that I think "Village of," etc. is something we pretty much only we upstate NYers do (and love).

    Keep up the good work

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