As voters in Plymouth and across Massachusetts get set to elect a new set of leaders — or re-elect the current set — WBUR is in Plymouth the day after Halloween to learn what issues might drive their decisions in the governor's race and the race in the 10th Congressional District.
WBUR's David Boeri joined host Bob Oakes at the Water Street Cafe, in downtown Plymouth.
Bob Oakes: David, you were out trick-or-treating with 10th district voters last night?
David Boeri: That's right, and in some ways it's fitting we have convergence of Halloween and Election Day this year. To be in the 10th district is to feel like you're in the land of slander and scare, smash and grab. It's the bewitching hour down here. In addition to all the buzzwords — ObamaCare, taxes, deficits — there are two key phrases down here — the boogeymen of Cape Wind and strip search. At the end of it, this place is about as happy as the Pilgrims were when they first came here.
So where were you on Halloween and what was your question for parents?
I was in Wollaston, an old, above-the-cut neighborhood in Quincy, traditional, which is to say reliably Democratic in the past. There I asked parents, how would you dress to describe your mood as a voter this year? First was Dawn Welsh, a mother whose husband is a carpenter without much work.
(I'm) confused... a confused child. I'm not sure who I'm going to vote for. I don't know if I like any of the candidates.
Here it is, Sunday night, and it sounds like you don't know who you're voting for. Are you leaning one way or another?
(I) have to do some research.
Have to do some research.
Let's talk about the mood. There's been a lot of talk by the pundits that Massachusetts might be immune to the anger and anxiety permeating this campaign season nationally. Did you find strong opinions out there?
Those people weren't in the 10th. There is a general mood among the Democratic-leaning Wollaston neighborhood, using a phrase fishermen know, that this whole thing smells like pogies at low-tide to them. There is a general dissatisfaction with what's going on and there is also the childish joy — you could probably compare it to all those kids dressed as Grim Reapers — bringing it down.
Here's David and Eman Mok, a young professional couple, who just moved into Wollaston. They say theirs is an automatic vote:
I'm feeling anxious, economically, yeah.
A lot of friends were actually laid off. It is tough listening to them trying to get back on their feet. It is really hard. As an example, my company was hiring for one job and we had over 200 resumes. Something needs to happen different.
So can I assume you're voting out the incumbents?
Without a doubt. Of course, of course.
You hear that glee? That reminds me of covering Pat Buchanan, when he was running for president in New Hampshire, and he was talking about the pitch fork rebellion — all the peasants going over the walls, gleefully going after the establishment.
That was one couple. Was the discontent across the board?
Unhappiness with what's happened, discontent with the status quo for sure, uncertainty. Let's hear Dana Gurwitch, a teacher in Quincy:
You've a mind to vote out the incumbents this year?
Yeah, if the opposition were appealing to me, I'd be inclined to, just on principle. But as I research the opposition, I don't see it makes a difference.
So you're unhappy with the status quo, but not sure you like the opponents either?
This is a reliably, in the past, Democratic neighborhood, and if you're hearing that from these Democrats who can't make up their mind on the Monday before the Tuesday we're voting, there's an omen there, just like the Grim Reaper's.
This program aired on November 1, 2010.