2 Senate Campaigns, 2 Completely Different Feels

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The U.S. Senate candidates will spend Monday racing across the state to rally support in the final full day of their campaigns. And as Election Day approaches, the two completely different feels of the campaigns have become more clear.

The final weekend of Gomez's campaign was not like that final weekend of Scott Brown's first Senate campaign. Then, dozens of people showed up wherever Brown went to hear him speak. Over the weekend, Gomez met with voters one at a time, but he does meet with their enthusiasm everywhere he goes. On Saturday morning, he ran a 5k race in Newton.

Lonnie Paul, an independent voter from Charlestown, said she absolutely is voting for Gomez.

"He's a great guy," Paul said. "He's involved in the community. He's hard-working. He's an honorable guy. He could represent us well."

U.S. Senate candidate Ed Markey has one more day to energize his candidates.(Fred Thys/WBUR)
U.S. Senate candidate Ed Markey has one more day to energize his candidates.(Fred Thys/WBUR)

With Ed Markey, it's the campaign that impresses. His campaign is confident that it will win this race Tuesday. On Saturday, nearly 500 people, most of them volunteers for Markey, turned out at UMass Dartmouth to hear Vice President Joe Biden.

Nancy Williams, not a volunteer, came from New Bedford to hear Biden. She says she'll probably vote for Markey.

"I usually vote social justice and that's how I usually vote," Williams said.

Biden reminded the volunteers of the importance of getting Democrats to vote at a time when people are more focused on school vacation than on the election.

"There is not a single doubt in the world that Ed Markey wins if people show up and vote, but this is the first time in my understanding that you've ever had a vote for a major office in this state in the middle of June," Biden said. "So folks, folks, please, do me a favor, do the country a favor, do yourself a favor, vote and get everybody to vote."

Markey was meeting with volunteers again Sunday morning at his campaign headquarters in Lynn. Some brought their children. he reminded his volunteers of the points he would like them to emphasize as they contact voters.

"A woman's right to choose," Markey said. "Making sure that the Wall Street protections stay on the books. Insuring that the wealthy pay their fair share. And to make sure that the NRA does not have another vote to block a ban on assault weapons and their magazines."

Markey's campaign has kept its sights on turning out Democrats and independents since the beginning.

"We have been working hard for four months to get ready for this weekend, and all across Massachusetts, we're having events just like this where people are coming out of headquarters and going out onto the streets to ring doorbells, and so obviously everything is now targeted towards Tuesday," Markey told reporters. "We feel that we have built a first-class organization."

Sunday afternoon, Gomez was walking the streets of Shrewsbury, and at times running from house to house as people ran out to greet him.

"Oh! So good to meet you!" gushed one woman as she opened her front door, surprised to meet the candidate himself.

U.S. Senate Candidate Gabriel Gomez has one more day to get people out to the polls. (Fred Thys/WBUR)
U.S. Senate Candidate Gabriel Gomez has one more day to get people out to the polls. (Fred Thys/WBUR)

At one point, Gomez jumped onto a garden wall as he rushed to meet some voters. At another, he stumbled onto a huge garden party where it seemed everyone came up to meet him.

"I truly hope you win," one woman told him.

Gomez tried to persuade a Democrat who does not like Markey to vote for him instead. The man told Gomez he cannot, because he does not want to give Republicans another vote in the Senate.

Gomez came back out to the street and said that if Republicans are to have a future, their party must undergo a transformation.

"See, one of the things we're going to do, we're going to change part of the Republican Party," Gomez said, keeping up a brisk pace as he spoke excitedly. "They're wrong on too many issues. I mean, you know, you gotta realize, they gotta realize we're in the 21st century. Gay marriage — more people approve of gay marriage than don't. They gotta come around on that. They gotta come around on immigration reform. They gotta come around on expanded background checks. That's just the way America feels."

Gomez does not have the 15,000 volunteers the Markey campaign says it has. But as people rush out to meet Gomez, he says he'll win people over, one at a time.

This program aired on June 24, 2013.

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Fred Thys Reporter
Fred Thys reported on politics and higher education for WBUR.



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