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On Final Weekend, Democratic Gov. Hopefuls Turn To Spirituality, Sports And 6th District02:58

Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls, from left, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman at the state Democratic Convention in Worcester, Mass. in June. (Stephan Savoia/AP, file)MoreCloseclosemore
Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls, from left, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman at the state Democratic Convention in Worcester, Mass. in June. (Stephan Savoia/AP, file)

The three Democrats vying for the corner office spent the weekend making a final pitch to potential voters ahead of the Massachusetts statewide primary elections Tuesday.

For the trio, the last Sunday of the primary campaign was a mix of spirituality, sports and trips to the 6th Congressional District.

The 6th district is expected to have an unusually large turnout because of a competitive congressional race and other tight battles in the state Legislature.

All three Democrats visited the district on Sunday.

Former Obama administration Medicare and Medicaid administrator Don Berwick hosted a get-out-the-vote rally in Salem.

"This is game time," he told volunteers. "The voters have been sleepy for the most of the time we've been campaigning."

He said voters are only now beginning to pay attention.

One voter, a volunteer from Salem, introduced himself to Berwick, and said he was impressed with the candidate's straightforward answers about casinos.

"I listened to the debate the other day," he said. "You were head and shoulders above Ms. [Martha] Coakley and Mr. [Steve] Grossman. I was very proud of you."

In between visits to the North Shore, Attorney General Coakley and Treasurer Grossman also made time for the Patriots’ season opener.

At a watch party in South Boston, Grossman said his key takeaway from this final pre-primary weekend of campaigning is how many voters are still undecided. That's where he thinks he might have an advantage on Tuesday.

"Because when it comes to undecided, then people begin to say, 'You know, I don't want to see Charlie Baker as the next governor. Who's the person who can beat Charlie Baker?'" Grossman said. "And I think I am the person who can beat Charlie Baker, and so that's my closing argument to people."

The latest WBUR poll indicated 23 percent of Democratic primary voters are still on the fence. But, it also showed the attorney general with a comfortable lead (24 points) over both Grossman and Berwick.

Even with that edge, Coakley turned to divine intervention on Sunday, attending two church services in Boston, offering kisses, hugs and handshakes to worshippers.

"We feel confident, but, of course, we're not going to quit until every vote is in on Tuesday," Coakley said.

Her campaign schedule for Monday begins at 8:30 am and ends at 8 pm. But her rivals are also planning equally busy days.

In fact, Grossman’s last campaign stop is a trip to Fenway Park to greet voters.

The attorney general took a lot of heat for dismissing the idea of shaking hands outside the ballpark during her U.S. Senate run in 2010 against Scott Brown.

Whoever wins the Democratic contest will likely face off against Republican Charlie Baker. The WBUR poll showed Baker leading his primary rival Mark Fisher by 52 points.

With such a wide lead, Baker spent part of his weekend on traditional Democratic turf — in Dorchester, meeting with the Massachusetts Association of Minority Law Enforcement Officers.

The race for governor also includes three independents: former health care executive Evan Falchuk, venture capitalist Jeff McCormick and pastor Scott Lively.


This segment aired on September 7, 2014.

Asma Khalid Twitter Reporter
Asma Khalid formerly led WBUR's BostonomiX, a biz/tech team covering the innovation economy.


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