Political Analyst: 'People Have Their Minds Made Up'

Download Audio

After months of campaigning, the candidates are shifting gears as they turn to their get-out-the-vote strategies for Tuesday's primary election across the state. After multiple debates last week, the gubernatorial candidates spent the final weekend crisscrossing the state meeting potential voters.

Tufts University political science professor Jeff Berry joined WBUR's Morning Edition to discuss the final hours of the campaign.

On the candidates' current strategy: 

At this point, a couple of days before the election, people have their minds made up. Remember that this is a primary. It's a low-turnout affair, and the people that are going to turn out and vote have some strong feelings.

On Steve Grossman's chances of defeating Martha Coakley: 

It's a long shot. One poll can be wrong, but every single poll that's been taken has shown Coakley with a huge lead, and it's very unlikely that that's going to change on Election Day.

On whether Don Berwick is preparing for a future election:

I think Berwick wants to be governor. He was a long shot. He sort of parachuted into the Democratic Party. He started with a very low name recognition, and it doesn't seem to have paid off for him.

On who will be helped by low turnout:

It certainly helps the frontrunner. She has a very large organization, and I think Coakley is going to be able to get out her vote. They've been working on their organization, and if they fail to do that, Grossman may end up closer than he is right now in the polls, but I think that she'll be able pull through.

On which candidate has the best get-out-the-vote strategy:

I think all candidates have worked hard on that. Coakley says she has the biggest. It’s very hard to judge from outside. So I think all three candidates are actually going to get out their vote. The advantage for Coakley is that she has more voters, period.

On the Republican race:

An absolute cake walk with a lot of icing on top of the cake [for Charlie Baker]. [Mark] Fisher has not caught fire, has not gained any traction. He’s looking at a humiliating defeat.

On what that means for Baker in the general election: 

Well, Baker’s going to enter the race with some momentum at his back. If Grossman does a little bit better than expected, some doubts might emerge about Coakley, so that I think would be the dream scenario for Charlie Baker.

On whether Coakley's 2010 loss to Scott Brown still matters:

It's clearly an issue that much more concerns the chattering class than the average voter. Party registration, party identity is very important. And I think going forward into November, Coakley has an advantage that she is the Democrat.

This segment aired on September 8, 2014.

Headshot of Bob Oakes

Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



More from WBUR

Listen Live