While acknowledging that winning any statewide race in Massachusetts is an uphill climb, several Bay State Republicans told RCP that they like what they’ve seen in the early going from both announced GOP candidates and are hopeful that either would give Lynch or Markey a competitive race.
“I think both of the candidates — Gomez and Winslow — are very strong, and it’s surprisingly encouraging,” said Republican strategist Todd Domke, who is not involved with either campaign. “I think most Republicans have realized that it’s healthy in this case to have a primary. A lot of times you say that because it’s going to happen anyway, but in this case, I think it’s actually true, because without a GOP primary, all of the focus would be on the Democrats.”
Despite Massachusetts’ reputation as the bluest of states, voters who are unenrolled in either party compose a majority (52 percent) of the electorate.
Brown won in 2010 by over-performing in the less liberal-leaning municipalities that are scattered around the state, thereby making up for the inevitable drubbing in Boston’s Suffolk County and in other Democratic bastions like Worcester and Fall River.
Winslow, a native of the heavily Democratic western Massachusetts town of Northampton, spent this past Wednesday night addressing members of the Western Mass Republicans PAC before traveling to Worcester for a second meeting with local GOP officials.