The Fix: Massachusetts

Three reasons you shouldn’t underestimate Martha Coakley

Three reasons you shouldn’t underestimate Martha Coakley

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) is back in the mix for higher office nearly four years after an embarrassing special Senate election loss to Republican Scott Brown.

This time Coakley is running for governor. And despite her disastrous 2010 effort, Coakley is arguably the candidate to beat in what is shaping up as a crowded contest to succeed Gov. Deval Patrick (D).

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Scott Brown's light (and late) footprint in the Mass. Senate race

Scott Brown's light (and late) footprint in the Mass. Senate race

For weeks, he has been likened to Scott Brown. Next week, the day before a special Senate election in which he is an underdog against Rep. Ed Markey (D), Gabriel Gomez (R) will get campaign support from the former Republican senator in the flesh -- for the first time.

The fact that Brown will not make an appearance with the former Navy SEAL until literally the final day of the campaign is very notable. While Democrats like to beat up on Brown, he is still the buzziest and most popular Republican in Massachusetts.

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What to watch in the first Massachusetts Senate debate

What to watch in the first Massachusetts Senate debate

With 20 days to go until the Senate election, Rep. Ed Markey (D) and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) will square off in the first of three televised debates Wednesday night. There's plenty to watch and lots of ground for the two candidates to cover.

Below are the four biggest things to keep an eye on. What did we miss? The comments section awaits your input!

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Four things to watch in the Massachusetts Senate race

Four things to watch in the Massachusetts Senate race

In five-and-a-half weeks, Massachusetts voters will elect their next senator. The special election for the seat once held by Secretary of State John Kerry is so far shaping up to be a competitive contest between Rep. Ed Markey (D) and businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R). Wondering what to watch during the remainder of the race? Below are four big things keep an eye on.

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Did billionaire's spending sway the Mass. Senate primary?

Did billionaire's spending sway the Mass. Senate primary?

Did billionaire Tom Steyer's spending on the Massachusetts Senate Democratic primary influence the final outcome Tuesday night?

That question is hard to answer, even though the candidate he backed -- Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) -- ended up defeating Rep. Stephen F. Lynch in the race to succeed Sen. Mo Cowan (D).

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Why South Boston matters and 3 other things to watch in Tuesday's Massachusetts Senate special election

Why South Boston matters and 3 other things to watch in Tuesday's Massachusetts Senate special election

It's Election Day in Massachusetts!

Turnout is expected to be very low in Tuesday's special primary election for U.S. Senate, with the region still recovering from the Boston Marathon bombings and the campaign having attracted little attention even before the attack.

Polls close at 8 p.m. ET. We'll have results for you this evening on Post Politics. In the meantime, here's what we're watching:

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Massachusetts Senate special election: A lost cause for the GOP?

Massachusetts Senate special election: A lost cause for the GOP?

It wasn't too long ago that the race for Secretary of State John Kerry's old Senate seat looked promising for Republicans. But in the last five days, one well-known Republican after another has publicly declined to run, putting the GOP in an unenviable spot as it faces a fast approaching deadline to field a candidate for a contest that looks to be very difficult for the party.

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#Bqhatevwr, or why Scott Brown needs to address his tweets

#Bqhatevwr, or why Scott Brown needs to address his tweets

Former Massachusetts Republican senator Scott Brown's late-night tweeting has people talking.

Early Saturday morning (i.e. after midnight Friday), Brown's Twitter account featured a string of odd tweets responding to critics, making prominent use of the word "whatever" and using poor spelling and grammar.

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Deep contrasts would define Lynch-Markey matchup to replace Kerry

Deep contrasts would define Lynch-Markey matchup to replace Kerry

Massachusetts Democratic Rep. Stephen Lynch's all-but-certain decision to run in the soon-to-be-official special election to replace Sen. John Kerry (D) means the stage is set for a matchup between a conservative Democrat and the liberal dean of the state's congressional delegation.

With Kerry set to cruise to confirmation as President Obama's next secretary of state, the Democratic race to replace him was beginning to look like it was Rep. Ed Markey's for the taking. The longtime congressman had lined up the support of Senate Democrats' campaign arm, along with a growing list of prominent Bay State Democrats.

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Massachusetts special election: Who will run?

Massachusetts special election: Who will run?

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry's expected appointment to become the next Secretary of State is close to becoming official, which means we're almost assured of a second special Senate election in three year in the Bay State.

We've already examined the race ahead in some detail, including Sen. Scott Brown's (R-Mass.) chances of returning to the Senate after his 2012 loss. And a new poll from WBUR-TV today shows Brown would start the race with a significant lead on all comers, including popular Gov. Deval Patrick (D).

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A Scott Brown comeback? Not on our Friday Line.

A Scott Brown comeback? Not on our Friday Line.

Republicans are understandably giddy that they have scuttled the nomination of Susan Rice as the next secretary of state.

Not only did they win the first big political battle of the lame duck session, but they also likely have a pickup opportunity if Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), as many expect, gets the nod at the State Department.

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Another Massachusetts special election?

Another Massachusetts special election?

Election 2012 has been in the books for just a week, but it's already looking like we might have a special election in early-to-mid 2013.

Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) name has popped up as a potential pick for the next Secretary of Defense -- a selection which, if it happened, would create the second Senate special election in Massachusetts in three years.

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Elizabeth Warren defeats Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts

Elizabeth Warren defeats Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts

Democrat Elizabeth Warren unseated Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) on Tuesday, winning perhaps the marquee Senate race of the 2012 election.

With 60 percent of precincts reporting, Warren led Brown 53 percent to 47 percent. The Washington Post has called the race for Warren.

Warren is a Harvard professor and is credited as the force behind the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. With her Senate confirmation as head of that agency looking unlikely, she opted to instead challenge Brown.

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Massachusetts Senate race moves to ‘lean Democratic’

Massachusetts Senate race moves to ‘lean Democratic’

The Fix is moving the Massachusetts Senate race from the “tossup” category to the “lean Democratic” column, a reflection of Elizabeth Warren’s momentum in the contest.

Warren has opened up a slight and consistent lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R), recent polling shows. The Real Clear Politics average of Bay State polling shows Warren leading Brown by almost five points after the two candidates were running about even for much of the summer.

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Elizabeth Warren raised $12.1 million in third quarter

Elizabeth Warren raised $12.1 million in third quarter

Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren (D) continues to set the fundraising pace this election, pulling in an astounding $12.1 million in the third quarter and outraising Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) by more than $4 million.

The total brings Warren’s total haul this election cycle to more than $40 million in about 13 months as a candidate. She has easily outraised Brown — a very strong fundraiser in his own right — throughout the cycle.

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8 Senate candidates whose third quarter reports matter

All eyes in the political world are fixed on tonight’s debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney. But elsewhere, House and Senate candidates are feverishly tallying their fundraising numbers.

The third quarter — the last full quarter before the November election — came to a close at midnight Monday, which means we’ll soon know who raised how much for the stretch run of the 2012 campaign.

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Campaign ads take a turn for the nasty

We’re now just more than five weeks from Election Day, which means it’s time to bring out the big guns.

And by the big guns, we mean the nasty ads.

The Fix’s Sean Sullivan today noted a particularly stark ad in the North Carolina governor’s race in which African-Americans say that Republican gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory doesn’t understand them.

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Where the big donors come from (and where they don’t), in one chart

Where the big donors come from (and where they don’t), in one chart

The voters who will decide the next president come from swing states, but the big donors who largely fund the presidential campaigns don’t.

According to the handy graphic below from the nonpartisan fundraising Web site Rally.org, the five places with the biggest average donation are all highly noncompetitive at the presidential level: Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New York and — wait for it — Wyoming (?).

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GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP's new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

But others are apparently resistant to the idea.

Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their "running mate" and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.

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GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

GOP Senate candidates mixed on inviting Ryan to campaign for them

Republican Senate candidates in some marquee races say they would be happy to campaign with the GOP’s new vice presidential candidate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)

But others are apparently resistant to the idea.

Democrats have attempted to attach Ryan and his plan to Republicans all over the country, labeling Ryan their “running mate” and hoping his controversial Medicare plan hurts downballot GOPers.

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What controversy? Warren raised $8.6 million in second quarter

Elizabeth Warren raised the fundraising bar even more in the second quarter, pulling in $8.6 million for her Massachusetts Senate campaign despite a controversy over her past claims to Native-American heritage.

The quarter is the best to date for the Democratic fundraising star, who has consistently outraised Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) since launching her campaign and is one of her party’s top hopes for stealing a GOP seat.

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Assessing Elizabeth Warren’s wounds

Has Elizabeth Warren paid a price in the polls for the ongoing flap over her Native American heritage?


Supporters of Elizabeth Warren cheer after Warren won the delegate vote to become the Democratic U.S. Senate candidate at the Democratic State Convention in Springfield, Mass., on Saturday. (Michael Dwyer — Associated Press)
Survey says: Yes. And no.

Two new polls out this weekend show the former Obama administration official and Harvard professor hanging tough in her race against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.). The race remained a virtual tie in a new Boston Globe poll by the University of New Hampshire and another from Western New England University.

The Globe poll, in fact, showed the exact same two-point lead for Brown as it did two months ago, before the controversy over Warren’s minority claims began.

But a dig a little deeper in the poll shows at least some key voters are turned off to Warren. And in a tight race, that could matter.

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Elizabeth Warren controversy: Drip, drip, drip

The Elizabeth Warren controversy is becoming the controversy that won’t die.


Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Elizabeth Warren faces reporters during a May 2 news conference, where she addressed questions on her claim of Native American heritage. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
The Boston Globe this morning reported that Harvard University listed the Democratic Massachusetts Senate candidate as a Native American for six years in its federal diversity statistics — the latest example of Warren having been labeled a minority by the school.

The difference with this case, though, is that the Globe reports that such designations are almost always based on how an employee identified him or herself. Warren has said that she didn’t know how the school came to identify her as such. Though she had previously described herself as a Native American in law school directories, she stopped doing so around the time Harvard hired her in the mid-1990s.

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University of Pennsylvania also listed Elizabeth Warren as a minority

Harvard University isn’t the only one of Elizabeth Warren’s employers to have described her as a minority; so did the University of Pennsylvania.

According to Penn’s 2005 “Minority Equity Report,” it too identified Warren, who taught there from 1987 to 1995, as a minority.

On page 16 of the report, the now-Massachusetts Senate candidate is listed as a winner of the school’s Lindback Award in 1994. Unlike other names listed, though, her name is italicized and bolded to indicate her status as a minority faculty member.

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Kennedy scion off to very fast fundraising start

Joe Kennedy III, the latest member of the famous Kennedy family to seek federal office, raised an impressive $1.3 million in the first quarter of this year in support of his Massachusetts congressional campaign.

Kennedy, the 31-year-old son of former congressman Joe Kennedy II (D-Mass.) and grandson of Robert F. Kennedy, is the early favorite to succeed retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.).

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Elizabeth Warren and the Red Sox test

In the 2010 Massachusetts special election, Scott Brown’s pickup truck was the epitome of his shocking special election upset. In 2012, the Republican senator has jumped whole-hog on the Boston Red Sox bandwagon.

Brown, who has built a successful political brand for himself as an average guy who happens to be a senator, is now using the Red Sox to reinforce that fact. This week, he’s going up with his second radio ad of the campaign focused on the BoSox. The first thanked longtime players Jason Varitek and Tim Wakefield (knuckleballer!) for their long careers with the team, while the second focuses on the team’s iconic stadium, Fenway Park. (Brown’s radio ads have also mentioned the New England Patriots.)

But this strategy isn’t really about Brown; it’s all about his opponent, Elizabeth Warren.

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Elizabeth Warren raises $6.9 million

Former Obama administration official Elizabeth Warren raised $6.9 million in the first quarter of 2012 in support of her challenge to Massachusetts Republican Sen. Scott Brown, a massive sum that doubled what the incumbent collected over the same period.
Elizabeth Warren, left, holds up a poster of herself as Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) right, looks on during the annual St. Patrick's Day Breakfast in Boston, Sunday, March 18, 2012. Warren, a Harvard professor and consumer advocate, is running against Brown who once posed for a centerfold in Cosmopolitan magazine. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Even though Warren has been in the campaign for less than seven months, she has already raised $15.8 million and has about $11 million cash on hand.

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The STOCK Act: Refuge of the most vulnerable congressmen in America

President Obama signed the so-called STOCK Act on Wednesday surrounded by a veritable who’s who of endangered incumbents.


President Obama signs the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act with Vice President Joe Biden and Republican and Democratic members of Congress at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Wednesday. (Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg)

There was Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), of course, who has the unenviable task of winning reelection as a Republican in Massachusetts. (Brown has been front-and-center on the bill from day one.)

Then there was Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.), whose already-perilous district became even more difficult for him to hold thanks to a redistricting plan crafted by Illinois Democrats this year. He’s arguably one of the five most vulnerable House members in the country.

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Poll shows Elizabeth Warren trailing Scott Brown by 9 points

Could Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) be showing new signs of life in the Massachusetts Senate race?

A new poll from Suffolk University shows Brown regaining a nine-point lead on former Obama aide Elizabeth Warren — a marked shift from a steady stream of polls that showed Warren moving into a virtual tie with the incumbent.

The Suffolk poll shows Brown leading Warren 49 percent to 40 percent and offers a little insight as to why.

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Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren : The most expensive Senate race ever?

Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren : The most expensive Senate race ever?

The Massachusetts Senate race between Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren has a shot at becoming the most expensive contest in the history of Congress this year.

Brown and Warren have set a torrid fundraising pace thus far, including bringing in about $9 million combined in te final three months of 2011. If they increase that pace just slightly this year — not at all an unreasonable possibility – the Massachusetts Senate race could wind up as the most expensive Senate race ever.

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