Far-left Democrats rule race for Kennedy’s Senate seat
Each of the four Democratic candidates tends to skew pretty far left, and many likely voters are dedicated Democrats as well. Massachusetts holds its primary in the race for Kennedy’s Senate seat on Tuesday.
The race to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy – known as the Senate’s liberal lion – has stayed true to his liberal politics and the strong Democratic nature of his home state.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
When voters in Massachusetts head to the polls Tuesday for a primary– their first step in deciding who will serve out the remaining two years of Senator Kennedy’s term – they’ll essentially choose from four Democratic candidates who tend to skew pretty far left on the political spectrum.
All are against the escalation of the war in Afghanistan, and they are in favor of abortion rights and of a public option for healthcare reform. They’d like to repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which does not recognize gay marriages. And they’d like to give illegal immigrants “a path to citizenship,” as front-runner Martha Coakley said at a campaign event Nov. 25.
“It makes it easier for them to put their true beliefs on table,” says Mr. Payne. “They can all be against the troop buildup in Afghanistan, for example.”
It’s especially easy to advertise these positions during the primary season. Historically, voters who turn out for primaries and off-cycle elections tend to be older and very active politically – perhaps in unions or with personal political causes they care about deeply.
Voters are not used to turning out in December, when people are focused on the upcoming holidays, says Mr. Paleologos. According to his estimate, only 500,000 voters will cast ballots Tuesday. That’s about 11 percent of those who were registered in 2008, the most recent year for which voter-registration data is available.