CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Former Governor Mitt Romney is expected to take Massachusetts by a landslide in today’s primary election. Voters here remember Romney as the moderate and pragmatic governor who brought them universal health insurance, a program that remains popular in Massachusetts. His roots in the state run deep, from his time at Harvard law and business schools to his career at Bain Capital.
Romney’s greatest strength, however, is the weakness of his opponents. Senator Rick Santorum’s culture war slogans do not resonate with socially tolerant Northeasterners. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich’s campaign has imploded after a thorough jogging of voters’ memories. And Texas Congressman Ron Paul’s brand of conservative libertarianism simply finds few adherents in the Bay State, notwithstanding a dedicated contingent of supporters who hang “End the Fed” banners on highway overpasses.
Of course, a Romney victory in the primary election is unlikely to translate into success in November in Massachusetts, where in 2008 Barack Obama was elected with over 60% of the vote. President Obama’s most controversial acts — Obamacare and the 2009 economic stimulus package — are less controversial here, where the president enjoys one of his highest approval ratings. With the economy slowly improving, Romney will have difficulty making his case to Massachusetts voters.
Attention here is more focused on the close senatorial race between Senator Scott Brown and Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren. Brown played an important role in the opposition to Obamacare and remains fairly popular in the state. Warren, who led the creation of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has become a powerful voice for modern American liberalism. Web users in Massachusetts are inundated with ads for her campaign as Democrats pour dollars into one of the few Senate elections they can win this year.
After Romney cinches today’s primary election, the presidential race will play second fiddle to this more interesting Senate race.
Photo Credit: Jason Orr