Lynch an Underdog but….

The race to succeed John Kerry in the U.S. Senate is about to move into high gear, with Democrats Steve Lynch and Ed Markey prepared to kick off their campaigns this week, with Lynch kicking off at the Iron Workers Hall tomorrow (Thursday) and Markey kicking off Saturday at the Malden Y. Lynch is flying into the teeth of the Democratic establishment, with most of the party bigwigs, including John Kerry, supporting Ed Markey. Markey has a pretty big financial advantage as the race opens, with over $3 million on hand, compared to less than $1 million for Lynch. Lynch is perceived as more “conservative”, which is also a Markey advantage in a Democratic primary. So Markey should roll to victory based on some of the obvious political advantages? I would not be so sure.

Steve Lynch has been an underdog before, and is a disciplined and hard working candidate. Although we have all known Markey will be a candidate for weeks his campaign, as of yet, is nothing that is instilling fear into the hearts of potential opponents. In fact had more upfront work been done Lynch might have been forced into taking a pass. But Lynch has to like what he sees so far. Let us see who the harder working candidate will be on the Democratic side. I have a feeling it won’t be Ed Markey. Lynch, if history is a guide, will make this race very competitive through his strong work ethic alone. Mayor Tom Menino’s support would be a boon to either candidate, and in a low turnout primary could really make the difference between victory and defeat. The Mayor’s actions will be closely scrutinized, but I happen to believe he is more likely to give some help to Rep. Lynch. A pretty big variable for sure.

Scott Brown, on the Republican side, appears to be contemplating another run. Brown looked to be seriously considering taking a pass on this race. But he also does not seem to be smitten with fear of a potential Ed Markey candidacy, and the wooden campaign put on so far by Markey likely encouraged Brown as well. For those that say that the lack of early activity is not important I say nonsense. It is important.

I am less concerned with early polling in the general election matchup, but would love to see some Democratic primary numbers. Scott Brown leads both potential Democratic nominees in a general election matchup, but that lead will shrink as the Democrats begin to work the state. For now all the attention will be focused on Lynch/Markey.

Steve Lynch has a much stronger chance to win this primary than the conventional wisdom would have you believe.Is Lynch the underdog? Yes he is. But he has been an underdog for most of his political career.

I have not endorsed in this race.

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