Another home state loss for Sen. Elizabeth Warren and a big win for former President Donald Trump.
Warren and Trump weren’t on the ballot in Tuesday’s Massachusetts primary but they spent heavy political capital trying to get their candidates across the finish line first — Warren for attorney general candidate Shannon Liss-Riordan and Trump for conservative GOP gubernatorial hopeful Geoff Diehl.
Liss-Riordan, a labor attorney, lost to former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell, who was supported by AG Maura Healey. Diehl bested rival Chris Doughty by a comfortable margin.
For Warren, it was just the latest embarrassing defeat in Massachusetts, a state where she finished a dismal third in the 2020 presidential election. Warren has lost her clout and her connection with her home state voters. It was a puzzling and risky move for Warren to get in the race at all, because she ended up opposing the only Black candidate. Warren was heavily featured in Liss-Rordan’s TV ads.
It should be a signal for Warren that she might want to skip the 2024 presidential race and avoid another disaster.
Warren instead might want to focus on her next U.S. Senate re-election race because she could be vulnerable if a strong Democrat tries to challenge her.
Campbell’s victory was also a stinging defeat for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, who had strongly backed Liss-Riordan. It shows that despite her popularity in Boston, Wu has little clout outside the city. It was probably karma for Campbell, who ran against Wu in the Boston mayoral race last year and lost. This time Campbell came out on top.
And Healey spent a lot of her political capital supporting Campbell, a strategy that could have backfired but ended up being a winner.
Diehl won despite having almost no campaign cash and losing the support of Herald columnist and radio host Howie Carr. But he did have Trump, his not-so-secret weapon who held a tele-rally for Diehl on Monday night and urged Bay State voters to reject the more moderate “RINO” Doughty.
Diehl’s victory cements Trump’s popularity among Massachusetts Republicans. This is now clearly the party of Trump.
And it sets up a titanic clash between Trump and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Maura Healey, who sued Trump nearly 100 times and tried to link Diehl to the former president during the campaign. Trump has made hints that he’ll campaign for Diehl in Massachusetts this fall, which would be entertaining to say the least.
It will be a grudge match like we’ve never seen before. Diehl, who will be the heavy underdog, is broke but he’ll now get help from the national Republican party.
Diehl’s running mate, Leah Allen was also leading in the lieutenant governor race over Doughty’s running mate, Kate Campanale.
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