Massachussetts voters opt for a shade of purple
Even though progressive Democrats like Maura Healey and Andrea Campbell captured their party's nominations for governor and attorney general respectively yesterday, the primaries were big successes for moderates — relatively speaking.
Driving the news: Democrats explicitly running as the most progressive candidate on the ballot all went down to defeat, while candidates closer to the center prevailed.
Why it matters: Yes, Massachusetts voters rarely choose leaders from outside the Democratic Party, but even in the state with the bluest reputation, candidates further to the left often flame out.
What they're saying: "The center of gravity in Massachusetts often rests with left-of-center Democrats who don't travel in the most progressive lane in contested primaries," writes Commonwealth's Michael Jonas.
- Healey's opponent from the left, Jamaica Plain Sen. Sonia Chang-Diaz, didn't even make it to election day.
The intrigue: The state's top progressive politico, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, had a bad night, writes the Herald's Joe Battenfeld.
- Warren had expended considerable political capital promoting labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan as the next great liberal attorney general, only to see her lose to Campbell.
- Warren's 2018 opponent Geoff Diehl proved he's still the darling of the Trump-minded Mass. GOP by beating the more moderate Chris Doughty for the Republicans' gubernatorial nomination.
Liss-Riordan's loss also took some of the shine off Boston Mayor Michelle Wu's potential to become a kingmaker in the state.
- Liss-Riordan held high-visibility campaign events with Warren and Wu at her side in the days leading up to the election. Healey similarly held joint campaign events with Campbell.
- Wu's predecessor Marty Walsh had developed a reputation for a "kiss of death" when it came to his endorsements.
The trend continued down the ballot, with moderate Democrat Diana DiZoglio beating the more progressive Chris Dempsey for the auditor nomination.
- Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll beat back two opponents who wear their progressive bona fides on their sleeves.
- Secretary of State William Galvin, never a favorite of progressives, handily defeated Boston NAACP president Tanisha Sullivan.
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