Gubernatorial primaries in Massachusetts held today (Tues. Sept. 6) will determine which two candidates will be squaring off against one another this November to succeed retiring Gov. Charlie Baker (R).
Baker isn’t seeking a third term despite Massachusetts not imposing term limits. Baker’s decision came in response to former President Donald Trump backing former Republican Massachusetts state lawmaker Geoff Diehl for the 2022 governor’s race.
Diehl served as the cochair for Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign in the Bay State. Hillary Clinton, however, carried Massachusetts by almost 30 points that year.
Baker, who supported gaming expansion in Massachusetts and signed the Legislature’s sports betting compromise into law last month, hasn’t been a Trump disciple during his two terms. The Republican has repeatedly defied Trump, which led to Baker seeing some support among his GOP base wane since the former president was evicted from the White House.
Bettors Like Diehl
Diehl is facing political newcomer Chris Doughty in today’s GOP primary. Doughty is a businessman who describes himself as a moderate Republican who believes President Joe Biden was elected legitimately.
But political bettors so far have put their money behind the Trump-backed Diehl. On PredictIt’s market asking who will win Massachusetts’ GOP gubernatorial primary, Diehl is given a nearly 80% chance of securing the party’s ticket.
Today’s Republican gubernatorial primary will be the latest opportunity for Republicans in blue states — like Maryland and Connecticut — to decide whether their party should further embrace Trumpism or try to move back toward the center,” a PredictIt statement to Casino.org explained.
“In the previous two primaries just mentioned, GOP voters have nominated Trump loyalists who are likely to lessen the party’s chances of winning against a Democrat in the November general election,” the political betting market added.
Whoever prevails in the Diehl-Doughty showdown will face Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in the gubernatorial election. Healey, who has also been supportive of more gaming in the commonwealth by way of sports betting, is running unopposed on the Democratic side.
Though early, PredictIt’s market on the general election has Healey as the heavy favorite. Bettors currently give her a 94% chance of succeeding Baker and turning the governor’s office blue for the first time since Deval Patrick left office in early 2015.
Massachusetts is unique in that the majority of its registered voters are neither Republicans nor Democrats. Instead, about 57% identify as Independents.
Less than 10% of eligible voters are registered Republicans, while 31% are registered Democrats.
Massachusetts has traditionally favored fiscal conservatives who also support socially centered issues. It’s why the Republican Party has been able to hold the state governor’s office since 1991, aside from Patrick’s two terms.
Political polling analysis outlet FiveThirtyEight believes strongly that Massachusetts is going blue in 2022. The site gives Healey a more than 99% chance of winning on November 8.
“It’s true that Massachusetts has elected only one Democratic governor since 1990, and it’s true that Baker is currently one of the most popular governors in the country. But as partisanship comes to hold greater and greater sway over gubernatorial elections, Massachusetts may simply be too Democratic to elect another Republican governor — especially one as ‘Trumpy’ as Diehl,” opined Nathaniel Rakich, FiveThirtyEight’s senior elections analyst.
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