Compare the maps:
The Coakley problem, I think, is evident in the maps. Compare the the green, Capuano to the darkest blue Obama supporters. They are the same places, the same people. The problem is not that even Massachusetts democrats are feel abandoned, betrayed, or have been dissatisfied by Obama. The problem is that people concerned about improving government, people who want the bickering to end and the government to get things done (Obama supporters) have been left without a candidate to vote for. I think the maps make it clear, that most of the deepest blue Obama supporters wanted Capuano.
How did we not end up with him? Maybe Khazei and Pagliuca were spoilers. I know that if I was not so worried about Coakley winning, I would have gone with Khazei. Of course, that is only because Capuano is already representing me. But I don’t think Pagliuca really spoiled a lot of Capuano’s votes, so maybe this is where the disenfranchisement came into play, with a low voter turn out in the primary. At the very least, it was the primary that was a referendum on Obama, not tomorrows election.
Tomorrows election is about people choosing between a lesser of two evils. A common political problem, but one not faced by democrats in Massachusetts in an election of national importance in quite a while. Despite his general lack of appeal, John Kerry remains a loved and elected senator here. I gleefully voted for Ted Kennedy last time, and Obama saved us from a disappointing choice in 2008. Of course, Capuano is already my elected representative; how lucky that I get to vote for someone who voted against telecom immunity and stands by that vote. That gets us all the way through the decade; we are not used to bad choices. That is what all the fretting up here, which is real, is all about.