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The Horse Race

Author: Steve Koczela; Jennifer Smith; Stephanie Murray; Libby Gormley

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Steve Koczela of The MassINC Polling Group, reporter Jennifer Smith, Stephanie Murray of Politico, and #MApoli guests deliver weekly updates on every twist, turn, poll, and scoop you need to know on the Massachusetts mayoral, congressional, and statewide races worth watching.

THE HORSE RACE: Steve Koczela, host; Jennifer Smith, host; Stephanie Murray, host; Libby Gormley, producer; Maureen McInerney, graphic designer.
123 Episodes
1/23/20--On Tuesday night, Governor Charlie Baker delivered his annual State of the Commmonwealth address, promising aggressive action to address climate change, a partnership with vocational schools and, in a breakaway from his usual stance, additional funding for the MBTA to the tune of $135 million. Stepping right into the chaos of Budget Day, Steve and Jenn drop by the State House to grill reporter and BFF of the pod Katie Lannan about what's inside the proposed state budget. Later, Rebecca Hart Holder, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts, discusses the status of the ROE Act as well as the national threats to the landmark reproductive rights decision Roe v. Wade, which celebrates its 47th anniversary this week.
1/15/20--Tuesday's Democratic debate left Steve and Stephanie with little to discuss save a symbolic handshake snub that points to a breakdown of the Warren/Sanders alliance. The pact between the two Senators had previously established a no-attack zone. But news broke Monday that the Sanders campaign allegedly dispensed a canvassing script to staffers containing talking points that were negative toward Warren. She made a statement later that day claiming Sanders had said in a private meeting in 2018 he didn't think a woman could win the presidency. Two days later, tension was palpable between the two, not just during the debate, but afterward, as seen by an attempted handshake from Sanders to Warren, which she ignored. The gloves are off, and these ungloved hands are not shaking. This week's Horse Race guests tackle the thing all of us (who are eligible) will be doing come November: voting! With just weeks until the New Hampshire primary, one Massachusetts-based group is focused on getting Independent voters in the Granite state to vote blue. The group, known as the Welcome Party, it partners with a local Democratic political incubator called the Blue Lab. Scott Ferson, founder of The Blue Lab, drops by The Horse Race. He says the purpose of the group is to engage Independent New Hampshire voters to vote in the primary, which he says, will make them more likely to vote in the general. Next, Evan Falchuk of Voter Choice Massachusetts gives us his take on why Ranked-Choice Voting is the right choice for the Commonwealth. Come November, voters in the state will vote on a ballot question to determine whether to implement RCV. Falchuk argues that people winning elections without a majority, as is happening in our current system, isn't fair. He points to 2018's 3rd Congressional District election as an example, when the winner received 22 percent of the vote. And finally, it's trivia time! Now that the new crop of city councilors and select board members are sworn in and active across the state, we have to ask. Who was the youngest person ever elected to the Boston City Council?
1/8/2020-- After a long winter's nap, The Horse Race is back up and running, starting the new year with a bang. The first guest of 2020 is former Massachusetts governor and Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick. Patrick announced his candidacy this November, long after his fellow contenders, throwing his hat into the already crowded ring in a self-described 'long shot' of a campaign. He explained on the show he was ready to make this very announcement more than a year ago. Shortly before he intended to break the news, however, his wife Diane was diagnosed with cancer. Today, she is cancer-free, and Patrick spots a void among Democratic contenders that he thinks he can fill. He describes President Trump as divisive and says, "I am concerned that some of the Democratic candidates are offering a Democratic version of the same thing rather than seeing this as an opportunity to unite us around solutions to common challenges." Turning to transportation in Massachusetts, Patrick's calls for new revenue echo those he made back during his own 2007-2015 administration. "The T has needed significant investment to be a 21st century T for a long time, and we've been making that point and have made it twice." He cites his attempts to generate new revenue, beginning with his 2009 proposal to raise the gas tax that was swiftly shot down by the legislature. Patrick then pushed for new revenue through means other than a gas tax, and finally in 2013, vetoed a transportation funding package because he thought the gas tax increase included in it was too low. This veto was overruled by a House vote, and the gas tax went into effect, but the law mandating automatic adjustments according to inflation was repealed by voters via a 2014 ballot measure. Had the law remained in place, this would have allowed for annual increases to the gas tax. Instead, it's remained at 24 cents per gallon since 2013. "No amount of reorganization is going to deliver a 21st century T," Patrick said. "It is going to require significant new investment."
12/18/19-- The holidays are upon us here at The Horse Race (The Reindeer Race?), and we're wrapping up our last episode of the year, sticking on a bright, shiny bow, and presenting it to you. Thanks for listening in 2019! We begin with the news of the day, and that of course, is the House vote on articles of impeachment. And, further from the limelight but relevant both to U.S. Congress and to us Bay Staters is news that the House Ethics Committee is conducting a further probe of Congresswoman Lori Trahan, whose compliance with campaign finance law came into question earlier this year upon discovery that her husband donated $300,000 to her 2018 campaign. Looking to the Massachusetts 4th Congressional District, yet another candidate in the crowded field vying for this spot joins us on The Horse Race. Alan Khazei is an entrepreneur who co-founded the education non-profit City Year and ran for U.S. Senate twice (in 2010 and 2012). Now, he's in the midst of a campaign focused on issues of climate change, gun control, and national service. Finally, Steve and Stephanie look ahead to 2020, predicting what may come to pass on both the national and state stages. From impeachment to transportation funding to housing choice legislation, there's a lot to watch unfold (or fall flat) next year. We hope you'll join us as we break it all down.
12/11/19--It's a big day for polls here at The Horse Race, and we begin the discussion with one that surveyed New Hampshire voters on the Democratic primary contenders. It finds Pete Buttigieg in the lead among registered voters in the state with 18% support. Meanwhile, Joe Biden sits at a close second place with 17%. As Steve points out, it's important to note how close this race remains. The top 4 contenders rank within 6 percentage points of each other in this early primary contest. Plus, there's still much to be determined as about 1 in 5 likely voters haven't yet made up their mind. Turning now--as we are wont to do--to transportation, Boston Globe reporter Adam Vaccaro stops by to run through the safety report on the MBTA conducted by an independent panel of experts. Here's the major takeaway: things are bad. In the agency's efforts to expedite long-term capital improvements, a focus on keeping up with daily operations is falling by the wayside. And safety, as a result, is being sacrificed. The MassINC Polling Group Research Director Rich Parr rounds out the show with a look at a regional poll focused on the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI). TCI is a collaborative effort between 12 states and the District of Columbia currently developing a policy to cap carbon pollution from transportation and invest in transportation improvements. The poll finds that the initiative enjoys broad support among registered voters in the seven largest states at the TCI table: Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
12/4/2019--The first snowfall has officially landed in Boston, which means cozy sweaters, romantic tree lightings, and of course, more MBTA dysfunction. In other news, the People's Pledge is making a reappearance after its first installation during the 2012 Elizabeth Warren/Scott Brown Senate race. The pact aims to limit outside spending. While Senate candidates Joe Kennedy and Shannon Liss-Riordan signed the pledge on Monday, incumbent Ed Markey proposed a pledge of his own that stipulates outside spending dedicated to "positive messages" should not be limited. He pointed to groups like climate activists and reproductive rights organizations who he thinks should be allowed to spend for a campaign. Controversy is bubbling up in the wake of a scheduling decision regarding special elections. The date set for the special elections of four legislators (whose seats were vacated by now mayors) has been set for the same day as the presidential primary. Because the primary will inherently draw out droves of Democrats, the move to also schedule special elections on that date elicits the question of fairness. Two candidates running for the Massachusetts 4th Congressional seat joined as guests on The Horse Race today. First is Jesse Mermell. She's the former president of Alliance for Business Leadership, worked as communications director during Deval Patrick's governorship and served as Vice President of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. She says she's running for Congress because, "The people and places that we love and the progress that's so vital to the future of this country are under attack, and I think that the people of the 4th Congressional district deserve a Congresswoman --a Congresswoman-- who won't just fight back against the hate and the backwards thinking that's coming out of the White House but will also fight for the future that we all deserve." When asked what makes her stand out in this crowded field of six candidates, Mermell says, "These aren't just policies that I hold as a Progressive, these aren't just values that I espouse to, it's work that I've done over 20 years." Ihssane Leckey was the first to announce her candidacy for the MA4 seat, doing so even before Kennedy resigned, as a challenge to him. She's confident she brings a unique perspective to the field of candidates as a sex abuse survivor, immigrant, and former Wall Street regulator, and was motivated to run after Trump's election. She told The Horse Race, "Once Trump was elected, my identities have been attacked on so many different levels." She's also troubled by what she sees as irresponsibility by the Trump administration in an economic context. "So, when recessions happen what is going to happen now if these big banks were affected? Are they going to be able to bail themselves out? The answer right now, is probably not, because I saw how the Trump administration had started to take away any protection that I worked on putting in place for our people," Leckey says.
11/27/19--Happy Thanksgiving, #mapoli! In today's holiday bonus episode, Stephanie Murray calls in from Manchester, New Hampshire with a quick recap of Deval Patrick's appearance at Politics and Eggs. What questions did reporters have? Is he covering enough ground to make a name for himself in this race? Enjoy this small bite of political coverage while you enjoy many, many bites of turkey and stuffing. We'll be back next week with a new episode. See you then.
11/20/19-- If you've heard it once, you've heard it a thousand times. Traffic in Boston is bad. As we've mentioned on the show before, it's so bad, it makes commuters consider quitting their jobs or moving elsewhere. This week, the Boston Globe's Spotlight team published the first two installments of its three-part series on traffic in Massachusetts. Regular host and this-time guest Steve Koczela joins Stephanie and Jennifer to talk about the Globe's findings. Notably, the team of writers and researchers surveyed all 206 state elected officials. A little over half responded, and only 5 reported having transit passes. Presumably, the rest of them are driving. Steve pointed out that in the MassINC Polling Group's years asking folks about transportation, the Globe series reflects what his team's been hearing from surveys and focus groups - sense of alarm and frustration. In MPG's most recent poll, participants were asked whether they believed improvements should be made to the agencies that manage transportation before money is spent, or money should be spent immediately to improve transportation. By a 25-point margin, people prioritize the latter - in Steve's words, "People are done waiting." Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell's two-year term is coming to an end, and she makes an appearance on The Horse Race to reflect on how the Council has changed under her tenure, and what work still lies ahead. Campbell says the most exciting thing she's been able to do as City Council President was to bring the council as an institution through racial equity training. In recent years, she says, the body has proven it can get stuff done and should be taken seriously. "I think people are seeing that this body has incredible power, even if it doesn't formally on paper have a lot of defined power." City Council members have exhibited their powers through the use of ordinances, and currently, Campbell is working on creating an office of Inspector General for the City of Boston through an ordinance. As we mentioned in last week's show, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick is running for President. The former executive director of Governor Patrick’s political committee, Alex Goldstein, says it'll be an uphill battle for the candidate, given the pre-existing narratives built by the rest of the field. But, Goldstein says, given the current tumultuous political landscape, "I think people are ready to feel good for like ten minutes and to feel like there’s a reason to be empathetic and care about your neighbors again. And I don’t think there’s anybody who I’ve seen in politics who does a better job of capturing that than Deval Patrick.”
11/13/19-- Massachusetts elected officials -- both current and former -- just can't seem to resist the pull of the Presidency. Former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick is running for the Democratic nomination for president, sources tell CNN. He's scheduled to officially announce on Friday. That will bring the tally to 3 Bay Staters who've competed in the 2020 race. Perhaps these candidates feel emboldened by their history governing in in what's perceived a progressive state, but when it comes to fair and accurate representation, Massachusetts is in desperate need of some progress. According to a new MassINC study, the demographic and partisan makeup of the Massachusetts state legislature vastly underrepresents its electorate. In order to achieve balance, the legislature would need an additional 31 members of color, 47 female members, and 16 Republican members. Ben Forman, co-author of the report and research director at MassINC, stopped by the podcast to provide an in-depth look at what the report covers. One of the stumbling blocks preventing equal representation is Massachusetts' lack of electoral competition. In fact, it ranks as the least competitive of all fifty states. One solution the report proposes is public financing, which requires candidates or parties to accept public funding in exchange for a promise to limit how much they spend and receive in donations. This is a measure, Forman says, Massachusetts voters "like." "They passed it by a very large majority, and the legislature didn't want to do it. Well, 20 years later, I think there's more awareness that that has had a cost in terms of female representation and people of color." Low voter turnout is another symptom of Massachusetts' current system, and the report calls for synchronizing state and local elections to reduce election overload. The current system that requires voters to hit the polls frequently was designed to suppress voices of color, says Forman. "We moved municipal elections to off years, I think, intentionally, to lower turnout because people were concerned about too many people of color coming out to vote and changing communities. That's the history that we should acknowledge and call out."
11/6/19-- Communities scattered throughout Massachusetts held elections on Tuesday. One of those communities was Boston, whose newly elected City Council makes history as its most diverse yet, with 7 people of color and 8 women making up the majority of the 13-person council. The fourth-highest vote-getter among the at-large candidates, Julia Mejia, won her seat by a margin of only 10 votes, prompting fifth-place finisher Alejandra St. Guillen to call for a recount. Stephanie Murray noted, “10 votes could be a couple of absentee ballots; it could be a broken voting machine; it could also be one of those ballots where you vote for too many candidates and then your ballot gets thrown out altogether.” Last month, reports revealed a Super PAC with close ties to Governor Charlie Baker raising money for local candidates across the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Majority Super PAC raised $1 million, and funded candidates like Monica Medeiros for Mayor of Melrose and Jennifer Nassour for Boston City Council, both these and other candidates supported by the PAC were endorsed by Baker. Boston Business Journal digital editor Gintautus Dumcius reported on this PAC, telling The Horse Race that it really got going in May 2019, when the split between then-recently elected MassGOP chairman Jim Lyons and Baker began to widen. Speaking about the MassGOP, Dumcius said, “Now that there is a top Trump person in charge in Jim Lyons, we’ve seen that break grow and grow, and it seems like this super PAC is trying to fill the gaps. The 2012 Right to Repair ballot question passed into law the following year, and now, the coalition that proposed it is returning with a potential ballot question for 2020 that would update the current law. WBUR reports the law would include a provision mandating that, beginning in model year 2022, manufacturers that sell cars in Massachusetts be outfit them with a “standardized and open access platform” that would make data about the car’s performance available to the car owner as well as dealerships and independent repair shops. Conor Yunits is a spokesman for the Coalition for Safe and Secure Data, and he says the proposed bill would make drivers vulnerable to breaches of privacy. Yunits told The Horse Race if the bill were to pass, “That really exposes information to hackers, criminals, bad actors, foreign companies, anyone that’s looking to get real-time location data and other information on people that are driving their vehicles.”
10/30/19-- Happy Halloween, #mapoli, and welcome to the Headless Horse Race. Steve and Stephanie are donning their witch hats and digging into the latest news in the Commonwealth. We begin with Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley's endorsement of the former head of the Massachusetts Alliance for Business Leadership Jesse Mermell in the District 4 House race. Pressley’s endorsements have been the subject of national headlines, Stephanie points out. It wasn’t so long ago that Pressley was the recipient of a mere fraction of the high-profile endorsements that went to her competitor Mike Capuano, whom she beat handily. Does Pressley herself, then, illustrate that endorsements aren’t all that powerful? Legislators today heard from the business community on how they think transportation should be funded. CommonWealth reports, before a legislative debate on transportation commences tomorrow, Jim Rooney, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, presented support for additional revenues. That included increasing ride-share fees, launching a transportation climate initiative, and even raising the gas tax. Couple that with Transportation for Massachusetts’ discussion today on what they believe are the right funding methods, and it’s clear that movement on transportation funding is coming. We’ll be talking about it as it takes shape, so stay tuned. And in local news, Stephanie’s been following an attempted progressive takeover of Boston’s Ward 18. The Progressive West Roxbury/Roslindale group is recruiting progressive candidates to run together as a slate, with the goal of making Ward members more representative demographically. Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu is voicing support for this, and if progressives were to take over Ward 18, it’d be a significant boon for a potential Wu mayoral campaign. The first guest on the pod today is Newton City Councilor and District 4 congressional candidate Jake Auchincloss. His platform includes a focus on transportation, insisting that, "the next Congressman from the Massachusetts 4th needs to bring back federal funding for Massachusetts transportation," and build more collaboration between state and local agencies with the help of those dollars. Friend of the pod and CommonWealth Magazine reporter Andy Metzger drops by the bunker next to dispel wisdom alongside horse puns. House Speaker Robert DeLeo is seeking another term, he announced this week. In the past, he led the way to end term limits, but later pushed to get them abolished so that he could continue his position. He's already the longest continually serving Speaker, but according to Andy, not all House members take issue with his long-held leadership. "I think that members who are kind of backbenchers have been tired of Speaker DeLeo's style of leadership for quite some time, but members who chair committees or hold leadership posts, at least, they say they're not."
10/23/19-- On today's episode of The Horse Race, Jenn and Steve tackle news on the local, state, and national stage. Beginning with local, Jenn provides updates on the Boston City Council forum that took place last night, noting that one of the biggest points of daylight among the candidates were their responses to Operation Clean Sweep that took place back in August. Upon the release of a WBUR poll that the MassINC Polling Group conducted, Steve takes us through the most notable results. The poll surveyed registered Massachusetts voters on a variety of topics, and some of the biggest takeaways were Commonwealth citizens mirroring the country in terms of their feelings on impeachment. Elizabeth Warren has a significant lead over her competitors in the presidential primary among Bay State voters, but her proposal for Medicare for All is less popular among Democratic voters in the state than a plan that would include a public option. Also sounding off on the topic of health care is our guest Colin Young, reporter for the State House News Service. Colin covered Governor Charlie Baker's proposed bill that would require providers to increase spending on addiction services, behavioral health, primary care, and geriatric services, and he joins the Horse Race hosts to break down what the new bill would mean for health care consumers.
Episode 103: Wu Train Plan

Episode 103: Wu Train Plan


10/16/19--Steve and Stephanie have returned to the bunker after last week's live show at WeWork in Back Bay. Our guests, Attorney General Maura Healey and Rep. Joe Kennedy III had a lot to talk about, and today the hosts go over what stuck out to them. Then, Boston City Councillor At-Large Michelle Wu stops by to talk about her big ideas, the most recent being her call to abolish the BPDA. Is this the answer to Boston's housing crisis, climate battle, and transportation tension? Finally, we hear from Allyson Perron from the American Heart Association. She explains that while the AHA applauds Governor Baker's 4-month ban on vaping products after a rash of related illnesses and even deaths countrywide, there needs to be a more comprehensive, more permanent solution.
10/11/2019 -- We're doing it live! Thanks to our lovely hosts, WeWork on 31 St. James Ave. in Back Bay, Steve, Jenn, and Stephanie got to run through the state (and national) headlines in person with the fine company of Horse Race listeners. But it wouldn't be a Horse Race without a lineup of special guests. First up was state Attorney General Maura Healey. She spoke about her activist approach to litigation, her partnership with other state AGs, and of course, the ongoing drama between her cohort of attorneys general and the Sackler family, owners of Purdue Pharma who make OxyContin. Then, it's time for the three hosts to turn to the most pressing issue on our nation's collective mind: impeachment. Jennifer, our legal analyst, leads the discussion. Stephanie shares the local angle, pointing out the members of the Massachusetts delegation who were the first to call for impeachment, and who were the last. And Steve runs the polling numbers on voters' positions on impeachment. We know they've changed, but how and why? Finally, U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III joins the hosts to shed some light on his decision to run for Senate. He responds to the criticism some have made that his running diverts precious resources from other critical races across the country, and emphasizes a need for structural changes to filibuster and gerrymandering.
10/2/19-- With so much happening on the state and national level, Stephanie and Jenn tackle a little bit of everything on this week's show. An impeachment inquiry into President Trump has officially begun, and as Stephanie points out, there's a local angle there. Rep. Richard Neal from Massachusetts' 1st District came out in favor of impeachment , becoming one of the last members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation to do so. After last week's results of the Boston City Council preliminary election were revealed, MassINC Polling Group Research Director took a look at the elections data and produced comprehensive maps showing the geographic strengths and weaknesses of the candidates. He breaks it all down and predicts how the candidates moving forward will fare in the general come November. Next, the hosts are joined by Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commissioner Shaleen Title who, to put it mildly, has been having a busy month. Governor Baker put forth a four-month statewide ban on all vaping products after a concerning number of vaping-related illnesses and deaths broke out. Baker said the ban will provide time to investigate the root of these effects, which is currently unknown. While the ban was placed in the name of safety, Title argues that a hasty move like this is in itself harmful, as consumers are likely to seek out the products they want on the illicit market. Finally, Boston Globe reporter Milton Valencia visits the bunker once again to lay out what exactly is going on at the Boston Zoning Board. With bribery scandals abound, Milton puts into perspective how serious this particular controversy is, in light of those that have hit the city of Boston in recent months.
Episode 100: The 100th Lap

Episode 100: The 100th Lap


9/25/19--Welcome, one and all, to the 100th Episode Jubilee! This week features old friends of the pod as well as a brand-new visitor to the bunker. First, Jamie Belsito is a first-time visitor to The Horse Race, making her case for why she's right for the 6th District House seat. She argues Seth Moulton has been too busy running for president and gunning for Nancy Pelosi to show up for his district. Then, BFF of the pod and State House News reporter Katie Lannan drops by to break down the contents of the recently unveiled education funding bill and contextualize its importance. After all, the state legislature has tried and failed for many years to put together a comprehensive overhaul of the education funding formula. Last but most certainly not least, we hear from co-founder and former host of The Horse Race, Lauren Dezenski. She gives Steve the 4-11 on what she's up to now and what she misses most about the old days.
9/18/19-- Fresh off the Massachusetts Democratic Convention, Steve and Stephanie have much to discuss. Stephanie covered the convention in Springfield for Politico, and there were a few things in particular that stood out to her. Namely, as pundits in Massachusetts and nationwide speculate on the implications of the potential Markey-Kennedy Senate matchup, there's someone already calling out the sitting Senator. Shannon Liss-Riordan, a Brookline labor attorney and official candidate running for Markey's seat is "doing the work for" Kennedy, Stephanie says. On stage at the convention, she called to get corporate money out of Washington, a not-so-subtle jab at Markey. Back on Beacon Hill, there's news coming from the Secretary of State's office, after Bill Galvin came out in support of an initiative petition that would effectively overhaul our primary elections system. Chris Lisinski of the State House News Service drops by to explain the situation, pointing out that while the proposed ballot question fell short of the Attorney General's constitutional review, that doesn't necessarily signal the end. If the lead sponsor successfully challenges the AG's decision, Massachusetts voters will be choosing whether to get rid of partisan primaries as we know them and instead install a system wherein the top two candidates in a race advance regardless of party. Finally, reporting from The Horse Race Western Mass bureau is Rich Parr, who's witnessed concerted effort from disparate communities throughout the region who've joined forces to advocate for better, more expansive transit. Sen. Eric Lesser spoke at a forum last week where he emphasized the connection between a lack of transportation and a lack of economic opportunity. Meanwhile, pilot programs spell potential for Western Mass's transit future. This is all while Boston-area transit has remained relatively untouched by state lawmakers after a summer of chaos.
Episode 98: Is Fare Fair?

Episode 98: Is Fare Fair?


9/11/19-- A new week brings new polls to discuss. Last week, Steve and Stephanie spoke to the Chief Growth Officer at Change Research, which had published a poll finding Joe Kennedy III with a 17-point lead ahead of Ed Markey in the Senate race. Since then a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll found Kennedy up by 14 points, confirming the substance of a poll that many considered to be an outlier. Steve explains why Kennedy is showing strength early on. Plus, WBUR released a poll this morning, this one on what their audience would like to hear candidates discuss. Jenn and Steve are then joined by Ben Forman, MassINC Research Director who co-authored a study on fare equity in Massachusetts. As Ben explains, the wealthiest people in Massachusetts end up paying the least amount of money in transit fares, thus exacerbating the income inequality problem that is so pervasive in Massachusetts. Later, good friend of the pod State Sen. Becca Rausch sits down to explain her recently filed bill that would standardize immunizations requirements in Massachusetts.
9/4/19-- It's post-Labor Day in The Horse Race bunker, which means post-Labor Day Breakfast, which means the hosts have much to discuss. Namely, Stephanie pointed out, the breakfast featured 'Kennedy for Senate' banners posted directly across from 'Markey for Senate' banners, illustrating a race that's sure to be tight IF Congressman Joe Kennedy decides to officially throw his hat in the ring. Meanwhile in legislation news, a hearing was held in the Statehouse today on a proposed bill that would allow undocumented immigrants to obtain drivers licenses. State Sen. Brendan Crighton and Rep. Christine Barber drop by to explain what the bill entails, and what stood out to them during testimony. A poll published by a newer polling company called Change Research came out this week. It showed Congressman Joe Kennedy III with a 17-point lead against Senator Ed Markey and drew skepticism from other pollsters. Chief Growth Officer of Change Research Pat Reilly joined via telephone to shed some light on Change's methods.
Episode 96: The Morse Race

Episode 96: The Morse Race


8/28/19-- New polls out this week rank Democratic presidential hopefuls, but one in particular stood out. Monmouth University published a poll showing a three-way tie for first place between former Vice President Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. Results from other major polling outfits, meanwhile, showed Biden in first place, as has been the case since the former vice president announced his candidacy. This set off a conversation among pollsters as to when you publish outliers versus when you suppress publication. Host and pollster Steve Koczela sounds off on his own experience as well as best practices. 2020 is shaping up to be one of the most competitive Democratic primaries in U.S. Congressional races in Massachusetts history, as numerous primary challenges have been made upon incumbents. One such challenger, facing off against Rep. Richard Neal in District 1 is Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse. He joins our hosts on The Horse Race to talk about why now is the right moment for him to run and potentially unseat a powerful longtime incumbent. Immigrants living in the United States seeking medical care were delivered a devastating blow by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. In a letter, immigrants taking part in medical deferred action were informed they had just over 30 days to leave the country or else face deportation. For some families, the care they receive in the U.S. is not available to them in their home countries, and deportation could result in worsening sickness, or even death. Steph Solis of MassLive joins to discuss the situation and its potential outcomes.
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