Massachusetts' 4th District Primary ‘Is Going to Be Really, Really Close'

Even the Boston Globe's endorsement has proven to be controversial as the race to replace Joe Kennedy in Congress heats up

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The Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District has a big primary coming up on Sept. 1. That’s when nine Democrats will face off to fill Rep. Joe Kennedy III’s seat. 

“This is going to be really, really close. And the candidate who wins may only get 20 or 25% of the vote,” Democratic political consultant Alex Goldstein said.

But despite months of campaigning, there’s not a lot of awareness among voters. Many we spoke with were unable to name any candidates.

The campaign has seen some controversy, including last week around the Boston Globe endorsement of Jake Auchincloss

“I found that kind of puzzling,” Goldstein said.

The race for Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District, currently held by Rep. Joe Kennedy, is crowded.

In a group of strong and experienced progressives, the choice of Auchincloss, who once registered as a Republican, was surprising, Goldstein said, noting some of his past positions, including viewing the Confederate flag as a free speech issue, as well as a comment he once made on Facebook about burning the Quran. 

“I think Jake is a candidate that certainly, to be polite, represents more of a centrist reflection, but could be argued is really just somebody who is a Republican who’s now attempting to make the switch because he sees a political opportunity," Goldstein said.

The Globe’s endorsement was further scrutinized when Globe columnist Shirley Leung issued her own endorsement of Jesse Mermell

Goldstein said he’s never put much faith in endorsements. Nor does he think big money TV advertisements are the key to victory in this race. With mail-in voting sure to be popular, other strategies will be key, he said. 

“The candidates who are investing money and capital in time and effort in grassroots organizing, are going to get a significant two, three, four point edge in this race,” Goldstein said.

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