According to the most recent polls, Cahill is trailing his big-party opponents by at least 20 percent, while the exodus of advisors and even his running-mate, former GOP state legislator Paul Loscocco, from his campaign have signaled a certain death. Likewise, Stein has failed to pass the five-percent mark, though some counts have left her out completely. The Independent ticket also has a serious financial disadvantage; while Patrick and Baker rely on millions in combined cash and ad support from federal and state committees plus outside interest groups, Cahill has just his own resources, as well as $750,000 in public matching funds.
"They all have an uphill road in front of them," says Avi Green, executive director of the non-partisan group MassVOTE, of the outsider hopefuls on local and commonwealth-wide ballots. "Generally, the system we have — where you elect one person per district, and the person with the most votes wins — leads directly to having two political parties."
Skepticism aside, there's no debating that voters in the "least competitive" state will have an unprecedented number of options come November, when Cahill is projected to trump the small victory of Mihos, and a few "unenrolled" dark horses could dent the status quo. It's been accepted math for some time that independent voters make the difference in Massachusetts. Now it's just a matter of how long it will take for them to support one of their own.
Chris Faraone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
: News Features
, Deval Patrick, Massachusetts, Tim Cahill, More