Holding his punches

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  October 21, 2009

Political observers agree that targeting those voters makes sense for Flaherty, but cite two problems.

First, they say that Menino is surprisingly popular among that demographic. That’s partly because those voters, even the non-ideological ones, tend to be progressive, and Menino has been with them on those issues. But it’s also thanks to a concerted, deliberate outreach effort by the mayor in the past several years; he has courted groups like the Charlestown Mothers Association, and started his own, such as One in Three Boston (to connect city services to Bostonians in their 20s and 30s).

Second, political veterans just don’t believe enough young voters will show up at the polls to make a difference. “The numbers just aren’t there,” says one political consultant.

He, like several others, thinks Flaherty needs the roundhouse punches. Flaherty is getting different advice from his cornermen. We’ll know in two weeks who’s right.

To read the “Talking Politics” blog, go to thePhoenix.com/talkingpolitics. David S. Bernstein can be reached at dbernstein@phx.com.

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