How long of a long shot?
He would make a good candidate. He almost knocked out Barney’s Frank in a district custom tailored for him. Now the district is far more Republican. Since he has good name recognition, he should do alright.
I hear they are going to try and jam another Kennedy in there on the Rat side. I think folks have had enough of them since Teddy died.
In the old MA-04, President Bush got 33% in 2004, McCain got 35% in 2008 and Scott Brown got 50%-51% in 2010. Under the new lines, I read that Bush and McCain got 38% and 39%, respectively (IIRC) in 2004 and 2008, and that Scott Brown got around 55% in 2010. Since the new MA-04 is around 5% less Democrat than before, we can estimate that Frank’s 53%-43% victory over Bielat from 2010 would become a 48%-48% dead heat. And, of course, it won’t be Barney Frank running this time, which cuts in both directions, but in a slightly Dem-leaning district I’d rather run against someone who doesn’t have 100% name ID and hasn’t been bringing pork into the region for three decades.
So this race should be competitive, and will depend in great measure on (i) who the Dem and GOP candidates are and (ii) how much buyers remorse voters in the district have regarding Obama. Bielat is probably our strongest candidate given the skills he showed in 2010, and he should be helped by Scott Brown being on the ballot; and Bielat is one of the few Republican congressional candidates nationwide who would probably benefit from Mitt Romney being the GOP presidential nominee (which, even with Newt’s recent rise, still has at least 50% probability of occurring).
So I think we’ve got a real chance of winning. While it is true that, since 2002, and excluding Cao’s fluke win against an indicted Bill Jefferson in LA-02 in a 2008 run-off, the most Democratic CDs to elect a Republican to Congress were about 6% more Republican (based on the 2004 presidential vote) than the redrawn MA-04 (Leach’s IA-02 and Simmons’s CT-02 in 2002 and 2004), I think that the MA-04 isn’t quite as Democrat as Bush-Kerry numbers would lead one to believe and, for once, the trend is our friend is Massachusetts.