Peter Smulowitz

Supporters of Ross and Smulowitz have been out in force today turning out the vote for their candidates. The twitterscape is alive today with messages to get out the vote.

Progressive Activists out in Force for Smulowitz

Smulowitz has been getting a huge amount of support from progressive activists. Charles Rudnick, a progressive candidate for Senate from Brookline has been out knocking on doors for Smulowitz, as has Sarah Compton, former field Director for Obama for America MA, and Harmony Wu, prominent progressive organizer for Yes We Can Needham. Smulowitz phone banks were mobbed with supporters today, and phone banks have been set up in many other towns as well, from the Sourth Shore to Northampton.

Progressive activist web site BlueMassGroup has continued its strong support for Smulowitz over the past few weeks and that continues today. And a progressive Facebook group “Turn Scott Brown’s Senate Seat Blue” has been buzzing all day. That group picked up like lightning – up to 700 members in just a few weeks.

Smulowitz has also be getting help from two progressive senators:  Sen. James Eldridge and Sen Sonia Chang-Diaz. Smulowitz campaign finance reports show they were the only two Massachusetts elected officials who contributed to Smulowitz.

Notably missing for Smulowitz today is the mainstream Democratic Party. It’s no surprise of course that Lida Harkins is not out supporting Smulowitz after refusing to endorse him in the wake of a controversial and divisive primary. Neither were any of the five Needham selectmen, including Denise Garlick and Jerry Wasserman who both have Representative races later this year.

We don’t see either financial or much logistical support for Smulowitz from the Massachusetts Democratic Party. No supportive messages from chairman John Walsh, and no supportive statements from Governor Deval Patrick. No updates on the Massachusetts Democratic Party web site in support of Smulowitz, and no twitters from them either.

Since the Democratic party didn’t get their preferred insider candidate Harkins, they have decided to just not show up for Smulowitz. It’s really like he’s been running as an independent. What is astounding about the Democratic party not supporting this race is that it will affect a national Republican message about this seat. If Smulowitz loses, national Republicans will use this as a talking point about Massachusetts going red, and as a repudiation of President Obama.

Nothing could be further from the truth. This is really about an insular Massachusetts Democratic party that cares more about supporting its incumbents than progressive politics.

The Smulowitz/Ross race is getting attention from progressive activists across the state. With Democratic party support missing, progressives have to ask themselves if the Democratic Party really is behind them on the issues.

MassGOP United Behind Ross

Ross is getting united support from across the spectrum of Massachusetts Republicans. He has been getting endorsements and support from Charlie Baker, from MassGOP, from MassGOP chairwoman Jennifer Nassour. Sen. Richard Tisei, and Gop Lt. Governor candidate has not only been supporting Ross, but maxed out his contribution. Sen. Scott Brown has been out campaigning for Ross and helping with fundraisers.

The MassGOP website has been promoting Ross, as has Republican activist web site RedMassGroup.

GateHouse Media editor Greg Reibman has been twittering about Smulowitz all day. You have to read it to see what’s side he’s on.

Turnout Light All Day, Picking Up Fast at 7pm

Poll watchers report turnout has been low all day. Turnout may end up lower in the general election than it was in the primary. Some report a light turnout in Needham. But starting at 7, with the afternoon rush home from work polls have been picking up markedly everywhere.

The Needham Times has some interesting voter reactions here and here.

In a few moments it will all be over but the counting. If Smulowitz makes it, it will be thanks to the hard work of progressive activists alone.

If you know anything that is going on with this race tonight, post it on the blog. I’ll have another update when I know more.