slides: Markey Vs Lynch: By the Numbers
Thursday, March 14, 2013
We pick apart the rankings on taxpayer friendliness, gun control, protecting the middle class and more to show how these Congressmen have performed in recent years before one takes on a Republican challenger in the June 25 special election.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Both candidates have key groups that have shown their support, and now the question is which one has more swinging power.
“Markey comes from the progressive wing of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and I would expect groups on the left will strongly support him,” said Clark University professor of political science, Mark Miller. “Lynch comes from the more conservative wing of the Democratic Party, and I would think center-right groups will support him. “
Miller added that Markey has been a “darling” of environmental groups, and can count on them for support. Robert Boatright, another Clark political professor, agreed.
Markey, he said, will likely have a better chance gaining support from left-leaning advocacy groups, but will split union support with Lynch.
“I think Markey has a substantial edge in support, but Lynch may well be a better campaigner and more capable of making personal appeals, particularly to working class Democrats,” Boatright said. “That might help overcome Markey’s edge, but given the dynamics of turnout in a special election, I doubt it.”
Both candidates for Kerry’s empty seat have local supporters, with councilors and state-level politicians throwing their support behind Markey and Lynch for various reasons.
More than forty labor organizations, including the Massachusetts Nurses Association, and a number of other elected officials across the Commonwealth have endorsed Lynch in his Senate run, and more announced their support this week.
State Reps. John Fresolo (D-Worcester) and John Binienda (D-Worcester), At-Large City Councilors Kathleen Toomey and Michael Germain and former state Rep. Jennifer Callahan (D-Sutton) officially announced their endorsement of Lynch in the special election.
“I want a Senator who remembers where they come from, and that’s Steve Lynch,” said Toomey. “He's an independent, self-made man who strapped on a pair of work boots for 18 years.” She added, “Steve Lynch doesn’t need a GPS to get to Worcester, he knows where Worcester is and knows how important our future success as a city is to the people of Massachusetts.”
Rep. Fresolo said that Lynch isn’t a “carbon copy of the progressive Democrats who have been successful recently,” but said he fits best with the people he represents.
“My constituents are the working class and the working poor. In my opinion, there is no better advocate for the people I represent and the people of Worcester than Stephen Lynch in the U.S. Senate,” he said.
Given their track records and momentum thus far, political experts say it’s just a matter of keeping that support going and translating that into votes.
The Grades Come In
Before the April 30th primary, see how Lynch and Markey have stacked up so far during their years in Congress by reading how national groups ranked these candidates for taxpayer friendliness, gun control, protecting the middle class and more.
Lynch takes this ranking from TechCrunch for having a more tech-friendly voting recrord.
Markey got points taken off for his vote against the Jumpstart Our Business Startups bill -- something Lynch supported. Both were non-supporters of SOPA and voted for the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act.
TechCrunch touts itself as a leading technology media property, dedicated to obsessively profiling startups, reviewing new Internet products, and breaking tech news.
Natl. Taxpayers Union
The National Taxpayers Union calls itself, "America's independent, non-partisan advocate for overburdened taxpayers."
Markey and Lynch failed this group's ranking of congressmembers.
The group's mission is to, "mobilize elected officials and the general public on behalf of tax relief and reform, lower and less wasteful spending, individual liberty, and free enterprise."
Heritage Action for America promotes Conservative legislation and supports welfare work requirements and defunding the Affordable Care Act.
Their scorecard for the two candidates points out votes for and against conservative items. Their average score for House Democrats is 15 percent.
TheMiddleClass.org released a Congressional scorecard showing each House member's votes that directly affect the middle class.
Markey took this round with a perfect score for supporting the middle class.
While Lynch still received a "Good" score, he lost points for his vote against the 2013 Progressive Caucus Budget for All, and against the Surface Transportation Extension Act.
The website is under Campaign for America's Future, which calls itself, "the strategy center for the progressive movement."
Food Policy Action
Lynch came out with a perfect score in the rankings provided by the Food Policy Action group.
The group's mission includes promoting a healthy diet and exercise, as well as political issues like improving food access and affordability, upholding the rights and dignity of food and farm workers, increasing transparency, and improving public health.
Markey lost this round thanks to his lack of a vote on the Farr Organic Amendment and his vote against Sullivan E15 Amendment, which would prevent the EPA from allowing higher amounts of ethanol in gasoline.
The Secular Coalition for America also released a recent ranking of House members, in which Lynch won over Markey.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) called their Markey/Lynch ranking a near tie, giving both Reps. an "A."
But Lynch beat Markey by a small margin in this one, due to Markey's not voting on the bills in question, costing him points.
The NAACP Washington Bureau has produced an annual Civil Rights Legislative Report Card since 1914. This resource is designed to provide NAACP members with insight into the general voting patterns of their congressional representatives over the course of the year.
National Journal's Score
The National Jounral ranked members of Congress to illustrate party alliances, and found that Lynch was the most conservative Rep. in Mass.
The numbers were broken down into economic, social, and foreign policy scores and compared members to other party memebers.
Markey 2012: 100%
Lynch 2012: 89%
This round goes to Markey, who was rated more highly by the League of Conservation than his opponent for his support of pro-environmental legislation.
The group issued the scorecard based on the consensus of experts from about twenty respected environmental and conservation organizations who selected the key votes on which members of Congress should be scored.
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