Alec MacGillis blames the Dems’ gubernatorial defeats on bad candidates, not the Republican wave:
[W]hy would [Massachusetts’s Martha] Coakley and [Maryland’s Anthony] Brown go down, while [Colorado’s John] Hickenlooper and [Connecticut’s Dannel] Malloy survived? Here one has to consider the ultimate local context, the quality of the candidates. Hickenlooper and Malloy provoked plenty opposition in their states, not least with their signing of sweeping gun control legislation after the Newtown, Connecticut, massacre. But voters also had a clear sense of where these men stood. The same could not be said for the lackluster Coakley and, especially, for Brown, who ran one of the worst campaigns I’ve ever observed up close.
The son of a Jamaican father and Swiss mother, a colonel in the Army Reserve and former JAG officer whom [former Maryland governor Martin] O’Malley plucked out of relative obscurity in the Maryland House of Delegates to be his running mate in 2006, Brown is an amiable enough fellow but gives off the distinct vibe of a second-stringer. His big chance to show his stuff, the launch of the Maryland insurance exchange under Obamacare, was a total fiasco.
Massachusetts is the kind of place that periodically elects moderate Republican white dudes to positions of power—Republicans had held the governor’s mansion for 16 years before Deval Patrick won in 2006.
But he admits, “She probably shoulda won, though.” One piece of Dougherty’s advice to Democrats:
[J]ust like the GOP in 2012, a big part of your problem was candidate selection. GOP victories in the statehouses do have a way of thinning the bench. But Democrats should be able to do better than Martha Coakley in 2016. That’s solvable.