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MA-Sen: Loyal Democrats Grouse About Coakley

BOSTON — A little while after noon, a steady crowd of Democratic voters streamed into the Cathedral High School Gymnasium to cast votes for their party’s embattled nominee, state Attorney General Martha Coakley. This was Boston’s third ward, which the Obama-Biden ticket carried with 74 percent of the vote in 2008. There was universal agreement — Coakley had put the fear into them by running a lackluster campaign.

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“She wasn’t out there!” said an annoyed Laura White, a 78-year-old pilates instructor who supported Coakley in the Democratic primary. “That’s not how the Kennedys ran. I remember seeing JFK campaign in New York in 1960, shaking hands in the rain, not even wearing a raincoat!” She never considered voting for Brown — he reminded her of George W. Bush — but she was disappointed in Coakley.

Lyn Ackerly, who’d backed Coakley’s rival Alan Khazei in the primary (“it was his honesty”), wasn’t entirely happy about her vote. “We need the health care bill to pass,” she said, “but it’s been whittled down so much.” On Coakley’s campaign: “If she loses, it was her fault.”

George Watkins, a prep cook who hadn’t voted in the primary, came out because he was worried about President Obama’s agenda getting blocked if he lost “his help” in the Senate. He, too, was frustrated with Coakley, and decided to vote after polls showed the race closing.

When TWI visited the polling place, there was steady traffic but no line. Turnout was around 25 percent at lunchtime.

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