Say Hi to Charlie
Republican Gubernatorial nominee Charlie Baker has rolled out his first ad in the campaign to unseat Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. The ad is needed.
Polls have shown Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, building a lead over Baker, even though voters appear to be giving the incumbent’s performance mixed reviews. But Baker’s biggest gap comes in name recognition. A poll conducted in late May showed that 63 percent of those surveyed had either never heard of Baker or had no opinion of him.Insiders view the Governor's chances of reelection slim, particularly against an appealing and well qualified candidate like Baker, but they've been perplexed over his lackluster effort thusfar.
Baker is the first candidate in the race to launch a full television campaign, five months ahead of the November election. One outside group, the Republican Governors Association, has run blistering attacks on independent candidate Timothy P. Cahill, the state treasurer, and Cahill himself bought a 15-second spot during the Super Bowl in February.The ad starts airing statewide Tuesday, just beating the first debate of the general election Wednesday morning at 7am on WRKO - one hour, no interruptions.
"This is probably more of a poll-driven decision than anything else, because his name recognition needs to be improved," said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University, which conducted the May poll with 7 News.
Baker, in a conference call with supporters today, acknowledged he needed greater visibility.
"Because of the fact that I’m the new guy in this race … we need to get our message out to more people and we need to get my name on a larger stage," he said.
The Globe reports that the Baker campaign isn't paying to air the spot.
Baker’s 30-second ad, funded by the state Republican Party, works at building his everyman credentials, with a vintage picture of Baker in a Needham High School basketball uniform and contemporary images of the candidate addressing the camera in a Swampscott High School football T-shirt, where his son attended school.