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Election Win Eludes Massachusetts’ Kerry

Election Win Eludes Massachusetts’ KerryInthe wake of Tuesday’s tight election, members of the Tuftscommunity reacted to the results on both the federal and locallevel.Medford/Somerville,Mass.

Medford/Somerville, Mass. [11.04.04] - While John Kerry endeda long and contentious campaign for president at Boston’sFaneuil Hall on Wednesday, experts and voters alike tried to figureout where the Massachusetts senator’s bid for the WhiteHouse went wrong and how four more years of President Bush wouldplay out.

"A lotof people got their first idea of [Kerry] from the Bush campaign,which portrayed him as a flip-flopper and weak on defense,"Tufts political science professor JeffBerry told the Hartford Courant. "He wasn'tcreating a counter-image of himself."

Out of thecampaign bubble, life for the one-time presidential candidateshould change dramatically.

"Kerryis now going to experience a level of decompression that maybeonly deep sea divers could understand," Berry told the AssociatedPress. "I don't see him becoming a persona non gratawithin the Democratic Party, but he won't be its leader."

As PresidentBush turns his attention from the campaign trail to his secondterm in the White House, experts believe he will waste no timein laying out his agenda.

''I thinkhe is going to step out aggressively and quickly," GilbertMetcalf, chairman of the Tufts economics department, toldThe Boston Globe. ''He's got what he feels is momentum.He's also shown that he's not averse to putting forth policiesthat don't have bipartisan support."

That momentumcame as a result of heavy voter turnout across the nation, includingon the nation’s college campuses. Reports from poll workersindicated that college students turned out to vote in larger numbersthan usual.

Tufts studentswere also among the thousands of Kerry supporters who crowdedBoston’s Copley Square Tuesday night hoping to hear a victoryspeech. Instead, they stood in the rain late into the night withthe election’s outcome still in doubt by the following morning.

Despite thecircumstances, some supporters remained optimistic.

"I thinkit will all bear out," Tufts undergraduate Larry Mahl toldCanada’s Globe and Mail as Jon Bon Jovi and otherartists entertained the crowd. "Think about all the votesstill being counted. Ohio had record turnout and it's going tobreak our way."

Locally, theplan by Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney to challenge the Democrat-dominatedLegislature by recruiting a slate of Republican challengers fellshort, as the Republicans actually lost a net of three seats acrossboth houses.

Romney’seffort could backfire and cause more divisions on Beacon Hill,according to Berry, the political science professor. He citedPresident Bush’s productive relationship with a heavilyDemocratic Texas state legislature during his term as governor.

"Thatwould have been a better model," he told The Boston Globe."Romney needs to make alliances."

In many stateand national races across the country, severalTufts alumni pulled out victories.

Massachusettsstate representative Michael Festa (LA ’76), a democrat,held onto his seat in the 32nd Middlesex district. Republicanchallenger John Cirignano (LA ’62) was defeated in the 21stMiddlesex district.

Massachusettsstate senators Jack Hart (LA '91), a democrat, and Scott Brown(LA ’81), a republican, also won re-election.

Elsewherein New England, democrat Phil Bartlett (LA ’98) won electionto the Maine State Senate as a political newcomer. In New Hampshire,Republican Jeb Bradley (LA ’74) won a second term in theHouse of Representatives.

Across thecountry, democratic representatives Peter DeFazio (LA ’69)of Oregon, Cynthia McKinney (Fletcher ‘79) of Georgia, FrankPallone (Fletcher ’74) of New Jersey were among Tufts graduatespulling off congressional victories.

In anotherbig Election Day win for a member of the Tufts community, undergraduatepolitical science major D. Scott Merrick won a seat in the NewHampshire House of Representatives. The seat was one of four upfor grabs in Coos County’s 2nd District.

Accordingto the website for Tufts Democrats, Merrick – a member ofthe class of 2007 – campaigned for office during weekendtrips to the state.





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