With Trump atop GOP ballot, Baker staying home on election night
By State House News Service | November 3, 2016, 7:09 EST
HAVERHILL — Gov. Charlie Baker, who has a stake in the outcomes of the presidential race, two major ballot questions and numerous legislative races, anticipates he’ll spend election day trying to turn out the vote and election night at home watching the results come in.
“My guess is that I’ll be spending most of my time on election day working polling places and visiting folks, and doing what I can to help turn out the vote,” Baker told the News Service on Wednesday after a grant announcement in Haverhill.
The governor has campaigned for passage of Question 2 to increase access to charter schools and against Question 4, which would legalize the sale of marijuana to adults. The Swampscott Republican has also said he will not vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump nor anyone else on the ballot seeking the nation’s highest office.
Baker told the News Service he’ll probably watch Tuesday’s results from home. “I think I’m probably going to see them at home,” Baker said. “That’s probably the safest and best place for me to hang out.”
The governor and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito have been supporting Republican candidates for the Legislature, but Baker declined to speculate on seats that could be pickups for the Grand Old Party or at risk of flipping to Democrats, who have dominant majorities in the House and Senate.
“I think this is going to be a close election all the way around, and I’m not going to make any game-day predictions on this. I can tell you that both the incumbents and the folks who are running as challengers are working really hard, and we’re working really hard with them,” Baker said. “Between Karyn and myself we’ve probably done 70 or 80 events this year on behalf of candidates. But a lot of funny things happen on election day so I’m not going to make any predictions.”
Apart from the four ballot questions, the presidential race is the only statewide race on Tuesday’s ballot in Massachusetts. While Trump easily won the presidential primary in March, he has few supporters among elected Republicans on Beacon Hill.
With Baker planning to hole up at home, Republican Party officials told the News Service they don’t have a formal election night party planned this year.
The Trump campaign’s party at F1Boston in Braintree will serve as the marquee GOP event in Massachusetts. Individual ballot campaigns and candidates are also hosting their own receptions around the state.
The Massachusetts Democratic Party has reserved the ballroom at the Fairmont Copley Plaza in partnership with the “No on 2” campaign to monitor the results as they come in.
In 2004, Republicans gathered at Anthem near North Station in Boston on election night when President George W. Bush was reelected, defeating former Sen. John Kerry. In 2008, when Barack Obama beat Sen. John McCain in the presidential race, the GOP was headquartered at Lir on Boylston Street. Four years ago, with former Gov. Mitt Romney on the ballot as the party’s presidential nominee, Republicans assembled at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, with former Sen. Scott Brown, who lost to Elizabeth Warren that night, at the Park Plaza Hotel.
MassGOP Chairwoman Kirsten Hughes is likely to attend some of the different gatherings Tuesday night as her schedule permits, according to aide. She’s also slated to appear with Jon Keller on WBZ-TV to discuss the returns.
— Written by Andy Metzger