, Salem, MA


November 8, 2012

Grass-roots support led Tierney to victory


“John was everywhere the last few days, from fire stations to train stations to senior centers. We were beginning to have a good feeling, and we tried to keep ourselves in position to win through the ground game. We knew we had an unbelievable organization.”

Democrats also thought the personal attacks from Republicans aimed at Tierney and his wife, Patrice, motivated some of the grass-roots effort.

“People were tired of it,” Ricko said. “They didn’t like it, and it gave them more energy.”

The third-party effect

Many Republicans yesterday had very different explanations for Tierney’s victory, pointing to Libertarian candidate Daniel Fishman as the culprit.

Fishman received about 16,700 votes across the district — the margin of victory for Tierney was about 3,600 — and most people thought he pulled votes disproportionately from Tisei.

“Nobody can ever convince me that Dan Fishman didn’t cost Richard Tisei this election,” said Barbara Anderson of Marblehead, founder of Citizens for Limited Taxation and, until recently, a self-described Libertarian.

She was so upset by Tuesday’s outcome that she has renounced that affiliation.

“We could have had the closest thing we’ve ever had to a Libertarian in Congress with Richard Tisei,” she said, noting that he is both fiscally conservative and socially liberal. “He lost because of Dan Fishman’s ego ... (and) these ideologue Libertarians who vote on principle even if they destroy the country doing it.”

Fishman, who said yesterday that he was “stunned at the results,” said he would have preferred Tisei in Congress over Tierney, because the Republican would raise the national debt more slowly than the Democrat. But Fishman completely disagreed with the notion that he took votes away from Tisei.

He polled 100 people per week throughout the election, he said, and the results indicate that he took very few votes from either candidate.

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