US Representative Stephen F. Lynch, whose primary victory on Sept. 11, 2001, secured his seat in Congress, said on Friday that he worries whether the patriotic surge that exploded voter turnout that day will echo next Tuesday, when voters in both parties will choose their nominees.
Lynch, speaking with the Globe during a commuter rail ride to Norwood for campaign stops, recalled how voters were trickling to the polls early in the afternoon on the Election Day of the 2001 terrorist attacks, as he vied in a competitive Democratic primary to succeed the late congressman Joe Moakley. But a press conference featuring Republican Acting Governor Jane Swift and Democratic Attorney General Thomas Reilly urging voters in the congressional district to go to the polls, Lynch said, helped spike turnout to more than twice what analysts had predicted.
“I don’t know if that rally cry will be out there this time,” Lynch said. “I’m not sure that’s how people will respond.”
Nevertheless, asked for turnout and outcome predictions, Lynch forecast 23 percent turnout and, for himself, a five-point victory. Both predictions exceed those held privately by both Lynch supporters and by Democrats unaffiliated with either campaign.
Lynch said his campaign had detected unexpectedly strong support in the state’s midsize cities, like New Bedford, Fall River, Everett, and Lawrence.
His primary rival, US Representative Edward J. Markey, declined to give a projection for either the number of voters who will participate or the race’s outcome.
Like Lynch, Markey expressed hope that voters next Tuesday would respond to the Boston Marathon bombings by hitting the polls.
Markey, in a telephone interview on Friday, said, “I’m working very hard to get the highest possible vote out. And I’m hoping it’s going to be a very high turnout.”
Lynch and Markey are competing to face the winner of the Republican primary. Investor and former Navy SEAL Gabriel E. Gomez, former US Attorney Michael J. Sullivan, and state Representative Daniel P. Winslow are the Republican candidates.