I think Tom Keane exaggerates the impact of the so-called progressive movement on the decisions of individual voters (“The rise of the progressives,” Op-ed, April 29). The history of gubernatorial elections in Massachusetts strongly suggests that many people pay little if any attention to big policy issues, such as economic fairness, and prefer instead to focus on the personas of the candidates and vague impressions about which candidate could best stand up to the Legislature.
In the last 50 years, Massachusetts has elected but two true Democrats, Michael Dukakis and Deval Patrick. This has little to do with handling the economy or being for or against civil rights; rather, it’s a matter of voters looking for strong, independent-minded, capable candidates who are not tarnished by years of involvement in nasty politics. More often than not, these are Republicans.