Re “Baker’s biggest foe may be his party’s boss” (Page A1, May 31): I fully believe Republican Party state chairman Jim Lyons’s strategy of inciting right-wing populism was detrimental to the Massachusetts GOP last year. Contrary to political stereotypes, Massachusetts voters are not entirely Democratic. Many are politically independent, having a track record of supporting moderate Republicans rather than right-wing Republicans. A prime example is 2018, when Charlie Baker won the gubernatorial election in a landslide. Meanwhile, US Senate hopeful and Trump devotee Geoff Diehl lost his election by 24 points.
Yet with Lyons’s ascension to Massachusetts GOP chairman, the party has steered away from the politics that have brought it electoral success. Lyons has belittled Governor Baker for supporting the second impeachment of Donald Trump. GOP candidates throughout the Commonwealth parroted the same talking points that are reminiscent of Donald Trump’s rhetoric, e.g., false accusations that Beacon Hill Democrats voted to “defund police.” Instead of working to gain ground among independent voters, the party vitalized resolute supporters of Donald Trump and QAnon.
After the Massachusetts GOP failed to gain ground in state government last year, it is baffling why it is intent on keeping this messaging. If the party continues on this path without appealing to independent voters, it will probably lead to more electoral defeats.
Mark J. Doherty