Massachusetts races to follow in 2018

Katharine Pinney / The Tufts Daily

Senate: Warren vs. Diehl

Sen. Elizabeth Warren faces reelection against state Rep. Geoff Diehl, a Republican. Warren has made her reelection campaign about “fighting back,” whether it be against the Trump presidency or tax and health policies that harm the middle class. She has criticized her Republican opponent for being too cozy with Trump; Diehl was the Massachusetts chairman for Trump’s campaign in 2016. On the other hand, Diehl, who is campaigning on a platform of putting the state’s interests first and lowering taxes, has faulted Warren for focusing on 2020 presidential aspirations instead of her Massachusetts constituents. Regardless, RealClearPolitics reports the race as safely Democratic and Warren has maintained more than 20-point leads in recent polls.

Massachusetts 7th District: Pressley (unopposed)

In a historic upset, Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley defeated 10-term incumbent Rep. Michael Capuano in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’ 7th District, which Somerville is a part of. Pressley is running unopposed in the general election and as such, she is set to become the first African-American woman to represent Massachusetts in Congress. Pressley’s campaign has emphasized the importance of representing voters of color. Pressley’s platform reflects a progressive vision that ranges from legal protections for survivors of sexual and intimate partner violence to universal healthcare, ultimately seeking to serve underrepresented individuals. Since her primary victory, Pressley has rallied with progressive leaders across the nation, including Warren and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, heavy favorite to win New York’s 14th District.

Massachusetts 5th District: Clark vs. Hugo

Democratic Rep. Katherine Clark, who has represented Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District — which includes Medford — in the House since 2013, is being challenged by Republican John Hugo. However, Clark has a track record of legislative success in Congress: She has helped pass bills that address the opioid crisis and strengthen health care programs for women, among others, that has largely prevented her opponent from gaining any traction. Clark is the heavy favorite in this race.

Governor: Baker vs. Gonzalez

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is currently seeking reelection in his race against Democratic challenger Jay Gonzalez, who faces an uphill battle against America’s most popular governor. After securing the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor, Gonzalez, former Secretary of Administration and Finance in Deval Patrick’s administration, has largely criticized Baker’s acceptance of the status quo and claimed that Massachusetts needs to “aim high.” Gonzalez’s platform has focused on fixing Massachusetts’ “broken” public transportation system, revitalizing the state’s early education and childcare programs and ending the opioid epidemic. Baker, on the other hand, has continued to tout his widespread bipartisan support while raising questions about how Gonzalez plans to pay for his policy proposals. Even as Gonzalez has continuously faulted Baker for not speaking out forcefully enough against President Trump and for endorsing “radical, right-wing” Republican candidates in Massachusetts, RealClearPolitics rates the race as solidly Republican, with multiple polls predicting a Baker victory by margins of nearly 40 points.