Republicans End Low-Key Fight
Despite a commanding lead in the polls, W. Mitt Romney's campaigning looked in the eleventh hour much like it had for much of the last year.
Romney, the Republican likely to oppose incumbent Sen. Edward M. Kennedy '54-'56 in November's general election, spent the eve of the primary shaking hands, appearing on a local radio talk show and refusing to attack his opponent John R. Lakian.
Although Romney continued to air television and radio advertisements yesterday, none of the spots attacked Lakian. Throughout the campaign, the candidate's advertisements have targeted the November election, rather than today's primary.
We're not attacking Lakian at all, because we consider Kennedy our opponent...the real race will begin after the primary," said Romney assistant press secretary Nicole St. Peter.
Romney campaign officials will be out in full force today, offering voters rides to the polls and passing out information pamphlets across the state, St. Peter said Lakian, who has trailed Romney in the polls throughout the race, told supporters yesterday that the primary is still up for grabs.
"The object of a primary is to identify who your voters are and have them go out to the polls," said David M. Denehy, director of communications for the Lakian campaign. "We've identified who we need to identify and so we'll do well [today]."
Lakian campaign officials said they expect a high primary turnout today by three constituent groups: gun owners, gays and lesbians and pro-choice women. "Gun owners have the reason to vote for Lakian because he supports the Second Amendment, gays and lesbians because he supports civil rights, and pro-choice women, because he is the more pro-choice candidate," Denehy says.
Abortion provided one item of contention between the two Republicans, with Lakian frequently accusing Romney of not truly being pro-choice.
But the tone of the primary battle has been more subdued in the home stretch, and Lakian campaign workers said that regardless of tomorrow's results, they will turn their attentions to the race against Kennedy.