After Stunning Betrayal, Cahill Moves Ahead

By Sarah Birnbaum

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After a rough couple of weeks in his gubernatorial campaign, Tim Cahill, the independent candidate for governor, is pushing forth to election day with a rejiggered campaign strategy.

Two weeks ago, Cahill's senior strategist and campaign manager both left his campaign. Then, the Independent candidate for governor lost his running mate Friday when Paul Loscocco dropped out of the race and endorsed GOP gubernatorial nominee Charlie Baker.

“Tim cannot win," Loscocco said during a Friday morning press conference. "And I am no longer comfortable that I can look people in the eye when I’m out campaigning across the state and not disagree with the notion that a vote for Tim Cahill is a vote for Deval Patrick.”

Rather than being seen as a viable candidate in his own right, Cahill is considered by many pundits as a spoiler.  Polls show that Cahill attracts some would-be Patrick voters, but the bulk of his supporters lean Republican. Still, on Friday, Cahill vowed to soldier on:
 
“I’m not a quitter.   I’ve never quit on anything I’ve done.  I won’t give in.  And if the people of Massachusetts see that in me as a candidate, they’ll know exactly what they’ll have in a Governor.” Baker says that he’s long considered this a two-man race, and on Saturday, he indicated that recent events were proving him right:
 
“I’ve thought for awhile that this race is between Deval Patrick and me, and that’s exactly the way its playing out.” But Cahill isn't going quietly. On Monday, he announced he is preparing $1 million negative ad campaign against Baker, going against a vow he took earlier this election season to avoid negative campaigning.

Cahill’s own troubles started when the Republican Governor’s Association launched a multi-million dollar ad blitz against him. Before the ads, Cahill was polling around 30%. Afterward, his numbers dropped to the 10% range.

Meanwhile, Gov. Deval Patrick’s campaign is accusing Baker and Loscocco of making some kind of backroom deal, which Loscocco denies. But there’s no question that at least in this first weekend after his defection, he was given a prominent role in the Baker campaign.  For example, he was invited to speak at a Saturday night Baker fundraiser -- along with big-ticket guests U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and U.S. Sen. John McCain.

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