It’s a basic rule of politics: in primary season, candidates adopt more extreme positions to please their party’s base, then once the general election rolls around, they veer back to the center. But here in Massachusetts, it doesn’t work that way.

In this year’s race for governor, Republican candidate Charlie Baker is wearing his disinterest in the right wing as a badge of honor. But on the Democratic side, it’s the far left that seems to be setting the agenda.


Mara Dolan is a Democratic political analyst and former State Senate candidate.

David Bernstein is a political analyst for WGBH News and a contributing editor to Boston Magazine.