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  Politics of Rage Dominate Contest in Massachusetts
Parent(s) Race 
Last EditedCraverguy  Oct 09, 2008 11:36pm
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News DateFriday, November 2, 1990 05:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionIn this state where voters seem implacably angry, John R. Silber is the prophet of the politics of rage.

Once again, Tuesday night, the Democratic candidate for governor had his Republican opponent, William F. Weld, on the defensive, pounding away in their last debate. And once again, Mr. Weld seemed unable to seize the openings before him, to turn some of the Democrat's sometimes intemperate comments against him.

With six days until the election, the race is generally perceived here as being neck and neck, with Dr. Silber perhaps having the edge. In a poll published Tuesday in The Boston Globe, Dr. Silber led Mr. Weld, a former United States Attorney, 46 percent to 37 percent. The poll, of 600 likely voters, had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

It is possible, but by no means certain, that Mr. Silber's support could be greater than the polls show. In the primary election, surveys underestimated his strength, in part, some poll experts believe, because he cut such an abrasive figure that people did not want to admit to poll takers that they would vote for him.

But whatever the polls show, there is no mistaking the response to Dr. Silber, the president of Boston University. He is the No. 1 topic here, and his I'm-fed-up-with-business-as-usual theme strikes home in a state whose current Governor, Michael S. Dukakis, is widely blamed for an economic decline and state budget crisis.

"In a normal year when voters are angry they would throw out the party in power, the Democrats, and Weld would win," said George Bachrach, a former Democratic State Senator. "But John Silber's anger matches that of the voters so well that he has made a visceral connection with them that transcends normal politics."
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