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The Topline

The Topline: A Year in Review

Polling is an act of political resistance. It agglomerates the messy and inconvenient opinions of everyday people, kneads them into a whole, and forces them through the door into the air-conditioned echo chambers of political elites. This is not newly true, it’s just newly apparent.” That’s from a CommonWealth Magazine piece I wrote early this year, arguing why polling is more important now than ever. A few readers called it a polling manifesto. I’ll take it.

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The Topline: Changing the gender balance on Beacon Hill

State Sen. Harriette Chandler, a Democrat from Worcester, became the acting president of the Massachusetts Senate this week, the second woman of the last three leaders to hold the gavel. Four of the state's six key constitutional officers are women, and one of our U.S. senators. In the state Legislature, however, Massachusetts is very far from gender balance, and making no progress. Women make up a slim majority of Massachusetts residents, but only a quarter of state legislators.

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Uncategorizedmassincpolling
The Topline: Gomez still weighing Senate run

The Republican primary field to take on US Sen. Elizabeth Warren next year now includes three candidates, but another contender is still eyeing the race. Businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez is meeting with potential advisors to chart a path forward and still closely considering his options, according to a source with direct knowledge of the discussions.

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The Topline: When bad things happen to good polls

Pollsters live in a constant state of anxiety that some external event will happen while their poll is in the field that will upset public opinion and render their data obsolete. The classic example from recent history is when Superstorm Sandy hit the Mid-Atlantic just before the 2012 election. That was a double whammy: The event and the government response could have changed public opinion on the race, and many voters in one of the most densely populated areas of the country were displaced or otherwise unable to be asked about it. Those times seem quaint and far off now.

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Uncategorizedmassincpolling
The Topline: Amazon, but for Amazon HQ

With its radically open bidding process for its second headquarters, Amazon is doing to economic development what it did to retail. Amazon, the company that disrupted bookselling and then the selling of most everything else, has thrown economic development agencies for a loop with the bidding to host their second headquarters. 

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