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The Topline

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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Uncategorizedmassincpolling
The Topline: Massachusetts voters fear their own Harvey.

Houston hadn’t even begun to wring itself out from Hurricane Harvey when Irma, now the most powerful storm on record in the Atlantic, began churning towards the Caribbean. Before Irma finished laying waste to the islands, Hurricane Jose lined up behind on a similar track. While it is not expected to follow Irma to Florida, it appears likely to hit some of the same islands. It's also now a Category 4 storm. Meanwhile, Category 2 Hurricane Katia churns in the gulf right off the coast of Mexico.

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Uncategorizedmassincpolling
Virginia voters divided on blame for Charlottesville violence

Many Virginia voters (47 percent) believe the counter protesters in Charlottesville deserve at least equal blame for the violence at last week’s white nationalist rally. President Donald Trump’s comments on this question set off a wave of condemnation from political and business leaders. But when Trump said "I think there is blame on both sides," nearly half of Virginia voters agree with him.

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Issuesmassincpolling
The Topline: As Tsongas bows out, does the GOP have a shot in the Third?

Massachusetts Congresswoman Niki Tsongas announced yesterday she will not run again for the seat she has held since 2007. Past election results show her seat in the Third Congressional District may be less safe for Democrats than it first appears. Though Tsongas cruised to reelection in her own recent matchups, Charlie Baker won the district by 9 points in his 2014 election, one of several Republicans to fare well there recently. With voters in Tsongas’ district showing they are open to voting Republican, her retirement adds another layer of potential intrigue to the 2018 elections here in Massachusetts.

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The Topline: No magic pill on repeal and replace

Let’s just say it. There is no popular replacement for the Affordable Care Act. Republicans in Congress have railed against Obamacare since its passage in 2010, and held frequent votes to repeal it in the intervening years. But after 6 months of unified control of the House, Senate, and White House, one thing is crystal clear. To pass a replacement package, they will need to do a larger version of what Democrats did in 2010: ignore the polls. 

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The Topline: The Independence of Independents

The ranks of political independents continue to swell in Massachusetts, while the number of Democrats and Republicans remains roughly steady. Younger voters are choosing to remain “unenrolled” when they register to vote, rather than choosing a political party. The result is an increasing tilt toward the “unenrolled,” as they are called here, who now make up 55 percent of the state’s voter rolls.

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The Topline: Left turn ahead? Team Baker looks to reshape coalition for re-election bid.

As Charlie Baker accelerates toward his re-election season, he may have just flipped on his left blinker. If the strategy he shared with donors in a recent meeting is any indication, his campaign may be an even more cross-partisan affair than his governing has been. The Boston Globe reports that in a meeting of his finance committee, “the governor said he must draw nearly a third of Democrats and almost 60 percent of independents.”

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