Commentary Magazine


A District to Watch on Nov. 2

A 14-term incumbent who is chairman of one the most powerful committees in Congress would, in an ordinary election, be a shoe-in for a 15th term unless he were under indictment. Barney Frank hasn’t faced serious opposition in the 4th district of Massachusetts since 1982, winning his races by 30-50 points when he had any opposition at all. But he’s running scared this time around. He’s brought in Bill Clinton and has raised tons of money (no problem for the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee).

But Byron York is reporting that his little-known, 35-year-old Republican opponent, Sean Bielat, is within striking distance, only 10 points behind in a recent poll.

It might be a good idea to keep an eye on results in the 4th Massachusetts. The polls close in Massachusetts at 8 p.m. eastern time, and results should come in pretty quickly. If Bielat can pull off a win there, it will be a sure sign of a blow-out election for Republicans. If he even comes close, it will mean a very good night.