Polls are showing that Sean Bielat is surprisingly viable. He’s polling within 10 points of Frank, and leading 51% to 34% among independents. Frank has been in office a long time, and is beloved by progressives but reviled by conservatives and increasingly by independents. As a known quantity, like Patrick, his poll numbers are not likely to improve. The question is if Bielat is going to be able to make himself known to voters in time.
Conservatives nationally are noticing. There is a great article about Bielat at CFIF:
Never before has Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) faced such a serious challenge from a Republican of any stripe, let alone one who is pro-business and pro-military.Â If the tax-and-spend liberal stalwart gets swept away in the GOP tsunami barreling towards Democrat-controlled Washington, D.C. this November, supporters of limited government everywhere will have Sean Bielat to thank.
To win, Bielat must convince independent voters that Frankâ€™s liberal approach to government spending isnâ€™t the cure for what ails the economy. Thanks to mounting deficits and a failed stimulus, Bielat is finding that voters in the district are open to change.
It notes some unusually courageous positions Bielat has taken, including increasing the retirement age to 70:
One of Bielatâ€™s solutions is to phase in an increase in the retirement age to 70.Â â€œThings can be done gradually so that no one gets squeezed.Â For example, we could raise the retirement age by one month every year so that people can plan for the future.â€Â That alone would reduce pressure on the Social Security program while saving people the shock of a sudden change.
It’s worth reading the whole thing.