At rally, labor backs Coakley, condemns Globe poll

Mayor Martin Walsh speaks to the crowd of over 200 union members at a Martha Coakley rally at IBEW Local 103 on Saturday morning. Photo by Lauren Dezenski

If Saturday morning’s rally with union leaders and Mayor Marty Walsh is any indication, the Martha Coakley campaign is using recent poll numbers to seize the opportunity to whip supporters into action.

Labor was out in force at the IBEW Local 103 hall on Freeport Street as speaker after speaker condemned the recent Boston Globe poll putting Republican Charlie Baker nine points ahead of Democrat Martha Coakley in the gubernatorial race.

“The Globe hasn’t been right in a long, long time,” said Ed Kelly, president of the Professional Firefighters of Massachusetts, to the crowd of more than 200. “As organized labor, we’re going to prove we’re still as strong as we ever were.”

The Globe endorsed Coakley in her failed bid for the U.S. Senate in 2010 against Scott Brown.

“I know what kind of record The Boston Globe has,” Coakley told the crowd. “They always get it wrong, believe me.”

Coakley defended her harsh words to the Reporter: “We just believe that poll is incorrect. It’s been a neck-and-neck race, we know that. We’re focused on making sure we get our vote out because that’s the only poll that matters.”

The rally kicked off a day of door knocking in and around Dorchester and had many, including Walsh himself, drawing parallels between his mayoral race and Coakley’s, when before election day in 2013, polls had the former state representative down against rival John Connolly.

“A year ago in this room, it was just like this,” Walsh told the crowd. “Every newspaper was against us. Every headline was against us. But the way we won that race was about knocking doors.”

Steven Tolman, president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, touched on the Democrats’ strength in numbers in his remarks to the crowd. “We have history,” he said. “Charlie Baker doesn’t have what we have around Boston.”

State Rep. Dan Cullinane, the labor chair for the Coakley campaign, agreed. “The polling numbers have motivated more people to get out and knock doors,” he told the Reporter. “People are willing to roll up their sleeves to elect Martha.”