Happening Today:

Today | Gov. Charlie Baker returns from a week-long family vacation in Ireland.

9 a.m. | Boston Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper and officials from EdVestors announce a multi-year investment to expand music education in East Boston.

10 a.m. | The Boston City Council's Committee on Civil Services and Innovation Technology holds a public hearing on the issue of trash and recyclables produced by large sports and concert venues.

11 a.m. | Boston Mayor Michelle Wu appears live on 90.9 WBUR Radio Boston.

6 p.m. | The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library hosts a virtual forum on gun control and firearms policy.

With the calendar about to turn to December, one of the state’s most prominent pollsters says the postmortem on Attorney General Maura Healey’s resounding win for governor shows how the Democrat benefited from the divisions in the Republican Party.

Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos told MASSterList columnist and WBZ political analyst Jon Keller over the weekend that Republican Geoff Diehl’s inability to hold together an already small GOP bloc in Massachusetts proved fatal to his gubernatorial hopes.

Paleologos’s post-election analysis showed that only 82 percent of the Republican vote stuck with Diehl, while 20 percent of GOP primary voters gravitated to Healey in the general election. This speaks not only to the unpopularity of former President Donald Trump, who endorsed Diehl, in Massachusetts, but also the harm caused by the MassGOP’s decision to break away from its popular Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.

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This dilution of the Republican vote proved “critical” to Healey’s 63.5 percent to 35 percent margin,” Paleologos said. The GOP’s nominee needed to hold on to 95 percent or more of Republican voters to have a chance, he said.

Furthermore, Paleologos said GOP voters who backed Diehl’s opponent Chris Doughty in the primary went for Healey by a 41 percent to 35 percent margin.

“And the independent was getting like 20 percent of those voters which shows total dissatisfaction and a division within the Republican Party, an issue that Republicans are going to have to deal with on a serious level,” Paleologos said.

Asked if Trump’s endorsement and the rightward shift of the MassGOP sealed Diehl’s fate, Paleologos said, “After primary day, it was highly improbable, given the demographics, that Diehl was going to be able to overtake Maura Healey.”

On the national level, Paleologos said independent women voters likely made the difference for Democrats in swing states like New Hampshire where they broke from unenrolled men who supported Republicans by a 20 point margin.

“It was a surprise. Had Roe versus Wade not been overturned, independent women probably would have voted with independent men,” Paleologos said.

While a lot of factors were in play, Paleologos said the gender split among independent voters “really abated and prevented a red wave.”

The big polling miss in Massachusetts came with respect to Question 1. While the polling generally showed the “millionaires tax” passing, even Suffolk’s last poll over-predicted the amount of support for Question 1.

Paleologos surmised that difference between the polls and the actual vote (6 points in his last survey) likely had to do with voters changing their minds in the final three weeks as opponents raised doubts about how the new tax money would be spent and the 100,000 voters who ultimately blanked ballot questions like Question 1.

— TOO SOON TO TALK 2026? A lot can happen in four years, but U.S. Sen. Ed Markey said Sunday that he intends to run for reelection in four years.

“Oh, yes. This is the most energized I’ve ever been,” Markey told WCVB’s “On the Record” host Janet Wu.

Markey will be 80 by the time the 2026 election rolls around, but the Malden Democrats says age is just a number. “It’s not your age. It’s the age of your ideas and in many of these instances I am still the youngest guy in the room because I keep talking about the future…,” Markey said.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, 73, has said she also plans to run for another six-year term in 2024.

The Herald’s Matthew Medsger has more from Markey’s appearance where he talks about Elon Musk, Twitter and the FTX meltdown.

— Getting less bang for your buck

It’s the antithesis of Market Basket’s “More for Your Dollar.” Higher prices and less product. But consumers have a friend in Somerville’s Edgar Dworsky, who the New York Times has crowned the “go-to expert on ‘shrinkflation.'”

New York Times

— Devens shelter a start, but not enough, advocates say

Gov. Charlie Baker’s move to open an emergency shelter in Devens for the heavy influx of migrants to Massachusetts will help the immediate need, but may not be enough to meet even the current demand for shelter, advocates told GBH’s Liz Neisloss. Baker is truing as one of his final acts as governor to push a $139 million spending bill through the Legislature to fund emergency shelter beds and other services for migrants seeking asylum. Democrats on Beacon Hill have not said whether they will take up Baker’s request before the end of the year.

GBH News

– Everett developer used family to funnel funds to mayor

State campaign finance regulators have fined an Everett developer for “funneling excessive campaign contributions” to Mayor Carlo DeMaria through family members, the Globe’s Stephanie Ebbert reports. The developer was the focus of an earlier Globe story about how contracts and power are wielded in the city north of Boston, the head of the Office of Campaign and Political Finance says he does not believe DeMaria’s political committee was aware of the scheme to skirt state laws to raise the mayor cash.

The Boston Globe

— Book banning efforts on the rise

Controversy and fear that’s being stoked about the teaching of gender in schools is helping to fuel a surge in the number of “challenges” libraries are fielding to books in their collections. The Eagle-Tribune’s Christian Wade reports that a recent survey of libraries found that the number of “informal challenges, disruptions and objections” to materials on the shelves had quadrupled in 2022 from 2021. LGBTQ and gender-themed works were the most frequently challenged titles as candidates for public office and other groups and parents have raised issues with how sexuality is being taught and introduced to students in public schools.

The Eagle-Tribune

— Drunk driving convictions come in for a closer look

With the memory of tossed drug convictions due to lab testing scandals fresh in people’s minds, CommonWealth Magazine’s Shira Schoenberg looks ahead to a case that will come before the Supreme Judicial Court next week in which lawyers will seek to have convictions in 27,000 drunk driving cases vacated due to problems with the state’s use of breathalyzer tests.

The magazine’s Michael Jonas also has another interesting dispatch from the SJC on whether urine can be treated as a “noxious” substance.

CommonWealth Magazine

— Chief medical examiner gets extension as Baker heads out

Gov. Charlie Baker “quietly” reappointed the highest-paid official in the executive branch – the state’s chief medical examiner – to a new five-year term as he prepares to exit office, the Globe’s Matt Stout reports. During her time in the role, Stout writes that Dr. Mindy Hull has improved the turnaround time for death certificates and autopsy reports from her office, but has also cut down on the frequency of cases in which autopsies are performed. The Legislature ultimately backed off a push to have Hull, or whoever the chief medical examiner may be, personally review certain cases.

The Boston Globe

— Cutting literal waste should be a priority for Healey

With a new administration comes new hope in the advocacy world to breathe life into stalled or new priorities. For some environmental groups, MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz reports that new statewide bans on single-use plastic bags and styrofoam top the list as they hope to push the new Healey-Driscoll administration into being more aggressive when it comes to reducing waste piling up in the state’s landfills.

MassLive

— Redistricting in Boston faced court challenge

It had members of the Boston City Council at each other’s throats for months. But the city’s redistricting saga is not over even though Mayor Michelle Wu has already signed off on a map to redraw the city’s political boundaries and put the parochial back-biting behind it. The Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter reports that some groups from South Boston are asking a court to toss the map on the grounds that councilors focused too much on “racial balancing,” and diluted the white and Black vote in some neighborhoods in the process. The lawsuit has the backing of some on the council.

Boston Herald

— Leung: What the T needs in a new GM

With the wait on for Maura Healey to begin assembling her Cabinet, the Globe’s Shirley Leung tackles the challenge of finding someone to run the MBTA when Steve Poftak steps down in January. Leung believes the next general manager should have a skill set that’s been lacking in recent leaders of the beleaguered transit system – direct experience running trains and buses.

The Boston Globe

— Northampton activists push for their own reparations panel

Activists in Northampton are preparing to ask the city council to follow the lead of neighbor Amherst and create a panel to explore reparations for the city’s black residents, the Daily Hampshire Gazette’s Alexander MacDougal reports. The ad hoc Northampton Reparations Committee says it will present a formal plan to the council sometime in the new year. 

Daily Hampshire Gazette

— Shake out? Some see dispensary closures ahead

Some in the cannabis industry are predicting a wave of shop closures and mergers as a glut of legal weed drives down prices, Henry Schwan of the Telegram reports. The number of cannabis plants harvested in the state has nearly doubled in the past year, leading to a steep drop in wholesale prices, a development that is good news for consumers but a troubling trend for retailers.

Telegram & Gazette

— Developer sues over sale of long-closed movie theater 

The saga continues. A Southborough developer has sued the Westborough Select Board, saying it violated state law by ignoring the criteria it set in its request for proposals to buy a closed movie theater on Route 9. Jesse Collings of the MetroWest Daily News reports Ferris Development, which proposed putting a solar-powered business and innovation center on the property, was ranked behind the winning proposal from LAX Media, whose proposal includes returning movies to the former Regal Cinemas building.

MetroWest Daily News

MORE HEADLINES:

Metro

Residents weigh in on proposals for labs, towers next to JFK/UMass stop – Dorchester Reporter

Oddball 6-foot ‘Lobsta Mickey’ statue returns to Boston – Boston Herald

Massachusetts

John J. Ray III, a St. Joseph’s grad from Pittsfield, is earning $1,300 an hour to sort out the remains of the FTX cryptocurrency collapse – The Berkshire Eagle

Could a stalled bill have stopped deadly Hingham Apple Store crash? – MassLive

Superior officers vote ‘no confidence’ in Lawrence police chief – The Eagle-Tribune

National

Early voters in Georgia head to the polls Saturday for Senate runoff – The Washington Post

Newsom Told the White House He Won’t Challenge Biden – Politico

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