A theme I've hit on here a time or two is the long American political tradition whereby when you run for office and you don't win, you don't necessarily *lose.*
A recent local example would be Patrick Murphy building name recognition and maverick credentials with his 2007 Congressional bid, and then turning around and finishing 8th in this year's City Council election. To spread out nationally and to dig back deeper in time, there would be too many examples of *winning from losing* to fit into any blog entry, or even a lengthy book.
For now, it's fair to say the winners from Tuesday's primary are Martha Coakley and Scott Brown.
As for the losers, I think it's also fair to say Michael Capuano is the obvious *winner.* He didn't jeopardize his Congressional seat, which won't come up for election until next year; on the contrary, he massively increased his name recognition and stature within his own district. Who knows what that will mean for his political future, or even further down the road in law or business (hey, at what point do Ivy League degrees and fancy-pants law schools take away your right to refer to 'working-class roots' every five minutes?) Either way, it's safe to say he wins.
As for Alan Khazei and Steve Pagliuca, it's just too soon to say. For starters, two seemingly difficult-to-pronounce names have become household words across the state. Again, hard to exactly predict what that'll mean, but it could certainly come in handy should either try to re-involve himself in politics, get a new citizens' group/non-profit off the ground, or get involved in something that exploits name recognition (public speaking gigs, corporate boards, etc.) then the failed Senate bid is a MAJOR bonus.
Jack E. Robinson is a bit more of a wildcard. To only rack up a small percent of a much less crowded, much less star-studded field obviously doesn't say much for his statewide appeal, GOP or otherwise. But as they say, a week is a long time in politics, and I would imagine his name recognition in Duxbury is remarkable.