Here are some details of the Boston results. Boston is by far the largest city in Massachusetts and I’ve been tracking election results there for 20+ years. This is useful because I can really drill down into neighborhood demographics to make candidate and turnout observations, since most Boston neighborhoods can be clearly-defined by racial make-up and by historical patterns of turnout rates and candidate ideology support (liberal vs. moderate vs. conservative).
Boston numbers reinforce what we already know:
- The strongest Democratic base (non-white voters) voted very strongly for Coakley, but turnout (ie – voter excitement) was relatively low. Message to Democratic Party operative: Don’t ignore your base – Push for turnout in these communities – Democratic candidates will get 90+% of the votes here!
- Moderate-voting white voters had lukewarm support for Coakley, voters that she needed to win.
Below is a chart that summarizes the neighborhood data. Here’s link to a spreadsheet with full neighborhood details:
There are no official exit polls made available to the public, to the lament of many:
But there were a couple of polls done on or near election day that give us some final insight:
AFL-CIO poll of 810 voters on election night:
- There was a 15 point gender gap: men by +13 points for Brown vs. women by +2 points for Coakley.
- College grads were +5 points for Coakley, non-college voters were +20 points for Brown. It’s not clear if “non-college” means not a college grad, or did not attend college at all. I’d guess not attending at all.
- Union members voted for Brown 49% vs. Coakley 46%.
- Brown’s personal rating: 51% positive vs. 32% negative (net +19 points).
- Coakley’s personal rating: 40% positive vs. 37% negative (net +3 points).
- Lots of issue-related numbers too.
Here are some details of the Mass. Senate election, looking at individual city/town results. As I described in my county analysis post ( http://wp.me/pn4iD-5J ), the 2006 Governor race won by Deval Patrick (55%) with a similar turnout is a good indicator of where a Democrat must do well to win state-wide.
Here are some turnout highlights:
- State-wide turnout was 53%.
- The highest turnout (71% to 76%) was mostly in smaller (<10,000 registered voters), high-income towns like Sherborn, Dover, Norfolk, Westwood, Bolton, Medfield, Stow, Topsfield, Berlin, Cohasset, Concord, and Harvard.
- The lowest turnout was mostly in lower-income, non-white urban cities like Lawrence (25%), Chelsea (32%), Springfield (34%), Holyoke + Southbridge (35%), New Bedford (36%), Worcester + Fall River (37%), Lynn (38%), and Lowell (39%).
- Following the conventional wisdom of voter turnout (see below), this was expected, but the range was much wider than it was in the 2006 General. In that election, Patrick motivated those low-income/non-white voters to turn out at a higher rate.
- The biggest drops in turnout from 2006 to 2010 (minus 8 to 13 percentage points) were in places like Lawrence, New Bedford, Chelsea, Fall River, and Worcester. These are mostly places where Coakley did well and Patrick did very well.
- The biggest gains in turnout from 2006 to 2010 (plus 5 to 7 percentage points) were in places like Norfolk, North Attleborough,Wrentham, Douglas, Franklin, Plainville, and Weymouth. These are almost all places where Brown was very strong, with at least 64% of the vote.
Here are some details of the Mass. Senate election, looking at county results. For a few weeks after the primary, the conventional wisdom was the Coakley would win easily by 10-20% with maybe a 30-40% turnout (primary turnout was 20%). A good, recent comparison election was the 2006 Governor’s race where Deval Patrick (D) won 55% to 35% against Kerry Healey (R), and indicates where a Democrat like Coakley needed to do well to win state-wide.
There are lot of pundits and pollsters (see links below) with opinions on why Brown won, like winning big with the unenrolled voters. My niche is to focus on the numbers. Those numbers show Coakley needed a higher turnout and a higher % of the vote in traditional Democratic strongholds to win.
Here are some county highlights and Below is a chart that highlights the differences in candidate performance and turnout in the 2010 and 2006 elections:
- Coakley got 47% of the vote state-wide.
- Coakley did best in Western Mass. counties like Berkshire (75%), Franklin (70%), and Hampshire (67%). She also did well in Suffolk (70%) which is mostly Boston.
- Coakley did worst in counties like Plymouth (35%), Worcester (38%), and Barnstable/Essex/Hampden/Bristol/Norfolk (42-44%)
- Coakley got 8 percentage points less of the state-wide vote than Patrick did in 2006 (47% vs. 55%). The biggest drops were in Worcester (-15%), Bristol (-14%), Hampden (-11%). The smallest drops were in Middlesex, Suffolk, and Barnstable (-4%).
- The state-wide turnout counts in 2006 vs. 2010 were very close. But there were fewer registered voters in 2006 (lots of new registrations in 2008), so the difference was -2.9% (53% in 2010 vs. 56% in 2006).
- The biggest drops in turnout in 2010 vs. 2006 were in the counties where Coakley did well, such as Berkshire (-5.6%), Franklin (-5.4%), Suffolk (-5.4%). The smallest drops in turnout were in counties where Brown did well, such as Norfolk (+0.5%), Plymouth (-1.0%), and Barnstable (-2.2%).
- The % turnout in 2010 also mirrored the results, where turnout was generally higher in counties where Brown did well.
- Turnout was highest in Barnstable (62%), Norfolk (61%), and Middlesex (58%).
- Turnout was lowest in Suffolk (41%), Hampden (45%), Berkshire (48%), and Bristol (48%).
Here are the “official” unofficial results as of 1/20/2010:
- Scott Brown votes (Republican) = 1,168,607 (52%)
- Martha Coakley votes (Democrat) = 1,058,682 (47%)
- Joe Kennedy votes (Libertarian) = 22,237 (1.0%)
- Total Voter Turnout =2,249,026
- Registered Voter Count = 4.22 million
- Statewide Turnout = 53%
- Comparison Election – 2006 General for Governor:
- Patrick (Dem) = 55%
- Healey (Rep) = 35%
- Mihos (Ind) = 7%
- Ross (Green) = 2%
9:27pm – with 80% of the precincts counted, the total turnout is about 1.75 million. That projects to a turnout of about 2.18 million, or a 52% turnout (total Mass. registered voter count = 4.2 million)
I will be posting detailed election and turnout results on Wednesday 1/20/2010 as the raw data becomes available.
For the primary on 12/8/2009, the Boston Globe website (www.boston.com) was the only place I know of that posted town-by-town results. The Globe seems to get an exclusive on this kind of election day data, which is odd since it is a public record. Unfortunately, the Globe no longer seems to have the resources to do much detailed analysis of election result numbers anymore. Historically, the Secretary of State’s office (http://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/eleidx.htm) does a lousy job of publishing election results.
For the primary, final results for all 351 cities/towns were posted by 1am on Wednesday morning. Since the general turnout will be much higher than the primary (834K), it will probably take longer to tabulate the final counts. By the way, my prediction for today’s turnout is 1.8 million.
If you have any data to share, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org
See lots of old results here:
Here are some results of the 12/8/2009 Mass. Senate Primary, by Bob LeLievre (email: email@example.com). This post contains the town-by-town numbers for candidate results and turnout. I don’t have access to detailed polling results, so I can’t offer any insight into the demographic profiles of candidates’ support. For that, you can check out all the pundits’ opinions. What I can do is offer some insights and highlights from poring over the raw data, something that really isn’t done in Massachusetts, or at least made public. As always, I post all my raw number (see link below), in the interest of making public records more public and elections more transparent.
- Added turnout, candidate vote totals by county.
- Added statewide turnout counts for past 24 years.
- Added % of voters voting in Republican vs. Democratic primaries in past 20 years.
CANDIDATE RESULTS (more…)
- by Bob LeLievre, firstname.lastname@example.org, last updated 12/3/2009
Here’s an update on turnout rate vs. demographic group in Boston. This post includes info about the 2009 primary and general elections.
You may find this info useful because it difficult to find detailed information about from low turnout elections; such as off-year municipal elections and or various primary elections. You’ll find lots of data from pollster and media sources for high turnout elections, such as even-year November elections. People who know about it don’t publish it. I think this info is important because most elected officials get their start by winning one of those low turnout-elections for city council, state legislator, etc. So to win a low-turnout election, it’s very important to understand the turnout details.
Here is my summary of the Boston 2009 General election results. I include analysis of the turnout, Mayor’s race, and at-large City Council race. I summarize the results from a neighborhood perspective, not by wards, since almost everyone can identify with a neighborhood name more easily than a ward number.
Here’s a link to the turnout counts and rates by neighborhood: