United States Senate special election in Massachusetts, 2010

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United States Senate special election in Massachusetts, 2010
Massachusetts
2006 ←
January 19, 2010 (2010-01-19) → 2012

  Scott P. Brown (2).jpg Martha Coakley crop.jpg
Nominee Scott Brown Martha Coakley
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 1,168,107 1,058,682
Percentage 51.9% 47.1%

Massachusetts Senatorial Special Election Results by Municipality, 2010.svg

Municipality results

U.S. Senator before election

Paul Kirk
Democratic

Elected U.S. Senator

Scott Brown
Republican

The 2010 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts was a special election held on January 19, 2010, in order to fill the Massachusetts Class I United States Senate seat for the remainder of the term ending January 3, 2013. It was won by Republican candidate Scott Brown.

The vacancy that prompted the special election was created by the death of Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy on August 25, 2009. (Kennedy served as Senator since 1962, having been elected in a special election in 1962 to fill the vacancy created when his brother John F. Kennedy was elected President of the United States in 1960.) The seat was held until the election by an appointee, Senator Paul Kirk, a former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, who was not a candidate in the election to complete the term.

A party primary election determining the winners of party nominations was held on December 8, 2009.[1][2] The Democratic Party nominated Martha Coakley, the Massachusetts Attorney General; The Republican Party nominated Scott Brown, a Massachusetts State Senator.

The race drew national attention due to Brown's unexpectedly closing the gap and running even with, or ahead of, Coakley in independent and internal polling in the last few days of the campaign.[3][4][5]

Polls closed at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. At 9:06 pm, BNO News projected Brown as the winner of the race.[6] At 9:13 p.m., The Boston Globe reported that Coakley telephoned Brown and conceded her defeat in the election.[7] As a result of the election, the Republicans would control 41 seats in the United States Senate, enough to maintain a filibuster.[8] Although Democrats would retain control of both Houses of Congress until January 2011, Scott Brown's victory would greatly affect their political plans, most notably for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, though the legislation was signed into law two months later.[9][10] Brown became the first Republican to win this seat since when the Democrats captured it in 1952.

Background[edit]

Timeline[edit]

Massachusetts law requires a special election to be held on a Tuesday, no fewer than 145 days, nor more than 160 days from the date of office vacancy, on a date determined by the governor. That range placed the election date between January 17 and February 1, 2010.[1][11][12] Massachusetts law specifies that a party primary shall be held the sixth Tuesday before the general election.[13] On August 28, 2009, Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin presented the dates January 19 and 26, 2010, after meetings with State House Speaker Robert DeLeo, State Senate President Therese Murray, and aides to Governor Deval Patrick. Patrick was legally required to select one of these two dates. A January 19 election would require the primary to be held on December 8, while a January 26 election would have required a December 15 primary.[1] Republican State Representative Karyn Polito suggested on August 28, 2009, that, because the possible election dates overlap the holiday season, the law ought to be rewritten to allow the special election to be held on November 3, 2009, to coincide with other elections in the state.[14]

Patrick stated on August 29, 2009, that he wanted to honor a request by Kennedy that any appointee to the seat not run, and that he would address the issue of the election date "after we have finished this period of respectful grief."[14] On August 31, 2009, Patrick scheduled the special election for January 19, 2010, with the primary elections on December 8, 2009. For party primary candidates, completed nomination papers with certified signatures were required to be filed by the close of business, November 3, 2009. Non-party candidates had a December 8, 2009, filing deadline.[2][15][16]

Qualifications[edit]

A senator must, by the date of inauguration, be at least thirty years old, a U.S. citizen for at least nine years, and a state inhabitant of the state he or she wishes to represent.[17] In Massachusetts, candidates for the U.S. Senate must file nomination papers with certified signatures of 10,000 Massachusetts voters, by deadlines established by the Secretary of the Commonwealth.[18] A candidate for nomination in a party's special primary election must have been an enrolled member of the party, through filing as a member of that party with the Secretary of the Commonwealth using a certificate of voter registration, for the 90 days preceding the filing deadline, unless the candidate is a newly registered voter. The candidate additionally must not have been enrolled in any other party in the prior year.[19]

Appointment[edit]

In 2004, the Massachusetts General Court withdrew the authority of the governor to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy by appointment, to prevent the then-Governor Mitt Romney, a Republican, from appointing a Republican to fill the remainder of Democrat John Kerry's Senate term, if Kerry were to win the 2004 presidential election. The legislation was enacted over Romney's veto.[20][21][22][23][24] At that time, Senator Ted Kennedy successfully made personal appeals to Massachusetts Democratic legislative leaders to pass the bill, which was stalled prior to his request.[25]

Seven days before his death, Kennedy communicated his desire to amend the law so that upon a vacancy, the governor might appoint a Senator to serve until the special election occurred and avoid a five-month vacancy for the office. Kennedy sent a letter to the governor and legislative leaders (received on August 18, 2009, and dated July 2, 2009) requesting that they consider changing the law, and that the Governor obtain the personal pledge of such an appointee to not become a candidate in the following special election.[26][27] John Kerry, President Barack Obama, and State House Speaker Robert DeLeo all expressed support for an interim appointment.[28][29][30]

Patrick stated that he wished to honor the request by Kennedy that any appointee pledge not to run in the special election.[14] The legality of such a demand in state law is questioned by Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin, as the qualifications for office to Congress are specified solely in the Constitution.[14] Robert DeLeo stated that both the Senate and the House of Representatives planned to approve resolutions indicating that they did not want the appointee to run in the special election or become involved with any candidate's campaign.[31]

A bill previously pending before the legislature, filed by State Rep. Robert M. Koczera of New Bedford in January 2009, proposed to permit the governor to appoint a senator; to enjoin the governor from appointing a candidate in a subsequent special election; and to permit the appointment date to occur only after the filing deadline for the special election had passed.[32] Governor Patrick said he would push the General Court to pass the bill, and that he would sign it into law.[33] The General Court held its first hearing on the legislation on September 9.[34]

The Massachusetts House of Representatives approved legislation to give Governor Patrick the power to appoint an interim senator on September 17, 2009, by a 95–58 vote.[31] The Massachusetts Senate approved the measure on September 22, 2009, by a vote of 24 to 16,[35] and both houses of the General Court gave final approval to the bill on September 23.[36]

On September 24, 2009, Patrick appointed Paul G. Kirk, former Democratic National Committee chairman and aide to Ted Kennedy, to serve until the elected successor took office.[28][37] Kennedy's two sons, Patrick J. Kennedy and Edward Kennedy, Jr.,[38] and his wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy,[39] had all expressed their preference for Kirk. Kirk was sworn into office on Friday, September 25, 2009.[40] He pledged not to be a candidate in the special election.[37]

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Polling[edit]

Source Date(s) administered Mike Capuano Martha Coakley Alan Khazei Stephen Pagliuca Other
Rasmussen Reports (report)[Poll 1] September 8, 2009 7% 38% 24%
Suffolk University (report)[Poll 2] September 16, 2009 9% 47% 3% 6%
Lake Research (report)[Poll 3] September 21–24, 2009 12% 47% 1% 4%
Research 2000 (report)[Poll 4] October 28–29, 2009 16% 42% 5% 15%
Suffolk University (report)[Poll 5] November 4–8, 2009 16% 44% 3% 17%
The Boston Globe (report)(graphic)[Poll 6] November 13–18, 2009 22% 43% 6% 15%
Rasmussen Reports (report)[Poll 7] November 23, 2009 21% 36% 14% 14% 5%
Results December 8, 2009 28% 47% 13% 12%  ?

Results[edit]

Democratic Primary results[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Martha Coakley 310,227 47%
Democratic Mike Capuano 184,791 28%
Democratic Alan Khazei 88,929 13%
Democratic Stephen Pagliuca 80,248 12%
Totals 664,195 100%

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Polling[edit]

Source Dates administered Scott Brown Jack E. Robinson III Undecided
Suffolk University (report)[Poll 5] November 4–8, 2009 45% 7% 47%
Results December 8, 2009 89% 11%

Results[edit]

Republican Primary results[55][56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Scott Brown 145,465 89%
Republican Jack Robinson 17,241 11%
Totals 162,706 100%

Other candidates[edit]

Independent or third party candidates had until December 8, 2009, to submit nomination papers for signature certification.[15]

General election campaign[edit]

Scott Brown considered himself a fiscal conservative and Washington, D.C. outsider.[47] He said "I have always thought that being in government service is a privilege, not a right. This Senate seat doesn't belong to any one person or political party. It belongs to you, the people, and the people deserve a U.S. senator who will always put your interests first."[47] Brown had called for fiscal restraint and smaller government, claiming that he had never voted for a tax increase. Brown also pledged to be the 41st vote against the current health care reform bill in the Senate.[47][59] Assistant Professor Boris Schor of the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy Studies described Brown as a liberal Republican by national standards, but well suited for his Massachusetts constituency.[60][61][62] Brown drew attention for having appeared nude[63][64][65] and semi-nude[66] with his hands covering his genitals in a centerfold in Cosmopolitan in 1982.

Coakley positioned herself as a liberal, supporting several key initiatives of President Obama's, including healthcare reform.[67] She supports reform that accomplishes the three goals of expanding coverage, improving healthcare outcomes and reducing costs.[68] She supports increased regulation of the financial sector, the protection of abortion rights and ending the war in Afghanistan. Notably, Coakley took positions to increase equal rights for LGBT individuals; she favors ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell, repealing the Defense of Marriage Act and strengthening hate crimes laws.[69] Coakley refused to investigate Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of Boston, and his office for allegedly violating laws in regards to destruction of public e-mail records. Coakley denies all accusations of misconduct.[70] She also declined to reprimand the state's District Attorneys in relation to false statements they allegedly made regarding the effects of the state's voter approved Massachusetts Sensible Marijuana Policy Initiative in an attempt to defeat the ballot question, as well as allegations the District Attorneys misused state resources (website) and failed to file as designated ballot committee in a timely manner while receiving contributions as required by law while challenging the initiative.[71] The statements by the District Attorneys included allegedly inaccurate and misleading warnings in an effort to defeat the law, such as that if the law passed "any person may carry and use marijuana at any time." When declining to pursue the case Coakley's office responded with "nothing in the proposed law explicitly forbids public use of the drug". This basically ignores the fact that the law still levies a $100 fine and confiscation for adults, as well as additional mandatory community service for minors for the act of possession, and that using the drug requires possessing it, as well as the fact the law as passed allows cities to pass their own ordinances to further fine public consumption if needed.[72] The failure to file as a ballot committee allegedly stems from the fact state records show the district attorneys began raising money as early as July 18, 2008, but did not file a statement of organization or any of the appropriate financial disclosures with the state until September 5, 2008.[71] Coakley was herself a member of The Coalition for Safe Streets, the political action group eventually formed by the District Attorneys to fight the ballot question. She stated that she did not feel it was necessary to recuse herself from any decisions based on any possible conflict of interest grounds.[73] In a radio interview on January 16, 2010, Coakley described former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling as a "Yankee fan," which drew criticism.[74][75][76] Schilling, who considered running for the Senate seat himself and later endorsed Scott Brown,[77] responded by saying "I've been called a lot of things ... but never, I mean never, could anyone make the mistake of calling me a Yankee fan. Well, check that, if you didn't know what the hell is going on in your own state maybe you could…"[78][79] Coakley later described the comment as a joke.[80] Two of Coakley's ads had to be reedited after they first aired, one because of a typo in spelling Massachusetts (spelling it Massachusettes), and another which used old stock footage of New York's World Trade Center, destroyed in the September 11 terrorist attacks, to represent Wall Street. The second ad was meant to depict Scott Brown as a Wall Street crony.[81] On January 12, 2010, an altercation occurred between The Weekly Standard journalist John McCormack and Democratic strategist Michael Meehan, in which the journalist was pushed onto the ground while trying to ask Coakley a question.[82][83] Coakley stated she was aware of the incident but unsure of exactly what happened.[84] Meehan later apologized for being "a little too aggressive," while denying any intention to knock down McCormack.[85] Coakley's role in the case of Keith Winfield attracted criticism. In October 2005, Winfield, then working as a police officer, was accused of raping his 23-month-old niece with a hot object, most likely a curling iron. A Middlesex County grand jury overseen by Coakley investigated the case and did not take any actions. After the toddler's mother filed applications for criminal complaints, Coakley then obtained grand jury indictments charging rape and assault and battery. She recommended about ten months after the indictment that Winfield be released, without bail. Winfield remained free until December 2007, when he received two life terms in prison in a case prosecuted by Coakley's successor. Coakley defended her decisions, saying that Winfield had a clean record and few other signs of danger.[86]

Joseph L. Kennedy.jpg

Joseph L. Kennedy opposed Democratic plans for healthcare reform and vowed, if elected, to work to repeal the legislation. He opposes government spending by both the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations. It was suggested that he could have benefited from voters who associated him with the Kennedy family,[87] which he acknowledged, saying "I'm not going to be delusional, there will be hard-core Kennedy voters who will pull the wrong lever." However, Boston University political scientist Thomas Whalen said that Kennedy's libertarian views may cause him to detract votes from Brown rather than Coakley.[88]

People stand in line to see Barack Obama campaign for Martha Coakley at Northeastern University (top). Scott Brown supporters line the opposite side of the street (bottom).

CQ Politics and Cook Political Report rated the election[when?] as a "Tossup". The Rothenberg Political Report changed its rating from "Tossup" to "Lean Takeover" on January 18.[89] Charlie Cook of the Cook Political Report stated on January 17, said that he would put his "finger on the scale" for Scott Brown as favored to win. The Rothenberg Political Report released a statement that, "unless Democratic turnout exceeds everyone's expectations, Brown is headed for a comfortable win."[90][91] As of January 18, Brown led Coakley in the Intrade prediction market by high double-digit margins.[92][93] Statistician Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com projected on January 18 that there was a 75% chance that Brown would defeat Coakley.[94]

During the campaign, controversy erupted over a conscientious objector amendment Brown sponsored in 2005, which, according to The Boston Globe, "would have allowed a doctor, nurse or hospital to deny rape victims an emergency contraceptive if it 'conflicts with a sincerely held religious belief.'" In the candidates' January 5 debate, Brown stated that he continues to support religious hospitals in refusing to provide emergency contraception, causing the woman to go to another hospital. He said, "That's really up to the hospital. There are many, many hospitals that can deal with that situation."[95][96] Coakley ran a television advertisement attacking Brown over that saying, "Brown even favors letting hospitals deny emergency contraception to rape victims." Brown's daughter Ayla called the Coakley advertisement "completely inaccurate and misleading", and Brown criticized Coakley for running what he described as "attack ads".[97]

Scott Brown filed an ethics complaint stating that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 509 used state computers and e-mail addresses to direct employees of the state to volunteer for Coakley's campaign.[98] During a State Senate debate in 2001, Brown referred to the decision of his lesbian Democratic opponent, Cheryl Jacques, to have children as "not normal". He also described her parenting role as "alleged family responsibilities." Several Massachusetts LGBT activists condemned the statement. Brown quickly apologized for his "poor choice of words", and he defended his position on that issue as being anti-gay-marriage and pro-civil-unions.[99]

Finances[edit]

As of January 8, 2010, Martha Coakley raised over US$5.2 million in total, and had $937,383 cash on hand. Scott Brown had $367,150 cash on hand. Brown spent $450,000 on television advertisements, while Coakley spent $1.4 million.[100] A week before the general election, Brown raised $1.3 million from over 16,000 donors in a 24-hour fund-raising effort. Reports also indicated that Brown raised an average of $1 million per day the week prior to the election.[101] This outpouring of support from the Internet offset what had been relatively less support from national Republican committees, who had decided not to publicly target the race.[102]

Coakley admitted to making an "honest mistake" while filing the financial disclosure forms for her Senate run claiming to have no personal assets when in fact she had an account under her husband's name with over $200,000 and a personal Individual Retirement Account containing approximately $12,000.[103]

Approximately US$23 million was spent on the election.[104]

Debates[edit]

All three candidates participated in the debates. The first was held on the Jim & Margery show in Boston on January 5, and broadcast by WTKK. The January 8 debate was held in Springfield, Massachusetts and broadcast by WGBY-TV. The final debate was held on January 11 at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston.[105][106]

Endorsements[edit]

The Boston Herald,[107] the Cape Cod Times,[108] The Eagle-Tribune,[109] the Telegram & Gazette,[110] The Sun[111] The Martha's Vineyard Times,[112] and The Salem News[113] endorsed Brown for the general election, while The Boston Globe[114] The Boston Phoenix,[115] and the Watertown Tab & Press[116] endorsed Coakley. Vicki Kennedy, wife of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, endorsed Coakley, along with other members of the Kennedy family,[117] while former presidential candidates John McCain and Rudy Giuliani,[118] Boston College legend and former NFL quarterback Doug Flutie, and Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling[119] endorsed Brown. Both former President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama actively campaigned for Coakley in the final days of the campaign.[120][121] Former governors Bill Weld and Mitt Romney also endorsed Brown, with Weld actively campaigning with him in places such as Quincy and Romney e-mailing supporters to get out the vote to turn out for Brown on Tuesday.[citation needed] The national Tea Party Express endorsed Brown.[122]

Media[edit]

In regards to the coverage of the election, MSNBC was criticized by one reporter for perceived bias against Brown, while Fox News was accused of favoring Brown. One journalist reported that CNN and Fox News may have delivered more balanced coverage on the election day itself, providing both Republican and Democratic commentators.[123]

On Fox's Hannity on January 11, political commentator Dick Morris solicited donations for a last-minute Brown advertising buy before the election, and said "please, please help (elect Brown)".[124] Brown himself made multiple appearances on various Fox programs within a 24-hour-period, where he made fundraising solicitations during the course of the interviews.[125][126]

Polling[edit]

On January 14, 2010, Stuart Rothenberg of The Rothenberg Political Report,[127] Charlie Cook of The Cook Political Report[127] and statistician Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com[128] all characterized the race as a tossup. On January 15, 2010, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for Coakley in Worcester, while former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani campaigned for Brown in Boston.[129] President Barack Obama campaigned for Coakley on January 17, 2010.[130] On January 17, Cook said that Brown had become the slight favorite.[131] The Rothenberg Political Report and Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight.com changed their ratings from "Tossup" to "Lean Takeover" on January 18.[89]

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size
Margin
of
error
Scott
Brown (R)
Martha
Coakley (D)
Joseph L.
Kennedy (I)
Other Unde-
cided
Suffolk University (report) September 16, 2009 500 ± 4.4% 24% 54% 20% 9%
Western New England College (report) October 18–22, 2009 468 ± 4.5% 32% 58% 9% 9%
Suffolk University (report) November 4–8, 2009 600 ± 4% 27% 58% 15% 9%
The Boston Globe (report) January 2–6, 2010 554 ± 4.2% 35% 50% 5% 9%
Rasmussen Reports (report) January 4, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 41% 50% 1% 7%
Public Policy Polling (report) January 7–9, 2010 744 ± 3.6% 48% 47% 6%
Rasmussen Reports (report) January 11, 2010 1000 ± 3% 47% 49% 3% 2%
Suffolk University (report) January 11–13, 2010 500 ± 4.4% 50% 46% 3% 1%
Research 2000 (report)[132] January 12–13, 2010 500 ± 4% 41% 49% 5% 5%
American Research Group (report) January 12–14, 2010 600 ± 4% 48% 45% 2% 5%
CrossTarget Research (report) January 14, 2010 946 ± 3.19% 54% 39% 8%
Merriman River Group (report) January 15, 2010 565 ± 4% 51% 41% 2% 6%
American Research Group (report) January 15–17, 2010 600 ± 4% 52% 45% 2% 2%
Daily Kos/Research 2000 (report)[132] January 15–17, 2010 500 ± 4.5% 48% 48% 3% 1%
CrossTarget Research (report) January 16–17, 2010 571 ± 4.09% 52% 42% 6%
Public Policy Polling (report) January 16–17, 2010 1231 ± 2.8% 51% 46% 4%
Politico (report) January 17, 2010 804 ± 3.4% 52% 43% 2% 3%
Results January 19, 2010 2,253,727 51.83% 47.07% 0.99% 0.05%

Results[edit]

Polls closed at 8:00 pm Eastern Time. At 9:06 pm BNO News projected Brown as the winner of the race.[6] At 9:13 p.m., The Boston Globe reported that Coakley telephoned Brown and conceded the election.[7] The best county for Brown was Plymouth, with 62.77%, while the best county for Coakley was Berkshire, with 68.48%.

The final results certified on February 4, 2010 were:[133]

2010 Massachusetts U.S. Senate special election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Scott Brown 1,168,178 51.83 n/a
Democratic Martha Coakley 1,060,861 47.07 n/a
Liberty Joseph L. Kennedy 22,388 0.99 n/a
All others 1,155 0.05 n/a
Blanks 1,145 0.05 n/a
Total votes 2,253,727 100%
Turnout 54
Republican gain from Democratic Swing Increase 21.3

By county[edit]

2010 U.S. Senate election returns by county:
Red for Scott Brown (R); blue for Martha Coakley (D)
County Coakley
%
Coakley
votes
Brown
%
Brown
votes
Kennedy
%
Kennedy
votes
Barnstable 41.7% 43,609 57.4% 59,990 0.9% 901
Berkshire 68.5% 29,847 30.5% 13,294 1.0% 443
Bristol 42.8% 71,493 56.0% 93,474 1.2% 1,930
Dukes 64.3% 4,915 34.5% 2,641 1.2% 92
Essex 42.6% 108,336 56.5% 143,897 0.9% 2,323
Franklin 62.7% 17,318 35.7% 9,876 1.6% 446
Hampden 44.0% 57,813 54.5% 71,641 1.5% 1,950
Hampshire 61.4% 34,770 37.3% 21,107 1.3% 712
Middlesex 51.7% 283,259 47.4% 259,768 0.8% 4,627
Nantucket 50.6% 2,139 48.0% 2,032 1.4% 58
Norfolk 43.6% 120,041 55.5% 152,784 0.8% 2,262
Plymouth 36.6% 49,619 62.5% 84,680 0.8% 1,132
Suffolk 66.2% 115,774 32.8% 57,350 1.0% 1,807
Worcester 37.9% 99,803 60.9% 160,274 1.2% 3,087
Total 47.1% 1,058,682 51.9% 1,168,107 1.0% 22,237

Source: Leip, David (January 19, 2010). "2010 Senatorial Special Election Data Graphs – Massachusetts". Retrieved January 21, 2010. 

By municipality[edit]

Municipal election results, showing the winner of each town or city in either red (Brown) or blue (Coakley).

The Associated Press and The Boston Globe reported voting results for each of the 351 municipalities in Massachusetts.[134][135] Brown won in 229 of those 351 municipalities, while Coakley won in 121. Coakley and Brown tied in the small town of Hawley, each receiving 63 votes. In general, Scott Brown drew support from suburban towns in the central and southeastern portions of the state, while Martha Coakley generally fared well in the cities, rural towns in the west and the offshore islands. More specifically, support for Brown tended to be high in Hampden County, the 495 Corridor, the South Shore suburbs and the southwestern part of Cape Cod. Brown also won or ran close to even in a number of historically Democratic working class cities such as Worcester, Lowell and Quincy. Coakley generally fared well in the Berkshires and the cities, and had particularly strong support in college towns such as Amherst, Northampton and Cambridge.[136]

The central and southeastern parts of the state that favored Brown in 2010 experienced steep drops in the Democratic share of the vote – often more than 15% – compared to the vote for Barack Obama in 2008. As of November 2009, towns in those same areas also had a higher average unemployment rate, 8.7%, compared to that of the rest of the state at 7.7%. At 51%, towns where the Democratic share of the vote declined by less than 10% from 2008 for Obama to 2010 for Coakley had a higher percentage of people with a bachelor's degree compared to that of the rest of the state, 31%.[136]

Voter turnout in the 2010 special election was significantly lower than in the 2008 election. The drop in turnout was smallest—around 25%—in areas that supported Obama in the 2008 election by less than 60%. Turnout fell 30% among towns that supported Obama by over 60%. In Boston, which supported Obama by almost 79% in 2008, the decrease in 2010 voter turnout was even more pronounced, at about 35%.[136]

Rank
of 351
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
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27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
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46
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48
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50
51
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54
55
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58
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60
61
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63
64
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66
67
68
69
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71
72
73
74
75
76
77
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79
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90
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94
95
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98
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100
101
102
103
104
105
106
107
108
109
110
111
112
113
114
115
116
117
118
119
120
121
122
123
124
125
126
127
128
129
130
131
132
133
134
135
136
137
138
139
140
141
142
143
144
145
146
147
148
149
150
151
152
153
154
155
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157
158
159
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170
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172
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228
229
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241
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245
246
247
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249
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253
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255
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257
258
259
260
261
262
263
264
265
266
267
268
269
270
271
272
273
274
275
276
277
278
279
280
281
282
283
284
285
286
287
288
289
290
291
292
293
294
295
296
297
298
299
300
301
302
303
304
305
306
307
308
309
310
311
312
313
314
315
316
317
318
319
320
321
322
323
324
325
326
327
328
329
330
331
332
333
334
335
336
337
338
339
340
341
342
343
344
345
346
347
348
349
350
351
Municipality
Coakley
votes
Coakley
%
Brown
votes
Brown
%
Kennedy
votes
Kennedy
%
Total
vote
Turnout
%
Abington 2,088 33.1% 4,158 65.9% 61 1.0% 6,307 60%
Acton 5,371 57.5% 3,896 41.7% 71 0.8% 9,338 68%
Acushnet 1,627 42.8% 2,138 56.3% 34 0.9% 3,799 51%
Adams 1,650 68.1% 748 30.9% 26 1.1% 2,424 40%
Agawam 3,660 34.7% 6,726 63.8% 158 1.5% 10,544 51%
Alford 157 69.2% 68 30.0% 2 0.9% 227 58%
Amesbury 2,543 41.7% 3,480 57.1% 70 1.1% 6,093 51%
Amherst 6,547 84.0% 1,180 15.1% 64 0.8% 7,791 47%
Andover 5,900 41.2% 8,336 58.2% 80 0.6% 14,316 64%
Aquinnah 149 77.6% 42 21.9% 1 0.5% 192 48%
Arlington 13,284 65.5% 6,845 33.7% 157 0.8% 20,286 68%
Ashburnham 866 35.1% 1,574 63.8% 27 1.1% 2,467 58%
Ashby 475 33.0% 949 66.0% 14 1.0% 1,438 60%
Ashfield 670 75.0% 212 23.7% 11 1.2% 893 69%
Ashland 2,897 45.1% 3,467 54.0% 60 0.9% 6,424 61%
Athol 1,171 35.0% 2,105 62.9% 68 2.0% 3,344 50%
Attleboro 4,819 35.6% 8,598 63.5% 116 0.9% 13,533 53%
Auburn 2,406 36.9% 4,036 62.0% 72 1.1% 6,514 56%
Avon 706 37.5% 1,155 61.3% 22 1.2% 1,883 62%
Ayer 989 39.6% 1,467 58.8% 41 1.6% 2,497 53%
Barnstable 7,543 37.6% 12,331 61.5% 179 0.9% 20,053 65%
Barre 728 36.1% 1,263 62.7% 23 1.1% 2,014 58%
Becket 384 62.0% 225 36.3% 10 1.6% 619 49%
Bedford 2,976 50.3% 2,900 49.0% 46 0.8% 5,922 64%
Belchertown 2,629 48.4% 2,749 50.6% 57 1.0% 5,435 57%
Bellingham 2,179 34.3% 4,090 64.4% 78 1.2% 6,347 61%
Belmont 6,528 59.3% 4,405 40.0% 76 0.7% 11,009 67%
Berkley 746 31.2% 1,614 67.6% 28 1.2% 2,388 56%
Berlin 538 39.0% 825 59.7% 18 1.3% 1,381 69%
Bernardston 445 52.9% 378 44.9% 19 2.3% 842 54%
Beverly 6,735 44.0% 8,400 54.9% 163 1.1% 15,298 61%
Billerica 4,972 33.8% 9,583 65.1% 156 1.1% 14,711 60%
Blackstone 1,052 32.9% 2,102 65.8% 40 1.3% 3,194 53%
Blandford 196 35.6% 343 62.4% 11 2.0% 550 63%
Bolton 995 41.9% 1,362 57.3% 18 0.8% 2,375 74%
Boston 105,289 68.7% 46,468 30.3% 1,513 1.0% 153,270 43%
Bourne 2,807 35.0% 5,134 64.0% 76 0.9% 8,017 61%
Boxborough 1,141 50.7% 1,087 48.3% 21 0.9% 2,249 67%
Boxford 1,239 30.3% 2,837 69.3% 18 0.4% 4,094 69%
Boylston 729 35.2% 1,321 63.7% 23 1.1% 2,073 67%
Braintree 5,606 37.2% 9,312 61.8% 155 1.0% 15,073 61%
Brewster 2,416 46.5% 2,730 52.6% 46 0.9% 5,192 64%
Bridgewater 2,794 31.0% 6,138 68.1% 85 0.9% 9,017 58%
Brimfield 489 32.8% 995 66.7% 7 0.5% 1,491 58%
Brockton 11,761 54.4% 9,634 44.6% 223 1.0% 21,618 41%
Brookfield 430 33.8% 813 63.9% 29 2.3% 1,272 55%
Brookline 15,264 74.1% 5,217 25.3% 108 0.5% 20,589 49%
Buckland 522 65.4% 263 33.0% 13 1.6% 798 62%
Burlington 3,658 39.1% 5,640 60.3% 54 0.6% 9,352 58%
Cambridge 27,268 84.1% 4,921 15.2% 232 0.7% 32,421 54%
Canton 3,787 39.3% 5,770 59.9% 80 0.8% 9,637 63%
Carlisle 1,442 54.0% 1,215 45.5% 13 0.5% 2,670 73%
Carver 1,611 33.0% 3,222 66.0% 50 1.0% 4,883 56%
Charlemont 278 60.0% 176 38.0% 9 1.9% 463 52%
Charlton 1,271 26.6% 3,458 72.4% 46 1.0% 4,775 53%
Chatham 1,488 40.3% 2,179 59.0% 27 0.7% 3,694 65%
Chelmsford 5,688 37.3% 9,417 61.8% 128 0.8% 15,233 65%
Chelsea 2,562 61.9% 1,501 36.3% 73 1.8% 4,136 37%
Cheshire 740 62.2% 436 36.7% 13 1.1% 1,189 51%
Chester 194 39.0% 292 58.6% 12 2.4% 498 54%
Chesterfield 264 51.8% 242 47.5% 4 0.8% 510 59%
Chicopee 7,043 44.8% 8,339 53.1% 334 2.1% 15,716 46%
Chilmark 364 70.7% 141 27.4% 10 1.9% 515 59%
Clarksburg 395 67.3% 186 31.7% 6 1.0% 587 52%
Clinton 1,661 37.4% 2,724 61.3% 59 1.3% 4,444 47%
Cohasset 1,419 37.0% 2,401 62.6% 17 0.4% 3,837 70%
Colrain 401 60.2% 249 37.4% 16 2.4% 666 56%
Concord 5,445 62.1% 3,271 37.3% 52 0.6% 8,768 72%
Conway 685 69.0% 303 30.5% 5 0.5% 993 66%
Cummington 306 69.2% 130 29.4% 6 1.4% 442 68%
Dalton 1,423 61.7% 845 36.7% 37 1.6% 2,305 50%
Danvers 3,651 36.2% 6,347 62.9% 89 0.9% 10,087 57%
Dartmouth 5,110 46.4% 5,812 52.7% 98 0.9% 11,020 47%
Dedham 4,647 43.1% 5,979 55.5% 147 1.4% 10,773 65%
Deerfield 1,482 62.5% 853 36.0% 36 1.5% 2,371 63%
Dennis 3,131 41.4% 4,358 57.6% 76 1.0% 7,565 65%
Dighton 829 31.6% 1,770 67.5% 24 0.9% 2,623 57%
Douglas 840 25.4% 2,440 73.7% 31 0.9% 3,311 54%
Dover 1,058 35.8% 1,888 63.8% 13 0.4% 2,959 75%
Dracut 3,166 29.0% 7,658 70.2% 87 0.8% 10,911 55%
Dudley 1,125 30.6% 2,515 68.4% 39 1.1% 3,679 53%
Dunstable 502 33.8% 968 65.2% 14 0.9% 1,484 69%
Duxbury 2,674 34.7% 4,982 64.7% 44 0.6% 7,700 70%
East Bridgewater 1,583 28.9% 3,849 70.4% 39 0.7% 5,471 60%
East Brookfield 245 27.3% 645 71.7% 9 1.0% 899 60%
Eastham 1,540 50.7% 1,473 48.5% 25 0.8% 3,038 71%
Easthampton 3,708 58.9% 2,493 39.6% 91 1.4% 6,292 56%
East Longmeadow 2,091 32.5% 4,294 66.6% 58 0.9% 6,443 58%
Easton 3,350 35.9% 5,931 63.5% 59 0.6% 9,340 61%
Edgartown 1,002 55.8% 771 42.9% 24 1.3% 1,797 57%
Egremont 445 71.8% 172 27.7% 3 0.5% 620 65%
Erving 296 57.8% 208 40.6% 8 1.6% 512 47%
Essex 685 39.7% 1,023 59.3% 17 1.0% 1,725 63%
Everett 4,245 52.0% 3,798 46.5% 123 1.5% 8,166 44%
Fairhaven 2,834 47.6% 3,045 51.2% 69 1.2% 5,948 54%
Fall River 10,341 56.9% 7,489 41.2% 343 1.9% 18,173 38%
Falmouth 7,133 46.6% 8,041 52.5% 128 0.8% 15,302 59%
Fitchburg 3,783 40.0% 5,574 58.9% 104 1.1% 9,461 46%
Florida 144 52.9% 125 46.0% 3 1.1% 272 49%
Foxborough 2,465 33.6% 4,821 65.7% 57 0.8% 7,343 65%
Framingham 10,329 52.6% 9,149 46.6% 160 0.8% 19,638 58%
Franklin 4,470 33.3% 8,828 65.8% 110 0.8% 13,408 67%
Freetown 1,189 34.5% 2,220 64.5% 34 1.0% 3,443 55%
Gardner 2,441 42.0% 3,271 56.2% 105 1.8% 5,817 52%
Georgetown 1,239 34.7% 2,311 64.6% 25 0.7% 3,575 61%
Gill 398 62.2% 226 35.3% 16 2.5% 640 60%
Gloucester 5,553 49.6% 5,522 49.3% 121 1.1% 11,196 56%
Goshen 244 53.0% 204 44.3% 12 2.6% 460 64%
Gosnold 18 38.3% 29 61.7% 0 0.0% 47 34%
Grafton 2,442 35.5% 4,372 63.6% 59 0.9% 6,873 60%
Granby 1,044 40.4% 1,512 58.5% 27 1.0% 2,583 57%
Granville 207 30.2% 472 68.9% 6 0.9% 685 60%
Great Barrington 2,025 76.7% 591 22.4% 25 0.9% 2,641 57%
Greenfield 3,835 64.6% 1,992 33.6% 109 1.8% 5,936 53%
Groton 2,132 44.2% 2,663 55.2% 29 0.6% 4,824 67%
Groveland 991 33.0% 1,980 66.0% 28 0.9% 2,999 62%
Hadley 1,407 59.3% 936 39.5% 29 1.2% 2,372 63%
Halifax 992 31.2% 2,147 67.5% 42 1.3% 3,181 57%
Hamilton 1,381 37.1% 2,319 62.2% 27 0.7% 3,727 65%
Hampden 754 32.9% 1,511 65.9% 27 1.2% 2,292 65%
Hancock 158 57.0% 118 42.6% 1 0.4% 277 54%
Hanover 1,895 28.4% 4,731 71.0% 35 0.5% 6,661 71%
Hanson 1,254 28.8% 3,067 70.4% 35 0.8% 4,356 65%
Hardwick 377 38.6% 586 60.0% 14 1.4% 977 55%
Harvard 1,568 54.1% 1,305 45.1% 23 0.8% 2,896 71%
Harwich 2,635 41.9% 3,597 57.2% 51 0.8% 6,283 62%
Hatfield 875 56.2% 652 41.9% 29 1.9% 1,556 62%
Haverhill 7,259 39.2% 11,069 59.7% 202 1.1% 18,530 45%
Hawley 63 48.1% 63 48.1% 5 3.8% 131 58%
Heath 203 61.9% 123 37.5% 2 0.6% 328 62%
Hingham 4,416 39.2% 6,800 60.3% 53 0.5% 11,269 72%
Hinsdale 415 58.5% 285 40.1% 10 1.4% 710 50%
Holbrook 1,527 38.5% 2,402 60.5% 41 1.0% 3,970 57%
Holden 2,864 34.4% 5,396 64.7% 74 0.9% 8,334 68%
Holland 299 31.9% 631 67.3% 8 0.9% 938 51%
Holliston 2,921 43.7% 3,725 55.8% 35 0.5% 6,681 68%
Holyoke 4,869 55.3% 3,771 42.8% 169 1.9% 8,809 36%
Hopedale 997 37.7% 1,619 61.2% 30 1.1% 2,646 67%
Hopkinton 2,600 38.5% 4,123 61.0% 35 0.5% 6,758 71%
Hubbardston 607 30.0% 1,388 68.5% 30 1.5% 2,025 67%
Hudson 3,068 41.8% 4,181 57.0% 90 1.2% 7,339 58%
Hull 2,037 45.4% 2,409 53.7% 44 1.0% 4,490 58%
Huntington 346 41.2% 467 55.7% 26 3.1% 839 60%
Ipswich 2,604 41.6% 3,604 57.6% 45 0.7% 6,253 62%
Kingston 1,701 32.0% 3,576 67.4% 31 0.6% 5,308 63%
Lakeville 1,259 27.7% 3,248 71.4% 44 1.0% 4,551 62%
Lancaster 1,012 34.9% 1,860 64.2% 25 0.9% 2,897 63%
Lanesborough 654 61.5% 399 37.5% 11 1.0% 1,064 48%
Lawrence 6,449 65.3% 3,331 33.7% 98 1.0% 9,878 28%
Lee 1,272 63.9% 704 35.3% 16 0.8% 1,992 50%
Leicester 1,320 32.6% 2,682 66.1% 53 1.3% 1,992 56%
Lenox 1,532 71.7% 594 27.8% 12 0.6% 2,138 57%
Leominster 4,707 36.3% 8,127 62.6% 141 1.1% 12,975 47%
Leverett 779 81.9% 164 17.2% 8 0.8% 951 68%
Lexington 9,375 65.0% 4,953 34.4% 85 0.6% 14,413 68%
Leyden 211 64.1% 116 35.3% 2 0.6% 329 57%
Lincoln 1,928 67.9% 899 31.6% 14 0.5% 2,841 66%
Littleton 1,859 43.5% 2,389 55.9% 22 0.5% 4,270 69%
Longmeadow 3,158 42.7% 4,196 56.7% 47 0.6% 7,401 63%
Lowell 9,547 46.8% 10,548 51.7% 302 1.5% 20,397 38%
Ludlow 2,768 39.5% 4,159 59.3% 86 1.2% 7,013 51%
Lunenburg 1,530 34.3% 2,890 64.8% 43 1.0% 4,463 62%
Lynn 9,791 52.7% 8,595 46.2% 203 1.1% 18,589 38%
Lynnfield 1,620 28.6% 4,010 70.8% 37 0.7% 5,667 64%
Malden 7,794 56.0% 5,945 42.7% 186 1.3% 13,925 48%
Manchester 1,189 44.1% 1,494 55.4% 12 0.4% 2,695 70%
Mansfield 3,045 33.8% 5,909 65.5% 65 0.7% 9,019 63%
Marblehead 4,657 46.5% 5,285 52.8% 64 0.6% 10,006 69%
Marion 1,002 42.6% 1,332 56.7% 17 0.7% 2,351 64%
Marlborough 5,037 42.0% 6,817 56.9% 128 1.1% 11,982 59%
Marshfield 3,895 33.4% 7,677 65.8% 91 0.8% 11,663 66%
Mashpee 2,313 37.3% 3,835 61.8% 60 1.0% 6,208 61%
Mattapoisett 1,317 41.4% 1,834 57.7% 27 0.8% 3,178 65%
Maynard 2,231 51.1% 2,131 48.8% 2 0.0% 4,364 60%
Medfield 2,276 37.0% 3,842 62.4% 40 0.6% 6,158 74%
Medford 11,415 57.1% 8,381 41.9% 206 1.0% 20,002 57%
Medway 2,044 35.7% 3,641 63.6% 38 0.7% 5,723 64%
Melrose 5,861 48.7% 6,085 50.6% 91 0.8% 12,037 64%
Mendon 792 30.9% 1,750 68.3% 19 0.7% 2,561 62%
Merrimac 1,042 38.2% 1,651 60.5% 37 1.4% 2,730 62%
Methuen 4,837 34.2% 9,171 64.9% 117 0.8% 14,125 49%
Middleborough 2,615 29.6% 6,158 69.6% 76 0.9% 8,849 57%
Middlefield 126 51.9% 113 46.5% 4 1.6% 243 68%
Middleton 1,081 30.7% 2,412 68.6% 23 0.7% 3,516 64%
Milford 3,561 39.2% 5,432 59.8% 88 1.0% 9,081 55%
Millbury 1,655 34.3% 3,125 64.7% 49 1.0% 4,829 56%
Millis 1,383 36.0% 2,430 63.2% 31 0.8% 3,844 72%
Millville 323 28.4% 799 70.3% 14 1.2% 1,136 59%
Milton 6,436 50.0% 6,347 49.3% 86 0.7% 12,869 70%
Monroe 20 50.0% 19 47.5% 1 2.5% 40 56%
Monson 1,258 38.8% 1,933 59.6% 53 1.6% 3,244 57%
Montague 1,895 64.7% 985 33.6% 51 1.7% 2,931 51%
Monterey 296 73.8% 102 25.4% 3 0.7% 401 57%
Montgomery 123 31.2% 267 67.8% 4 1.0% 394 67%
Mount Washington 62 73.8% 21 25.0% 1 1.2% 84 66%
Nahant 877 49.5% 880 49.7% 13 0.7% 1,770 69%
Nantucket 2,139 50.6% 2,032 48.0% 58 1.4% 4,229 55%
Natick 7,208 50.5% 6,954 48.7% 125 0.9% 14,287 64%
Needham 7,654 52.4% 6,894 47.2% 59 0.4% 14,607 71%
New Ashford 68 62.4% 39 35.8% 2 1.8% 109 62%
New Bedford 11,754 59.0% 7,828 39.3% 339 1.7% 19,921 35%
New Braintree 169 36.8% 285 62.1% 5 1.1% 459 65%
Newbury 1,414 40.4% 2,048 58.5% 36 1.0% 3,498 68%
Newburyport 4,266 50.2% 4,174 49.1% 57 0.7% 8,497 65%
New Marlborough 366 61.1% 227 37.9% 6 1.0% 599 53%
New Salem 259 55.6% 195 41.8% 12 2.6% 466 60%
Newton 23,456 67.0% 11,352 32.4% 217 0.6% 35,025 63%
Norfolk 1,394 29.5% 3,308 69.9% 28 0.6% 4,730 75%
North Adams 2,854 74.1% 965 25.0% 34 0.9% 3,853 42%
Northampton 9,415 78.7% 2,447 20.4% 105 0.9% 11,967 61%
North Andover 3,826 35.0% 7,018 64.2% 80 0.7% 10,924 60%
North Attleborough 3,018 27.7% 7,778 71.5% 85 0.8% 10,881 59%
Northborough 2,486 39.1% 3,816 60.0% 61 1.0% 6,363 65%
Northbridge 1,638 28.7% 3,987 69.9% 76 1.3% 5,701 56%
North Brookfield 528 29.8% 1,225 69.2% 17 1.0% 1,770 55%
Northfield 744 58.4% 508 39.8% 23 1.8% 1,275 60%
North Reading 2,135 32.5% 4,373 66.6% 54 0.8% 6,562 64%
Norton 2,209 33.0% 4,424 66.1% 57 0.9% 6,690 59%
Norwell 1,680 32.3% 3,485 67.1% 32 0.6% 5,197 70%
Norwood 4,532 40.4% 6,568 58.6% 117 1.0% 11,217 57%
Oak Bluffs 1,177 60.9% 732 37.8% 25 1.3% 1,934 58%
Oakham 281 29.9% 645 68.6% 14 1.5% 940 71%
Orange 869 37.3% 1,416 60.9% 42 1.8% 2,327 48%
Orleans 1,705 46.2% 1,961 53.1% 26 0.7% 3,692 68%
Otis 265 47.8% 283 51.1% 6 1.1% 554 51%
Oxford 1,439 30.9% 3,151 67.7% 61 1.3% 4,651 54%
Palmer 1,622 38.3% 2,524 59.6% 91 2.1% 4,237 51%
Paxton 687 33.7% 1,331 65.4% 18 0.9% 2,036 65%
Peabody 7,619 39.6% 11,440 59.4% 191 1.0% 19,250 57%
Pelham 596 82.2% 126 17.4% 3 0.4% 725 63%
Pembroke 2,424 31.9% 5,134 67.6% 41 0.5% 7,599 61%
Pepperell 1,607 32.6% 3,279 66.6% 38 0.8% 4,924 61%
Peru 162 55.9% 125 43.1% 3 1.0% 290 49%
Petersham 306 45.6% 357 53.2% 8 1.2% 671 71%
Phillipston 235 33.0% 467 65.6% 10 1.4% 712 60%
Pittsfield 8,990 69.5% 3,803 29.4% 149 1.2% 12,942 45%
Plainfield 213 69.2% 91 29.5% 4 1.3% 308 69%
Plainville 971 28.0% 2,469 71.2% 30 0.9% 3,470 63%
Plymouth 7,989 35.6% 14,276 63.6% 176 0.8% 22,441 60%
Plympton 444 31.5% 951 67.5% 14 1.0% 1,409 70%
Princeton 681 36.6% 1,165 62.6% 16 0.9% 1,862 68%
Provincetown 1,344 84.1% 238 14.9% 16 1.0% 1,598 55%
Quincy 13,330 45.6% 15,607 53.3% 325 1.1% 29,262 47%
Randolph 5,996 61.2% 3,699 37.8% 100 1.0% 9,795 50%
Raynham 1,687 31.8% 3,574 67.3% 48 0.9% 5,309 58%
Reading 4,659 42.5% 6,225 56.8% 81 0.7% 10,965 66%
Rehoboth 1,538 33.0% 3,080 66.1% 44 0.9% 4,662 56%
Revere 5,021 45.8% 5,785 52.8% 150 1.4% 10,956 46%
Richmond 499 68.6% 220 30.3% 8 1.1% 727 63%
Rochester 776 31.3% 1,671 67.5% 30 1.2% 2,477 63%
Rockland 2,231 33.9% 4,253 64.7% 89 1.4% 6,573 56%
Rockport 1,879 52.5% 1,667 46.6% 34 0.9% 3,580 64%
Rowe 97 50.5% 89 46.4% 6 3.1% 192 63%
Rowley 893 32.3% 1,845 66.8% 26 0.9% 2,764 66%
Royalston 213 40.6% 298 56.9% 13 2.5% 524 59%
Russell 195 33.3% 379 64.8% 11 1.9% 585 57%
Rutland 1,029 30.6% 2,307 68.6% 25 0.7% 3,361 64%
Salem 6,650 53.1% 5,726 45.7% 154 1.2% 12,530 50%
Salisbury 1,061 35.0% 1,927 63.6% 42 1.4% 3,030 51%
Sandisfield 150 50.0% 146 48.7% 4 1.3% 300 52%
Sandwich 3,416 33.8% 6,625 65.6% 61 0.6% 10,102 65%
Saugus 3,587 35.9% 6,315 63.2% 96 1.0% 9,998 58%
Savoy 131 54.8% 104 43.5% 4 1.7% 239 46%
Scituate 3,474 38.1% 5,584 61.2% 61 0.7% 9,119 69%
Seekonk 1,911 37.6% 3,133 61.7% 36 0.7% 5,080 53%
Sharon 4,461 55.4% 3,536 43.9% 61 0.8% 8,058 66%
Sheffield 822 63.9% 448 34.8% 16 1.2% 1,286 57%
Shelburne 588 68.4% 263 30.6% 9 1.0% 860 62%
Sherborn 1,061 45.2% 1,269 54.1% 17 0.7% 2,347 77%
Shirley 868 35.7% 1,525 62.7% 38 1.6% 2,431 62%
Shrewsbury 5,242 39.7% 7,867 59.5% 104 0.8% 13,213 60%
Shutesbury 771 82.5% 158 16.9% 5 0.5% 934 65%
Somerset 3,553 48.5% 3,706 50.5% 73 1.0% 7,332 54%
Somerville 16,965 74.8% 5,462 24.1% 261 1.2% 22,688 54%
Southampton 1,052 40.2% 1,533 58.5% 34 1.3% 2,619 65%
Southborough 1,845 40.4% 2,689 58.9% 33 0.7% 4,567 69%
Southbridge 1,748 42.5% 2,271 55.2% 98 2.4% 4,117 34%
South Hadley 3,227 47.7% 3,434 50.8% 102 1.5% 6,763 59%
Southwick 1,074 29.8% 2,469 68.6% 56 1.6% 3,599 53%
Spencer 1,237 30.8% 2,727 67.9% 53 1.3% 4,017 52%
Springfield 17,610 61.4% 10,630 37.1% 432 1.5% 28,672 32%
Sterling 1,174 31.0% 2,569 67.8% 44 1.2% 3,787 67%
Stockbridge 672 74.1% 224 24.7% 11 1.2% 907 61%
Stoneham 3,634 39.6% 5,473 59.6% 75 0.8% 9,182 61%
Stoughton 4,466 43.9% 5,616 55.2% 84 0.8% 10,166 58%
Stow 1,595 46.8% 1,789 52.5% 24 0.7% 3,408 73%
Sturbridge 1,350 35.1% 2,454 63.8% 44 1.1% 3,848 60%
Sudbury 4,291 51.0% 4,078 48.5% 41 0.5% 8,410 71%
Sunderland 842 66.6% 410 32.4% 12 0.9% 1,264 53%
Sutton 1,136 27.6% 2,931 71.3% 43 1.0% 1,264 62%
Swampscott 3,121 48.7% 3,222 50.2% 72 1.1% 6,415 63%
Swansea 2,449 42.1% 3,297 56.7% 73 1.3% 5,819 51%
Taunton 6,586 41.8% 8,925 56.7% 228 1.4% 15,739 48%
Templeton 886 32.3% 1,814 66.1% 44 1.6% 2,744 55%
Tewksbury 3,381 31.2% 7,353 67.9% 90 0.8% 10,824 54%
Tisbury 1,172 66.2% 579 32.7% 19 1.1% 1,770 58%
Tolland 56 25.7% 158 72.5% 4 1.8% 218 64%
Topsfield 1,117 35.7% 1,993 63.6% 22 0.7% 3,132 75%
Townsend 1,092 29.2% 2,618 69.9% 36 1.0% 3,746 59%
Truro 673 62.5% 396 36.8% 7 0.7% 1,076 64%
Tyngsborough 1,452 31.0% 3,186 68.0% 45 1.0% 4,683 59%
Tyringham 131 61.2% 82 38.3% 1 0.5% 214 68%
Upton 1,138 34.5% 2,125 64.5% 32 1.0% 3,295 67%
Uxbridge 1,651 30.6% 3,690 68.3% 58 1.1% 5,399 56%
Wakefield 4,411 39.0% 6,815 60.3% 82 0.7% 11,308 67%
Wales 244 34.9% 441 63.0% 15 2.1% 700 55%
Walpole 3,565 31.7% 7,604 67.7% 64 0.6% 11,233 69%
Waltham 8,523 49.5% 8,546 49.6% 157 0.9% 17,226 49%
Ware 1,127 37.7% 1,785 59.7% 80 2.7% 2,992 47%
Wareham 3,128 39.8% 4,628 58.9% 101 1.3% 7,857 52%
Warren 594 36.7% 986 60.9% 38 2.3% 1,618 52%
Warwick 207 61.8% 123 36.7% 5 1.5% 335 60%
Washington 160 63.0% 91 35.8% 3 1.2% 254 60%
Watertown 7,301 61.2% 4,520 37.9% 100 0.8% 11,921 55%
Wayland 3,597 54.9% 2,915 44.5% 38 0.6% 6,550 65%
Webster 1,541 33.6% 2,977 64.8% 74 1.6% 4,592 40%
Wellesley 5,934 49.8% 5,922 49.7% 48 0.4% 11,904 68%
Wellfleet 1,075 63.4% 596 35.1% 25 1.5% 1,696 64%
Wendell 338 79.7% 79 18.6% 7 1.7% 424 61%
Wenham 674 36.0% 1,184 63.3% 12 0.6% 1,870 66%
Westborough 3,009 43.6% 3,831 55.5% 60 0.9% 6,900 60%
West Boylston 1,133 35.2% 2,044 63.6% 38 1.2% 3,215 66%
West Bridgewater 842 27.4% 2,211 71.9% 21 0.7% 3,074 61%
West Brookfield 523 36.1% 907 62.6% 18 1.2% 1,448 55%
Westfield 4,542 36.4% 7,772 62.2% 172 1.4% 12,486 53%
Westford 3,887 39.4% 5,930 60.1% 57 0.6% 9,874 66%
Westhampton 414 48.5% 429 50.3% 10 1.2% 853 69%
Westminster 1,021 31.4% 2,202 67.8% 26 0.8% 3,249 60%
West Newbury 906 41.2% 1,281 58.3% 12 0.5% 2,199 68%
Weston 2,424 46.2% 2,794 53.2% 30 0.6% 5,248 67%
Westport 2,898 46.9% 3,203 51.8% 77 1.2% 6,178 54%
West Springfield 3,145 37.5% 5,102 60.9% 131 1.6% 8,378 50%
West Stockbridge 473 73.6% 165 25.7% 5 0.8% 643 62%
West Tisbury 1,033 74.2% 347 24.9% 13 0.9% 1,393 61%
Westwood 2,953 39.6% 4,465 59.8% 47 0.6% 7,465 74%
Weymouth 8,104 34.6% 15,093 64.4% 235 1.0% 23,432 69%
Whately 420 56.8% 305 41.3% 14 1.9% 739 65%
Whitman 1,683 30.9% 3,724 68.4% 37 0.7% 5,444 58%
Wilbraham 2,216 34.0% 4,237 65.1% 58 0.9% 6,511 63%
Williamsburg 895 70.5% 355 28.0% 19 1.5% 1,269 64%
Williamstown 2,100 77.1% 612 22.5% 10 0.4% 2,722 60%
Wilmington 3,057 32.6% 6,225 66.5% 81 0.9% 9,363 60%
Winchendon 986 33.5% 1,908 64.8% 51 1.7% 2,945 43%
Winchester 4,876 47.8% 5,248 51.5% 68 0.7% 10,192 68%
Windsor 252 63.8% 141 35.7% 2 0.5% 395 59%
Winthrop 2,902 44.2% 3,596 54.7% 71 1.1% 6,569 56%
Woburn 5,635 39.9% 8,363 59.1% 142 1.0% 14,140 57%
Worcester 19,861 51.9% 17,889 46.7% 532 1.4% 38,282 42%
Worthington 335 58.8% 229 40.2% 6 1.1% 570 63%
Wrentham 1,414 26.5% 3,880 72.7% 41 0.8% 5,335 71%
Yarmouth 4,390 40.0% 6,496 59.1% 98 0.9% 10,984 60%
Massachusetts 1,058,682 47.1% 1,168,107 51.9% 22,237 1.0% 2,249,026 54%
Notes: Totals do not include all absentee ballots; the final tally is not due until ten days after the election, or January 29, 2010.
Median rank (176), average turnout (54%), closest to average percentages for Brown and Coakley (both in Westport)
and closest to average size of total vote (6,415 in Swampscott) have been shaded to show midpoints when sorting the table.
Source: "2010 Massachusetts US Senate Special Election Results". Boston Globe. January 19, 2010. 

Analysis[edit]

After the election, senior Brown adviser Eric Fehrnstrom stated that the turning point for Brown was the December 30 "JFK ad"[137] which put the campaign on the map. "After that, it was like riding a rocket ship for 2½ to 3 weeks till today," he said.[7] Another widely aired Brown TV ad featured him crisscrossing the state in his 2005 GMC Canyon pickup truck, which had amassed nearly 200,000 miles on the odometer.[138] In his victory speech, Brown said "I'm Scott Brown. I'm from Wrentham. I drive a truck."[139]

Another critical event in the Brown surge was his debate performance on January 11. When asked by moderator David Gergen why he would oppose health care reform while holding the "Kennedy seat," Brown replied, "It's not the Kennedy seat and it's not the Democrats' seat. It's the people's seat."[140] After the debate "people's seat" became a rallying cry for Brown supporters.

Brown's late surge was made possible by support by conservative bloggers, who immediately after the Massachusetts primary began promoting his candidacy among national conservative activists, who sought to challenge the Democrats in every election.[141][142][143] At the same time, national Republicans were not publicly targeting the campaign, leading one paper to claim Brown was "left to fend for himself."[102] Undaunted, the Brown campaign succeeded through its moneybomb in raising millions of dollars from Internet donations down the stretch run of the campaign.[144]

Aftermath[edit]

National response[edit]

The election was viewed by conservatives outside of Massachusetts as a referendum against President Barack Obama.[145] Brown even stated that he didn't believe that it was an election.[146]

Response from Democrats[edit]

Obama and his aides discuss Brown's win and the loss of a filibuster-proof super-majority in the Senate.
  • President Barack Obama, via political advisor David Axelrod- "I think that there were a lot of elements to the message [in the election]. Health care was part of it."[147]
  • Anthony Weiner (D-NY)- "I think you can make a pretty good argument that health care might be dead."[148]
  • Jim Webb (D-VA)- ″The race was a referendum not only on health care reform but also on the openness and integrity of our government process. It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated.″
  • Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)- ″Whatever happens in Massachusetts, we will pass quality, affordable health care for all Americans and it will be soon.″[149]
  • Harry Reid (D-NV)- "We're not going to rush into anything, we're going to wait until the new senator arrives before we do anything more on health care."[150]
  • Steny Hoyer (D-MD)- "We will all be making a mistake if we believe that the message that was delivered in Massachusetts last night was unique to Massachusetts. That anger was directed, frankly, at all of us."[151]
  • Barney Frank (D-MA)- "I think the measure that would have passed, that is, some compromise between the House and Senate bill, which I would have voted for, although there were some aspects of both bills I would have liked to see change, I think that's dead. It is certainly the case that the bill that would have passed, a compromise between the House and Senate bills, isn't going to pass, in my judgment, and certainly shouldn't. We are back to where we were maybe even years ago. That is, there is now no bill that I believe can pass or should pass. Sen. Snowe may be willing to work now with her Democratic colleagues, and maybe 3, 4, 5, 6 other Republicans would be, to try and put something together. If that's not the case, and Sen. Snowe and others aren't for some fairly significant changes, then we'll go into the election with the health care status quo."[152]
  • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)- "At this point, we'll be looking to see what the mood of the House is and what they want to do. There's no willingness to abandon ship on healthcare. I would be very satisfied if the House passed what the Senate did and then we can work on those areas that need to be strengthened or fixed. Those of us who worked very hard on the Senate bill believe that this is a good bill. It's not perfect; neither is the House bill. But the reality is, this would be a major step forward for lowering costs for families [and] small businesses [and] strengthening Medicare."[153]
  • Russ Feingold (D-WI)- "It's probably back to the drawing board on health care, which is unfortunate, because everybody agrees we have to do something about health care and so it would be unfortunate to lose this whole effort."[154]

Response from Republicans, conservatives, and news outlets[edit]

Republicans and conservatives nationally were elated at the results, with some commentators and news outlets calling the results the "Massachusetts Miracle" both before and after the election was held.[155][156][157] Federally-elected Republicans also responded favorably to the results of the contest:

  • John Cornyn (R-TX)- "Democrats nationwide should be on notice: Americans are ready to hold the party in power accountable for their irresponsible spending and out-of-touch agenda, and they're ready for real change in Washington. This is very energizing to a lot of people, Republicans and independents."[158]
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY)- "There's a reason the nation was focused on this race. The American people have made it abundantly clear that they're more interested in shrinking unemployment than expanding government. They're tired of bailouts. They're tired of the government spending more than ever at a time when most people are spending less. And they don't want the government taking over health care."[159]
  • John Boehner (R-OH)- "For nine months, I've talked to you about the political rebellion that's been brewing in America. It manifested itself in August at town hall meetings around the country. We saw it manifest itself in what happened in Virginia and New Jersey back in November. And we saw it manifest itself again last night in Massachusetts, when the people of Massachusetts stood up and said, 'enough is enough.' And it's pretty clear that while the American people continue to speak, the Democrat leadership here in this House continues to ignore them and is looking for some way to continue to press this health care bill to a vote."[160]
  • Eric Cantor (R-VA)- "The American people, the people of Massachusetts last night have rejected the arrogance. They are tired of being told by Washington how to think and what to do,"[161]
  • John McCain (R-AZ)- "Last night, a shot was fired around this nation: saying no more business as usual in Washington, D.C."[162]
  • Olympia Snowe (R-ME)- "I never say anything is dead, but I think that clearly they're going to have to revisit the entire issue. I think that was true from the outset. I think there were a lot of concerns that ultimately, collectively manifested themselves in yesterday's vote. The American people are rightfully frustrated and they should be. This process is not becoming of this institution, the United States Congress. You can't drive a policy that doesn't have the support of the American people."[163]
  • Susan Collins (R-ME)- "They want better performance out of Washington, they want us focusing on the troubled economy and the need for more jobs and they're tired of sweetheart deals that were sneaked into the health care bill. They want that kind of bill to be negotiated in the open. And they're tired of politics as usual and they also want controls. They don't want unfettered, one-party control, and a bill that imposes billions of dollars for new taxes, slashes Medicare by $500 billion and would actually cause insurance rates to go up. We really should start from scratch and do a completely bipartisan bill."[164]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Sample size: 611, margin of error: ±4%
  2. ^ Sample size: 500, margin of error: ±4.4%
  3. ^ Sample size: 800, margin of error: ±3.5%
  4. ^ Sample size: 400, margin of error: ±5%
  5. ^ a b Sample size: 600, margin of error: ±4%
  6. ^ Sample size: 537, margin of error: ±4.4%
  7. ^ Sample size: 567, margin of error: ±4%

References[edit]

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