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Massachusetts 2012 Presidential Election Results by Congressional District

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Mon Jan 21, 2013 at 13:56:33 PM EST

I've been annoyed about the lack of finality on some congressional district numbers. So I worked this weekend to firm some up. With some there isn't enough data to do more than make a good guess, but I found very good data for Massachusetts.
Left Coast Libertarian :: Massachusetts 2012 Presidential Election Results by Congressional District
While the state, and counties, don't break down the vote by congressional district, broke down election night results by city and town.

The good news is that was missing only about 30k votes. I went to websites for the 100 biggest cities and towns. Some had data and others didn't and I was able to add in about 14k votes. So I've accounted for 99.5% of all votes here.

Next all I had to do was allocate cities and towns by congressional district. Fortunately, Wikipedia has that info. There wee 9 cities/towns that split precincts. The largest of them, Boston, had the vote broken down by ward and precinct. So it was easy to allocate. Romney got killed in Boston. No surprise. There was a precinct where he best Jill Stein 45-40. Rough.

Most of the remaining 8 cities and towns were small and my estimation of the vote breakdown probably doesn't change much. The two most significant were Cambridge, which was divided between two very Democratic districts, and Fall River. It's unlikely my Fall River allocation changes things that much.

So while these numbers may not be 100% accurate they likely vary by no more than 0.1%-0.2% for each candidate.

MA-1 - Obama 64.1%-34.1%
The district is nearly identical to 2008 and goes from D+12 to D+13.

MA-2 - Obama 58.7%-39.2%
District still D+8. Romney lost Worcester county outside the city by 97,022-95,441, but places like Worcester, Northampton, and Amherst killed him.

MA-3 - Obama 57.0%-41.4%
District still D+6. Scott Brown probably came close to winning here and Mitt did reasonably well in parts. The frustrating thing about Mass is that most of the districts are just Democratic enough to give the GOP no shot.

MA-4 - Obama 57.6%-41.0%
Went from D+8 to D+7. Newton and Brookline kill it for Republicans. My mother was born in Brookline. No telling what I'd believe if she didn't leave.

MA-5 - Obama 64.8%-33.5%
Still D+14. Not competitive if Markey goes to the senate.

MA-6 - Obama 54.6%-44.1%
Goes from D+4 to D+3. Scott Brown probably won the district with a few votes to spare. You'd like to think a Republican can win here, but if Tisei couldn't win in 2012...

MA-7 - Obama 82.6%-15.5%
Goes from D+29 to D+32. As with many minority heavy districts, it gets more Obama.

MA-8 - Obama 58.6%-40.0%
Goes from D+5 to D+8. It was D+12 with Kerry, but moved the other way.

MA-9 - Obama 55.3%-43.4%
Goes from D+5 to D+4. I would've liked to have seen Romney do better here. Most of the Obama margin comes from Fall River and New Bedford. Romney did win the Plymouth County portion of the district, but disappointingly lost Barnstable county.  

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I've been asking the SOS for months for the town breakdown
I've gotten the 9 municipality splits, but seeing most Town/City Clerks themselves confuse official and unofficial results, I'd need the official town breakdown to know if they gave me the right numbers. In any case, our results (using the method) are very similar.

CD1- Obama 63.9-34.3%, Warren 57.0-43.0%
CD2- Obama 58.6-39.3%, Warren 51.3-48.7%
CD3- Obama 56.9-41.5%, Brown 50.9-49.1%
CD4- Obama 57.2-41.4%, Brown 50.4-49.6%
CD5- Obama 65.1-33.2%, Warren 58.7-41.3%
CD6- Obama 54.7-44.0%, Brown 53.7-46.3%
CD7- Obama 82.4-15.7%, Warren 78.7-21.4%
CD8- Obama 57.8-40.9%, Warren 51.1-49.9%
CD9- Obama 55.6-43.2%, Brown 51.1-48.9%

Baker '14
R, MA-3

Can you send me your data?
I hate being off, even by 0.2% and I'm sure that my Fall River, Milton, and Cambridge numbers are. I didn't try Scott Brown, because I would've had to go to 300 towns for those numbers, but I definitely think they're good numbers to have. Brown's numbers show what's winnable when you consider they weren't his ceiling and it was a Democratic Presidential year.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Do you have town breakdowns by senate and house district?

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
You used
Wikipedia to tell you what congressional district each town is in?

Where do they have this information?  

Go to each district page

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
I've kept watch over those Wikipedia pages
I didn't write the articles or originally upload the new list of towns for each district, but I have gone through and checked to make sure the town information is accurate. I've also done some heavy editing of the NY districts. So if you trust me, you can trust the MA/NY Wikipedia articles! (The other 48 states I can't vouch for, but I assume the AL states are correct!)

[ Parent ]
Heh, ok, great
I've seen quite a lot of stuff on Wikipedia that is not correct regarding what town is in what district. But looks like MA is correct!

[ Parent ]
They haven't updated the pictures yet
They're still using the old pictures of the Congressional districts from the last census, which is kind of funny since it shows the SF-based CA-8 as being represented by a Republican.

24, Conservatarian Republican CA-12
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"

[ Parent ]
Apparenly the new ones aren't available yet
They use, which doesn't seem to have uploaded maps of the new districts yet.

[ Parent ]
Thanks for the work!

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

[ Parent ]
official list of towns by cd
Massachussetts official list of towns in each district, even mentions the wards when a town is split

[ Parent ]
Its leftward shift is interesting considering how hard the South Shore moved to the right this election. Quincy, Braintree, and Weymouth all trended left and I'm guessing MA-08's portion of Dorchester did as well. Did Southie trend left? I'ev heard plenty of times on here that the future of the MA GOP is in ethnic, Catholic places like Braintree, Saugus, and Weymouth but all three trended left compared to the country this election.

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

A certain part of that is demographic
The two cities in the district where Romney notably underperformed McCain have both been rapidly bleeding whites. Brockton went from 61% white, 18% black in 2000 to 47% white, 31% black in 2010. Quincy went from 80% white, 15% Asian in 2000 to 67% white, 24% Asian in 2010. Most of that movement came in the latter half of the decade as the economy faltered, with plenty occurring after 2008. A similar phenomenon went on in Dorchester and West Roxbury, although tracking it is tougher.

Braintree and Weymouth are more of a concern, as is Dedham which is a little less ethnic. So much of GOP's success in those towns, however, is based on the kind of Republican running and I think people give McCain too little credit in that regard. He's always been a good fit for the state, and in this area is a better fit than Romney ever was. Notice that Brown, who is more McCain than Romney, held up OK in Braintree and Dedham and did decently in Quincy despite increased non-white turnout. It's really a series of tradeoffs.

[ Parent ]
McCain and Bush(in 2004) both over-performed in those areas
People forget Bush's 36.8% was a 4.2% improvement over his 2000 performance, and came despite John Kerry being Massachusetts' senator. McCain didn't do that badly either.

In addition to all other issues, Romney suffered from the same factor that hurt Ronnie Musgrove in 2008, namely tat voters felt they had been right to fire him.In Romney's case they didn't technically get the chance, but in the view of most Mass voters the state is doing better in 2012 than it was when he was governor. That was not the case even in 2008, but right now the Boston area is doing quite well compared to the country at large, and Deval Patrick is popular.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
how did Romney do in Boston itself?
Compared to many other major cities, especially on the east coast, Boston seems like one where he might have gotten close to 20% of the vote, if only due to a larger white population and a not large black population.

28, R, PA-07.

Looks like a 79-19 spread
A little better than Manhattan's 84-15.

25, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Jeb 2016. Visit me at

[ Parent ]
Romney got 19.74% of the two-party vote in Boston, only slightly higher than McCain's 19.71% share of the two-party vote in Boston in 2008. This means that relative to the country, Boston shifted two points left in '12.

Lifelong Republican, TX-17

[ Parent ]
Final: 19.66%

You can't really compare cities, however, since each has a different ethnic mix and some have more progressive Whites than others.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Precinct wins
Romney managed to win two precincts, Ward 6 precinct 9 and Ward 7 precinct 1, the latter by 1 vote.

I don't know voting in Boston, but in Philly Romney won nearly won whole wards and won a bunch of precincts.


R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
So Romney lost every CD in his home state?
Very impressive, Mitt!

GHWB in 88
I believe he was the last Republican to carry a Massachusetts district.

Nevertheless, your smarminess is not appreciated. Grow up.

[ Parent ]
Massachusetts is a natural D Gerrymander
At least with the current level of GOP support. If GOP support were ever to approach 50%, it would reverse itself into a GOP one, so in that sense its much like the the current United Kingdom where combination of demographics and the current level of Republican support 33-38%, makes it a pretty solid one.

Romney probably would have needed to break 41% or so to win any district.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
It's actually not a good Democratic gerrymander.
The reason people think it's a natural Democratic gerrymander is that there's no OR-2 here that's pretty Republican. Normally the state votes Democratic enough that Republicans don't win anything. If Scott Brown loses by 4.8%, instead of by 7.6%, he likely would've won 6 of 9 congressional districts. That's not even Brown's ceiling or the Republican ceiling in gubernatorial races. Charlie Baker won a number of these districts and he got beat too.

I wonder how Martin O'Malley would've drawn the map if the Republican congressional candidates here were as strong as Baker and Brown.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
If you want to see an actual Gerrymander of MA
You can look at my thought experiment here:

It's under the premise that the house is doubled in size, but you can just combine neighboring districts, which actually makes things slightly less bad. (I would merge 1 & 2, 3 & 6, 4 & 5, 7 & 10, 8 & 11, 9 & 16, 12 & 13, 14 & 15, and 17 & 18.)

The main issue is whether or not to create a minority district in Boston.  In the 18 district scenario, it's more feasible, but I would argue that it's not really necessary with 9 districts. The current MA-7 lines are a joke: 50%-1 non-Hispanic white does not remotely guarantee minority representation, especially with an entrenched incumbent.  If the seat becomes open someone with cross-over appeal, like Ayanna Pressley, for instance, could potentially win it.

30, Left leaning indie, MA-7

[ Parent ]
Considering how well Brown did in this district, it's pretty remarkable Tisei didn't beat Tierney. It really doesn't make any sense. You would think Tisei would have more of a cross-over than Brown. After all, Tisei is more moderate/libertarian and Tierney was corrupted.

Male, PA-15, Libertarian leaning-Republican

You mean MA-06. . .

From IL-09, familial roots in MI-14, college in PA-02/07, and working for the summer in DC-AL.

Andy Hill for WA-Governor!

[ Parent ]
By assembly district
I wonder what the Brown and Romney numbers were by assembly district. I'm betting there were even Romney districts where Republicans did run someone. I think that if the GOP had a name on the ballot, and little else, they could've won Romney districts.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

I decided to draw House and Senate districts for Mass in a neutral manner. Here are the Brown/Baker numbers:

60%+ 39 House/7 Senate
55%+ 63 House/15 Senate
50%+ 82 House/22 Senate

I'd guess it's a combination that Brown/Baker numbers aren't achievable by Mass Republicans and that the districts are gerrymandered. Still, you'd think they couldn't gerrymander the areas where Brown/Baker got 60% so much that a Republican couldn't win.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2


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