Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Next Stop: the House?

Though some of Brown's supporters are already champing at the "Kerry, You're Next" bit, Massachusetts Republican politicos have a challenge that is much closer: the House elections in November. Scott Brown's margin of victory put many towns across the state in the Republican column, and it looks like many Congressional Districts voted for the Republican. Jeffmd did some number-crunching over at the Swing State Project, and here's what he got (a few cities straddling a couple districts are not figured into the totals, but this absence should not affect the districts where Brown was the certain winner):

CD Coakley Brown Coakley% Brown%
1 107,665 103,561 50.97% 49.03%
2 89,493 121,799 42.36% 57.64%
3 82,588 121,627 40.44% 59.56%
4 108,079 110,323 49.49% 50.51%
5 91,585 121,594 42.96% 57.04%
6 104,787 144,168 42.09% 57.91%
7 118,283 101,739 53.76% 46.24%
8 46,795 11,884 79.75% 20.25%
9 76,164 101,140 42.96% 57.04%
10 109,489 163,812 40.06% 59.94%
3, 4 10,341 7,489 58.00% 42.00%
5, 7 3,597 2,915 55.24% 44.76%
8, 9 105,289 46,468 69.38% 30.62%
9, 10 1,254 3,067 29.02% 70.98%

Coakley Wins: 1st, 7th, 8th
Uncertain, but likely Brown wins: 4th, 9th
Brown Wins: 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 10th
This analysis gives Republicans at least 5 districts where Brown was the clear winner. The lucky Democrats are Richard Neal (2nd), Jim McGovern (3rd), Niki Tsongas (5th), John Tierney (6th), and Bill Delahunt (10th). Up until 1997, the 3rd and the 6th districts were represented by Republicans, so those might be the most likely to flip, but Brown won all of these districts with support in the high 50's, topping out at nearly 60% in the 10th District.

The fact that this is a special election should not, as it might in other years, give much comfort to Democratic incumbents. 54% of registered voters turned out for this election. Turnout in Massachusetts in 2006 was 56%, so the numbers for this election are not too much off from the preceding off-year Congressional elections; this election is a fairly close approximation (probably) of what the midterm electorate could look like in Massachusetts.

Don't be surprised if you see some of these Democrats swinging towards the middle over the next ten months. And (will wonders never cease!) here comes Bill Delahunt of the 10th saying that Democrats should "carve up" the health-care bill and pass its most popular portions! He even hopes for a "bipartisan" bill!

Don't also be surprised if the Massachusetts GOP and the RNC start quietly polling to see which incumbents could be vulnerable and trying to recruit worthy Republican challengers for the races in the fall.


  1. Brown won in the 4th district:

    Here are the numbers:
    Scott Brown: 116,765
    Martha Coakley: 113,831
    Joe Kennedy: 2,069

    Here are the Fall River data:

  2. Delahunt may have a strong challenger in State Rep. Jeff Perry(R-Sandwich). Perry is a 4-term incumbent who garnered nearly 70% of the vote in 2008--while Obama was winning at the top of the ticket. If Scott Brown can win Quincy, Delahunt is vulnerable.