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by Ileana Cintrón

As for the results in Massachusetts, when the numbers are ratified, it is likely that turnout in 2012 ends up being higher than 2008.

There were a significant number of split votes for Obama and Brown. Very interesting maps showing the difference at: http://www.wbur.org/...

Quite a scare with Congressman’s Tierney’s seat. Tisei conceded a couple of hours ago. 4,000 votes made the difference for Tierney.

In the state legislative races, all candidates that were up for re-election won last night. Many of them were running unopposed.
A woman picked up an open seat in the Senate (35-year old environmental lawyer Kathleen O’Connor Ives). In the House there are 4 new progressive legislators, including a Latino from Holyoke.
The progressive challengers didn’t do so well. Only one out of five won; all those defeated were women.

This legislative election in Massachusetts shows Republicans are definitely expanding their base, seizing opportunities in the House and making races more competitive for Democrats. Many Democratic candidates highlighted their abilities to reach across the aisle and work in a bipartisan fashion in their messaging. I think this is the threat of the Scott Brown wave. People bought his “independent” voice message and expect other electeds to do the same, even though their record may not support the claim. Does it mean a progressive candidate would be considered too extreme for certain regions of Massachusetts in the near future? What does this say about voter education strategies to ensure we have an informed electorate?

I believe the ground game made a difference in this election. There were more c3/c4 groups and unions working on consistent grassroots campaigning that in previous elections, both independently as well as in coordinated campaigns. Voters were contacted more times, both frequent and infrequent voters. Urban centers keep making the difference for Democrats. If you check out the maps for the U.S. Senate race, you can see tiny dots of blue in seas of red for Springfield, Worcester, Fitchburg, Lawrence, Lowell, Taunton, Brockton, etc.  All of these results speak well about the investments that Access and the Partnership have made over the years to build this infrastructure.

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