Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Are Massachusetts Democrats in Trouble?

Trigger Warning:
Uh oh...
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Some interesting things are happening in the (very) liberal state of Massachusetts.  It seems that about 20,000 registered Democrats have jumped ship in the last few months.  It's where they're headed that's most interesting, though:
Nearly 20,000 Bay State Democrats have fled the party this winter, with thousands doing so to join the Republican ranks, according to the state’s top elections official.
Secretary of State William Galvin said more than 16,300 Democrats have shed their party affiliation and become independent voters since Jan. 1, while nearly 3,500 more shifted to the MassGOP ahead of tomorrow’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primary.
Galvin called both “significant” changes that dwarf similar shifts ahead of other primary votes, including in 2000, when some Democrats flocked from the party in order to cast a vote for Sen. John McCain in the GOP primary.
The main reason for the shift, at least according to Galvin, is the "Trump Effect."  Trump is running a completely different campaign compared to any other candidate.  Whatever else can be said about his campaign, you have to admit that Donald Trump has tapped into the public's anger in a way that no one else has been able to do.  Trump has a message that resonates with working class voters, which are traditionally Democrats, especially up north.  I'd wager many working class Democrats are looking at Donald Trump's campaign and seeing someone that they could consider backing in the general election.

The big question, of course, is whether or not this makes a difference for the GOP in Massachusetts long term.  The shift in voters represents about 1% of the Democrat party in that state.  Definitely not enough to turn Massachusetts into a GOP state come November (well, probably).  Although anything is possible the way things have gone in this election season.

Like I said, this is a very interesting development, and definitely one to watch a little closer.  Especially if the trend continues.

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