Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Mass. loser Coakley won the rural and urban vote; Brown won on strength of conservative suburbs

Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts U.S. Senate special election Tuesday and dealt a serious blow to the Democratic health-care reform bill, but he didn't win on the strength of the rural vote. Democrat Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general, won the counties with both the most rural and urban populations, while Brown rode victories in the more suburban counties to victory, the Daily Yonder reports.

In the five counties with more than 20 percent of their population living in rural areas, (Nantucket, Hampshire, Berkshire, Franklin and Dukes), Coakley won 64 percent of the vote, and in the most rural county, Dukes, she won by more than 2 to 1, the Yonder reports. Brown did fare better in the five rural counties than Republican presidential candidate John McCain, getting 36 percent to McCain's 25 percent. (Read more)

Voter turnout was surprisingly high for the special election that many first predicted to be a "sleepy election day," David Abel and David Filipov of The Boston Globe report. More than 2.2 million of the 4.1 million eligible voters cast ballots in the three-way election. "A surge of angry voters looking to upset the status quo flocked to the polls yesterday" led to a strong Republican turnout the reporters write, but "Democrats, who, facing the loss of a seat their party had held for decades, also flocked to the polls." (Read more)

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