According to the Boston Herald, as of January 2013, the Bay State will be sending one less public servant to Washington to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
As a result of the 2010 census, the state legislature must now consolidate and reorganize its congressional districts in compliance with federal laws. Republicans in Massachusetts, as expected, are delighted with the news – as all ten Representatives currently serving in Congress are Democrats.
Yet, while some right-leaning voters see this as a moment of opportunity to change the political makeup of Massachusetts – given the state’s long history of gerrymandering, many wonder if redrawing voting districts will have any tangible benefits for the Republican Party.
These unexpected changes provoke a tantalizing question in conservative circles: can Massachusetts, for the first time since 1994, elect a Republican to the Lower House of Congress? The Herald’s Holly Robichaud seems to think so:
2012 is shaping up to be another brutal anti-incumbent year. On top of that, Massachusetts Democrats may once again be plagued by scandal during the middle of the election. On the heels of the corruption convictions of ex-House Speaker Sal Dimasi, ex-Sen Dianne Wilkerson and ex-City Councilor Chuck Turner, a former state Senate president’s brother, Whitey Bulger, is due to go on trial for mass murder, and voters will be treated to a civil lawsuit by insufficiently connected Probation Department job applicants. And don’t forget that Lawrence Mayor William Lantigua is under investigation.
Congressman John F. Tierney – who represents Massachusetts sixth district – is also one of several Republican targets in 2012. The eight-term Representative faces significant criticism following his wife’s federal tax fraud conviction and subsequent stint in prison. Mr. Tierney steadfastly denies all allegations of his involvement, but his effectiveness as an elected official has certainly come under scrutiny. His seat, according to Republicans, will be the most hotly contested in 2012.
I'm also in agreement, moreover, with Ms. Robichaud’s contention that Republicans in the Bay State will have an unprecedented opportunity in 2012 – although we disagree on how this will come to fruition. Back in 2010, for example, there were 2.1 million registered Independents in Massachusetts – more than the number of registered Republicans and Democrats combined. Since the economic downturn, however, many of these voters have grown increasingly disenchanted with President Obama’s failed economic policies and the direction of the party he leads. This sentiment, coupled with the formation of new congressional districts, could have perilous consequences for incumbent Democrats not only in Massachusetts, but in other states as well.
Senator Scott Brown (R-MA), by stark contrast, garners seemingly impossible approval ratings in one of the nation’s bluest states. His popularity with the public and strong voting record will undoubtedly galvanize voters to campaign and back other Republican candidates seeking federal office. His support across the political spectrum – despite the state’s longstanding tradition of electing and reelecting Democrats – suggests Massachusetts voters may be ready for a new era of leadership.
Although the future of Bay State politics is yet to be determined, one thing is absolutely certain: there will be one less Democrat from Massachusetts on Capitol Hill in 2013.
This indisputable fact – confirmed by the state legislature and disseminated to the public – is something Republicans should celebrate even if the elections fail to end in their favor.