Romney’s neighbors abandon the GOP, and other fun voter registration facts

Secretary of State Bill Galvin has just released the latest party registration figures for Massachusetts (PDF here), and they show a slight bump in total voters; independents (or "unenrolled" registered voters, to use the state’s oxymoronic term) creeping above 50 percent of the electorate; and the Republican Party continuing to slide into oblivion.

There are 4,220,488 people registered to vote in Massachusetts this year. Compared with 2004 pre-election figures, that’s an increase of 121,854 people: 141,796 more independents; 32,780 more Democrats; and 42,057 fewer Republicans. Independents now make up 50.8 percent of the state’s electorate (up from 48.8 percent); Democrats are at 37.0 percent (down from 37.3 percent); and Republicans are at 11.6 percent (down from 13.0 percent). Symbolic of the GOP’s fading fortunes is that its share of the electorate in former Gov. Mitt Romney’s Bay State HQ, the suburb of Belmont, has fallen into single digits, from 12.20 percent to 9.95 percent.

Top cities and towns in eight categories below the fold…

BIGGEST INCREASES IN TOTAL VOTER REGISTRATION, 2004-08
Several Gateway Cities (Lawrence, Lowell, Worcester, and Springfield) seem to be flexing a little political muscle.

1. Lawrence: +6,751
2. Boston: +6,310
3. Haverhill: +4,393
4. Lowell: +3,591
5. Worcester: +3,115
6. Cambridge: +2,875
7. Springfield: +2,552
8. Dartmouth: +2,440
9. Plymouth: +2,381
10. Waltham: +2,318

BIGGEST DECREASES IN TOTAL VOTER REGISTRATION, 2004-08
Except for Saugus and Fitchburg, all of these communities have decline in population since 2000. Registration declines may also reflect an increase in these towns’ immigrant populations.

1. Brookline: -3,042
2. Stoughton: -1,643
3. Framingham: -1,354
4. Barnstable: -1,352
5. Fall River: -1,064
6. Scituate: -983
7. Saugus: -853
8. Fitchburg: -736
9. Everett: -576
10. Harwich: -555

HIGHEST DEMOCRATIC SHARES OF TOTAL ELECTORATE
Guess which party supports gay marriage?

1. Cambridge: 58.4%
2. Fall River: 57.7%
3. Provincetown: 57.4%
4. Chelsea: 55.3%
5. Boston: 55.0%

BIGGEST INCREASES IN REGISTERED DEMOCRATS, 2004-08

1. Boston: +8,419
2. Lawrence: +3,489
3. Cambridge: +1,966
4. Brockton: +1,743
5. Springfield: +1,272

BIGGEST DECREASES IN REGISTERED DEMOCRATS, 2004-08
Unenrolled voters increased in all of these communities except Brookline, which showed declines in all party categories.

1. Fall River: -1,582
2. Quincy: -1,152
3. Brookline: -858
4. Revere: -553
5. Fitchburg: -530

HIGHEST REPUBLICAN SHARES OF TOTAL ELECTORATE
Among communities with at least 10,000 voters, the GOP topped 20 percent in only three: Longmeadow, Duxbury, and Wilbraham.

1. Dover: 28.0%
2. Wenham: 27.1%
3. Chatham: 24.0%
4. Boxford: 23.8%
5. Tolland: 23.8%

BIGGEST INCREASES IN REGISTERED REPUBLICANS, 2004-08
Six of the top 10 in this category are in Worcester County: Charlton, Uxbridge, Sutton, Webster, Rutland, and Sturbridge.

1. Charlton: +175
2. Uxbridge: +158
3. Southwick: +109
4. Sutton: +108
5. Middleborough: +93

BIGGEST DECREASES IN REGISTERED REPUBLICANS, 2004-08

1. Boston: -4,602
2. Quincy: -1,070
3. Brookline: -1,068
4. Worcester: -945
5. Barnstable: -935

HIGHEST "UNENROLLED" SHARES OF TOTAL ELECTORATE
Tiny towns in the western part of the state predominate here. Among communities with at least 20,000 voters, the independent contingent tops 60 percent in Chelmsford and Attleboro.

1. Monroe: 76.7%
2. Gosnold: 76.0%
3. Savoy: 73.6%
4. Hawley: 73.2%
5. New Ashford: 71.9%

BIGGEST INCREASES IN REGISTERED "UNENROLLED", 2004-08

1. Boston: +3,803
2. Haverhill: +3,393
3. Lawrence: +3,261
4. Worcester: +3,013
5. Lowell: +2,959

BIGGEST DECREASES IN REGISTERED "UNENROLLED", 2004-08

1. Brookline: -1,014
2. Stoughton: -729
3. Framingham: -264
4. Provincetown: -173
5. Everett: -165