Sunday quickie: Independent voters in Massachusetts


For some reason, my Bloglines feed for today’s Boston Globe sent me a chart listing the percentage of voters in each Massachusetts town who are "unenrolled" (i.e., not affiliated with a party). There was no story with it that I could find; even worse, there was no map, so I made the one above based on their data. Notice that independents are strongest in: small towns; communities close to the New Hampshire and Vermont borders; and towns far from the state capital of Boston. I wonder whether that last criterion (distance from the capital and/or largest city) is true in other states.

Independents make up more than 70 percent of the electorate in Monroe, Gosnold, Savoy, Florida, Phillipston, Westhampton, Clarksburg, and New Ashford. (All but Gosnold, a string of islands between the mainland and Martha’s Vineyard, are in the western part of the state.) Independents are scarcest in Fall River (33 percent), Cambridge (35 percent), and Boston (37 percent), all overwhelmingly Democratic cities.