The lowdown on the 5th


The results from the 5th District congressional race are in, and as our map above shows, Democrat Niki Tsongas won by holding the Democratic cities of Lawrence and Lowell, plus sweeping the largely affluent suburbs in the south of the district. You can see town-by-town raw data at, plus analysis at Blue Mass. Group. As the latter points out, a 47 percent vote against the Democrat is "normal" for this district, at least compared with the last gubernatorial race.


Indeed, Republican Jim Ogonowski did better than the 2006 combined vote for Republican Kerry Healey and conservative independent in only three communities: his hometown of Dracut, plus the nearby cities of Methuen and Haverhill. He apparently failed to hold the non-Democratic vote from last year’s gubernatorial election in the southern and western edges of the district, though one could argue that he did a pretty good job in the rest of the district, given how badly the Republicans have been polling in Massachusetts and nationwide this year.


Our third map shows how much work the GOP needs to do in order to get back the solid majority that Mitt Romney won here in the 2002 gubernatorial election. Their road map is clear, though, as the conservative heart of the district has clearly shifted from the bedroom communities in the south to the more blue-collar cities and towns that are closer to New Hampshire.