Johnson Looks at Billerica As Predictive of Brown Race

The Globe’s Political Editor – Glen Johnson – writes today on Political Intelligence about the candidates stepping into the U. S. Senate race against incumbent Scott Brown – reminding us that some Dems are feeling positive because it’s a presidential election year. He has an interesting take “by the numbers’ which you can read for yourself in his column. I was interested in his use of the nearby Greater Lowell Town of Billerica and its recent voting history as possibly predictive of the results in the 2012 race:

“In Billerica, a Merrimack Valley town, Obama won the 2008 election by a margin of 50 percent to 48 percent. He got 9,688 votes to McCain’s 9,274.

Yet in the 2010 Senate special election, Brown stomped Coakley in Billerica, 65 percent to 34 percent. He got 9,583 votes to her 4,972.

Last fall, there was a three-way race, but the general pattern held: Republican Charles Baker won Billerica with 54 percent of the vote, while Patrick garnered 33 percent and independent candidate Timothy Cahill received 11 percent.

Add Cahill’s 1,642 votes to Baker’s 8,121 votes, and you get about 200 more votes than Brown received against Coakley. Patrick received 4,967 votes — five fewer than Coakley.

Is there a group of Democrats waiting to come out and vote for Obama again, or are those two recent numbers more predictive of Billerica’s 2012 vote than the 2008 results?

As Johnson himself warns – it is the math of a “journalist” – still it makes for interesting reading. Check out the full article here at

2 Responses to Johnson Looks at Billerica As Predictive of Brown Race

  1. Christopher says:

    Statewide Brown got about as many votes as McCain did, so it’s reasonable to argue that Brown was elected by Democrats who stayed home. Brown will be no pushover, but the Governor did win re-election and yes, a presidential year bodes better for Democratic turnout.