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Published On: Tue, Jul 9th, 2013

RED TOWNS, BLUE STATE: South Shore communities rank as most right-leaning in MA

Where does your town stack up among Massachusetts’ most partisan communities? The reality might just surprise you…


In this municipal map of Massachusetts, darker colors represent towns with a strong partisan lean. Lighter colors signify a town with a more divided electorate. Red is used to show Republican-leaning towns and blue shows Democrat-leaning municipalities.

Towns along the South Shore are among the most solidly conservative in the Bay State; with many local communities, like Hanover, Halifax and West Bridgewater, ranking among the most Republican-leaning Massachusetts municipalities.

The Journal has regenerated a map, first produced by, which geographically demonstrates the commonwealth’s partisan leanings based on vote totals in national and statewide elections from 2006 to 2012.


A zoom in showing the South Shore’s heavily right-leaning electorate.

The map shows Plymouth County as the largest concentration of heavily right-leaning communities, with a solid belt of dark red stretching from Hanover and Norwell to Rochester and Carver.

Based on the elections used to calculate the partisan leanings of towns by MassNumbers, only four of Plymouth County’s 27 communities lean Democratic in general elections, with the City of Brockton voting most in sync with the Democratic Party.

Wareham, Marion and Mattapoisett are the only other towns in Plymouth County to lean left.

Hanover comes in as the most conservative town in Plymouth County and, according to MassNumbers, is the third most Republican-leaning town in the state, behind Boxford and Lynnfield.

Lakeville and West Bridgewater also crack the top-ten list as the fourth and ninth most right-leaning municipalities in Massachusetts respectively.

halifax1Also notable among Plymouth County’s most conservative towns is Halifax—the town that voted most overwhelmingly against Obama in 2012 among the 351 Massachusetts communities listed by MassNumbers.

Romney won Halifax by a 34% margin in 2012.

The next highest margin of victory that Romney enjoyed in any Bay State town was 23% in Lynnfield.

Norwell, East Bridgewater, Hanson, Middleborough and Plympton are other communities in Plymouth County that have shown Republican-leaning vote totals in statewide and national elections since 2006.

Meanwhile, Duxbury, Pembroke and Kingston all show nearly identical results—and came within less than a percentage point of each other—when MassNumbers calculated the towns’ average partisan lean to the right as between 14.25% and 15.25% since 2006.

The most unpopular Democratic candidate among South Shore voters was undoubtedly the 2010 U.S. Senate candidacy of Attorney General Martha Coakley, who was rejected by an over 40% margin in many local towns in favor of Scott Brown.

In contrast, the most popular Democratic candidate among South Shore voters since 2006 has been Deval Patrick, who split the vote in Halifax and narrowly won some local red towns, like Kingston, in his successful 2006 bid for governor.



Other areas of Massachusetts showing Republican-leanings are Metro Worcester and Central Essex County.

Berkshire County, Franklin County, The Pioneer Valley, Greater Boston and Metro West show the strongest concentration of Democrat-leaning communities; and Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, ranks as Massachusetts’ bluest and most Democratic-voting community statistically.

Other enclaves of blue towns show up along the South Coast and on Cape Ann.


Taunton in Bristol County is on of Massachusetts’ “blue islands.”

Taunton, Worcester, Lawrence, Lowell, Fitchburg and Gardner—all cities—also appear as islands of blue, completely surrounded by Republican-leaning communities.

The Town of Kingston ranks just outside the top 50 most right-leaning towns in Massachusetts, coming in at #51 among the most Republican-leaning towns in the state.

Barack Obama has never won Kingston and the town voted overwhelmingly for Scott Brown in 2010 and 2012, though by a considerably lesser margin in 2012.

Results from the most recent Senate race between Gabriel Gomez and Ed Markey are not included in the MassNumbers calculations.

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