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While Massachusetts is expected to go to Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in the race for President of the United States, influential Massachusetts political insiders have varying opinions on how the U.S. Senate race between Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren will affect the presidential race, and vice versa.
According to results from the Blue Commonwealth and Red Commonwealth surveys sent out last week and compiled today, Monday, 60 percent of the 23 local Republicans who responded think that the Brown-Warren race will result a modest increase in votes for Romney, while 40 percent of the 20 local Democrats who responded think the U.S. Senate race will increase Obama's total of Bay State votes, with almost 24 percent saying it will be a "big" increase for the president.
In 2008, Massachusetts voted heavily Democratic, with more than 1,894,000 voters casting ballots for the Obama-Biden team, accounting for 62 percent of the vote. Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin earned nearly 1,105,908 votes, accounting for 36 percent of the vote. According to statistics collected by the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth's office, voter turnout was about 73.5 percent that year.
In the January 2010 special election held to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the late Ted Kennedy, Scott Brown defeated Martha Coakley with 1,168,107 votes, or 51.9 percent, to her 1,058,682 votes, or 47.1 percent.
Asked in the survey the effect that the presidential race would have on the Brown-Warren race, 85 percent of local Democrats say they think it will lead to an increase in votes for Warren. On the other side of the aisle, 43.5 percent of Republicans think the presidential race will lead to an increase in votes for Brown, while 34.8 percent of Republicans think it will lead to an increase in votes for Warren.
Other down-ballot races that will affect the presidential race in Massachusetts, according to both local Democrats and Republicans, include the Congressional races pitting John Tierney, Richard Tisei and Daniel Fishman against one another in the Sixth District; and also the battle for the seat being vacated by Barney Frank in the Fourth District: Joe Kennedy III, Sean Bielat and David A. Rosa.
As for how Obama and Romney's campaigns have run their advertising campaigns in Massachusetts, both sides were generally happy with their candidate. Sixty-five percent of local Democrats said that Obama has run a better advertising campaign during the general election, while 86.4 percent of local Republicans said Romney ran the better advertising campaign.
For their final thoughts, some Republicans raised the specter of voter fraud, with comments including "I am concerned about the integrity of the vote, especially in the cities" and "Watch for voter fraud in Lynn." Other Republicans expressed confidence in Romney's ability to pull out a victory and said that the presidential election will affect other down-ballot races, including the Massachusetts ballot questions.
Several Democrats expressed relief that the election will soon be over, with comments including "Can't wait for it to be over!" and similar confidence about Obama's ability to pull out a victory. Politicos on both side of the aisle also expressed disappointment about the onslaught of negative ads during this election year.
And one survey respondent had a request: "Please encourage all Patch readers, regardless of party, to vote Tuesday."
Stay with Patch all day Tuesday as editors update with news and information from local polling places. We will have live election results after the polls close at 8 p.m.
Updates from the Polls
4 p.m. Scott Brown's supporters, along with several Elizabeth Warren supporters, descended on the Reeves Elementary School in Woburn today for one last campaign stop. for his sixth, and final, stop on the campaign trail before polls close tonight.
3:56 p.m. The leader of Senator Scott Brown's office in Jamaica Plain says she and other observers have seen "cheating and fraud" at several Dorchester polls. "There's an abundance of unregistered voters," Gina Sierra-Nova said in a phone interview with JP Patch. "I can't believe it." Sierra-Nova said unregistered voters were filling out affidavits and showing licenses to cast provisional ballots at the fire house polling station at 7 Parish St. and Pasciucco Apartments on Bowdoin Street in Dorchester. That's actually the legal process for voters whose names aren't on the rolls in Boston, not fraud. But Sierra-Nova said she expects the required follow-up on the affidavits, in which the Boston Election Department matches the names given to records, might not be carried through.
3:28 p.m. Elizabeth Warren visited the "JP for Warren" headquarters in Jamaica Plain today—here are some photos taken by Warren volunteers.
1:40 p.m. Republican US Senator Scott Brown's campaign bus pulled into the Holy Name Rotary in West Roxbury to the chants of supporters mid-Tuesday morning.
11:52 a.m. Voting was slowed at the Tewksbury Library this morning when the ballot machine for Precinct 4 stopped functioning and would not accept ballots. According to Town Clerk Denise Graffeo, a memory card in the machine failed and would not allow ballots to be accepted. Once the machine was repaired all of the ballots cast so far had to be removed from the machine and re-submitted by hand, by an election worker, for the new memory card.
11:21 a.m. Republican Sean Bielat, who is running against Joe Kennedy for the 4th Congressional District seat vacated by Barney Frank, stopped at the Freedman School in Norfolk along with his wife Hope and two young children Theo and Seraphina to cast their ballots for the general election. “I think I made the right choices in the voting booth. Feel good about who we voted,” Bielat said about voting.
11:11 a.m. Somerville Patch captures a photo this morning of Katherine Lochery, who originally comes from High Wycombe in the UK. She recently became a U.S. citizen and was standing in line on Highland Avenue Tuesday to vote in her first American election. She'd been waiting for half an hour when this photo was taken and was only half way through the line. Despite the cold and the wait, "It actually feels kind of cool," she said about her first election. "It's really a cool feeling."
11:08 a.m. Sudbury Patch reports via Twitter: "Problems at Town Hall polling station. Ballot machine for Precinct 3 is jammed. Prec. 3 ballots will be hand counted today."
10:22 a.m. Great photo gallery of Mitt Romney and his wife Ann voting at the Beech Street Center in his hometown of Belmont this morning.
10:00 a.m. Patch has a video of Romney inside his Belmont polling place today getting ready to cast his vote.
9:50 a.m. Patch is all over Massachusetts today covering the election and we have run into many national and Massachusetts figures. Check out our photo gallery we'll be adding to of pols at the polls.
9:45 a.m.: Gov. Deval Patrick, his wife Diane and his daughter Katherine were among the voters casting their ballots early this morning in Milton.
8:44 a.m. Patch is live tweeting from from inside and outside the Beech Street Center in Belmont where Mitt Romney will cast his vote this morning. Check out our reports from the scene.
8:34 a.m. Sen. Scott Brown kicked off his Election Day early this morning by voting at the Delaney School. Arriving around 7:15 a.m. with his wife Gail Huff and daughter Ariana, the Senator and his family had to wait a little bit as the line to vote did extend out of the Delaney School gym and almost out of the school's entrance.
LIVE 2012 ELECTION RESULTS FROM MASSACHUSETTSRace Democratic Candidates Results Republican Candidates Results U.S. President
Obama-Biden61% Romney-Ryan 38% U.S. Senate
Warren54% Brown 46% Answer Results Answer Results Question 1: 'Right to Repair'
Yes85% No 15% Question 2: Prescription of Life-Ending Medication Yes 49% No 51% Question 3: Medical Marijuana Yes 63% No 37%