One Massachusetts Congressional District Becomes More Republican, The Rest More Democratic

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The official ratings are in, and it turns out that the U.S. Congressional districts in Massachusetts lean more towards Democrats than previously thought.

The Cook Political Report released its Partisan Voting Index rankings for each of the 435 Congressional districts in the United States earlier this month — and many of the nine districts in Massachusetts skewed more to Democrats than it did in the 2017 rankings. The figures indicate how many more points the district votes Democratic or Republican compared to the country as a whole. Only one of them turned more GOP than in the 2017 rankings.

The results are based on the results of the previous two presidential elections. This means that it’s possible that because the 2017 rankings included both 2012 and 2016, they made Massachusetts seem more Republican voting than the state actually was because the 2012 GOP presidential nominee was the state’s former governor Mitt Romney. Typically, candidates perform better in their home states than they might otherwise. Romney, for example, got 37.5 percent of the vote in the presidential election in Massachusetts in 2012 compared to Donald Trump getting 32.8 percent in 2016 and 32.1 percent in 2020.

The current Congressional districts are likely to change before the 2022 general election. A legislative committee of the Massachusetts Legislature has begun hearings on redrawing the districts based on data from the once-every-10-years U.S. Census.

Here is a breakdown on how each of the nine current districts fared in this year’s results compared to those from 2017.


First Congressional District

(Western Massachusetts)

The district represented by U.S. Representative Richard Neal (D-Springfield) took a slight move to the right. It went from being a D+12 district to being a D+10 district.


Second Congressional District

(Central Massachusetts)

The district represented by U.S. Representative Jim McGovern (D-Worcester) took a slight move to the left. It went from being a D+9 to a D+10.


Third Congressional District

(Merrimack Valley)

The district that Rep. Lori Trahan (D-Westford) represents shifted three points over to the Democrats. It went from being a D+9 to a D+12.


Fourth Congressional District

(From Immediately West of Boston to Much of the Rhode Island Border)

Add four more Democratic points to U.S. Representative Jake Auchincloss’s (D-Newton) district. It was a D+9 in 2017, but is now a D+13.


Fifth Congressional District

(Northwest and West of Boston)

This district took a five-point turn in the Democratic Party’s favor. Represented by U.S. Representative Katherine Clark (D-Melrose), it went from a D+18 to a D+23 district.


Sixth Congressional District

(Northeastern Massachusetts)

This is no longer a D+6 district, as it was in 2017. Instead, U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (D-Salem) now represents a D+10 district — a four-point shift in favor of the Democratic Party.


Seventh Congressional District

(Boston and Communities Immediately North and South of Boston)

The majority-minority district which U.S. Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-Dorchester) presides over is still deeply Democratic — but now it’s a little deeper.

It went from being a D+34 to a D+35.


Eighth Congressional District

(Boston and South Shore Near Boston)

U.S. Representative Stephen Lynch (D-South Boston) represents a district that shifted four points to the Democratic side over the last four years. It went from a D+10 to a D+14.


Ninth Congressional District

(Much of the South Shore, South Coast, Cape Cod and the Islands)

The most Republican-leaning district in the state also took a hit, from the GOP’s point of view.

The district that U.S. Representative Bill Keating (D-Bourne) represents went from a D+4 to a D+6. That’s a two-point swing in favor of the Democrats.


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