Around New England

Weld, Patrick To Top 2020 Massachusetts Presidential Primary Ballots

December 21, 2019

When Massachusetts holds its presidential primary elections on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, two former Massachusetts governors will be the first names on the Republican and Democratic ballots, respectively, as reports.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin publicly conducted a random drawing at the Massachusetts State House in Boston on Friday morning. Each candidate’s name was in a sealed envelope which went into a golden drum. The drum was then spun and Galvin removed the envelopes at random.

The results:

Deval Patrick, who served as governor of Massachusetts from 2007 to 2015, will top the ballot for the Democrats. Bill Weld, who served as governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to 1997, will top the ballot for the Republicans.

Both are now longshot candidates for president polling at low numbers.

The Massachusetts Republican Party requested that only one name appears on their ballot next year:  President Donald Trump. However, as allowed by state law, Galvin decided to add Trump’s two most prominent primary opponents, Weld and former Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh.

“Elections are about voters, they’re not about candidates or parties,” he said, according to “Giving voters the choice we think is the most broad-based and inclusive is important.”

On the Democratic side, the ballot order from top to bottom will read:  Deval Patrick, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Michael Bennet, Michael Bloomberg, Tulsi Gabbard, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Tom Steyer, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, John Delaney, Andrew Yang, Pete Buttigieg, and Marianne Williamson.

For Republicans, the order will be:  Bill Weld, Joe Walsh,  then Donald Trump.

Additionally, Galvin selected the order for the Green-Rainbow Party’s four candidates and the Libertarian Party’s 10 candidates.

As National Public Radio reported in 2016, having one’s name first on a ballot may bolster a candidate’s support level. A study conducted in 2014 founded that having one’s name first on a ballot in a local election with little name recognition could boost a candidate’s performance by up to 10 percentage points.

Massachusetts is one of 14 states that holds its presidential primary on Super Tuesday, which this cycle is March 3. Just four states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina — hold their primaries and caucuses before then.



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