The swing was about 4 percentage points statewide. But it appears to be concentrated in certain areas of the state, like the western area and (to a smaller degree) the more populated east with and including Boston, as the following map from this answer shows.

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I am interested in this because I am investigating local/non-federal down ballot races and how polarization impacts them.

What can be reasonably said to have caused Charlie Baker to receive a lower percentage of the vote than Bill Weld? I am also wondering why it is concentrated in those areas and the swing away is concentrated in areas of the state that vote Republican in recent presidential elections.

To be clear, I am not manipulating the data by picking the biggest win in state gubernatorial history. I am simply picking two elections which have similar incumbent candidates.

  • It is important to note that even when adjusting for population growth, the increase was 30%. Without adjusting it was 45%. Oct 12, 2020 at 11:19

1 Answer 1


That is a very small swing between two quite distant time points.

Different people were voting. If the Electorate is composed of people between 20 and 90 years old, then about 1/3 of the electorate has changed. Different people, different times, different votes.

Indeed the only thing that is slightly surprising is how little swing there has been on average. In more the cities of the East, increased polaristion will have boosted Democrats, as Dems are less likely now to vote for a Republican, even a successful incumbent, than they were in 1994. There may be a particular local effect in the west, but it is most likely pure demographic shift.

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