Super Tuesday in the Least Republican City in Massachusetts
In Somerville, 196 people are running for ward-committee spots with the Democratic Party; one person is doing so for the Republican Party.
Super Tuesday: Will Mitt Romney emerge as the presumptive Republican nominee? Will Rick Santorum gain enough wins to swing momentum in his direction? Will Newt Gingrich bow out of the race after today's results?
Don't ask the people of Somerville.
No city in Massachusetts has a smaller proportion of Republicans than Somerville, where about 4.5 percent of voters are registered Republicans. In the whole state, only the tiny towns of Aquinnah, Wendell and Provincetown have smaller percentages of GOP-registered voters, based on numbers from 2010.
A city with one Republican
The national media is focused on the Republican presidential race, but Massachusetts voters today are also selecting local party officials.
In Somerville, voters from each political party select members of ward committees (like town committees in other communities), who represent their party at the neighborhood level. There are Democratic and Republican ward committees.
On the Democratic side, 196 people, total, are running for their respective ward committees (there are seven wards in Somerville), and the list of candidates include people like the mayor, state representatives and aldermen.
On the Republican side, one person in the entire city of Somerville is running for ward committee: Brian McCarthy.
A lifelong Somerville resident and self-described "Reagan Republican," McCarthy is the only person in Somerville running for a local position with the Republican Party. He's running in Ward 5, and if he wins he'll need to find two other Republicans to join him in order to form the committee.
Tumbleweed at the polls
All the excitement in today's elections on the Republican side of the fence, since Barack Obama doesn't face a challenge to become the Democratic presidential nominee, and Somerville has so few Republicans. Perhaps that explains why the city's polling places seem a bit dead today.
On a quick drive around Somerville's polling locations, there were no signs set up for any candidate and no supporters hanging around and holding placards, not even for Romney, who was governor of the state.
Perhaps it's significant there were no signs for Obama, either, even though he's on the Democtratic ballot.
At the polling location for Ward 5, Precinct 1, 87 people had cast votes as of about 11:10 a.m. At one point, two residents wandered into the polls, which excited a photographer from Reuters, the news organization, who had been dispatched to the location to take photos of voters. Good luck.