Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012

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Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District

General Election Date
November 6, 2012

Primary Date
September 6, 2012

November 6 Election Winner:
Jim McGovern Democratic Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Richard E. Neal Democratic Party
(Elected to District 1)
Richard Neal.jpg

Massachusetts U.S. House Elections
District 1District 2District 3District 4District 5District 6District 7District 8District 9

2012 U.S. Senate Elections

Flag of Massachusetts.png
The 2nd Congressional District of Massachusetts held an election for the U.S. House of Representatives on November 6, 2012.

Jim McGovern (D) won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Massachusetts' 2nd, on November 6th, 2012.[1] He had previously served as the representative for the 3rd District.

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
June 5, 2012
September 6, 2012
November 6, 2012

Primary: Massachusetts has a most closed primary system, in which the selection of a party's candidates in an election is limited to registered party members. In Massachusetts, however, independent voters may select which party's primary to vote in.

Voter registration: Voters were required to register to vote in the primary by August 17, 2012. For the general election, the voter registration deadline was October 17, 2012.[2]

See also: Massachusetts elections, 2012

Incumbent: Because Massachusetts lost a seat after the 2010 Census, the state's congressional districts went through significant changes. Prior to the election, the 2nd Congressional District was represented by Richard Neal (D). However, Neal was drawn into the 1st District. Jim McGovern (D) --the 3rd District incumbent -- ran in the 2nd District. He won election on November 6, 2012.

This was the first election using new district maps based on 2010 Census data. Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District was located in the central portion of the state and included Franklin, Worcester, Hampden, and Hampshire counties.[3]

The 2nd Congressional District of Massachusetts, prior to the 2010-2011 redistricting process.


Note: Election results were added on election night as races were called. Vote totals were added after official election results had been certified. For more information about Ballotpedia's election coverage plan, click here. If you find any errors in this list, please email: Geoff Pallay.

General election candidates

Democratic Party Jim McGovernGreen check mark transparent.png

Democratic Party September 6 Democratic Primary

Republican Party Republican Primary

  • No candidates filed to run as Republicans.

Election results

General Election

U.S. House, Massachusetts District 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngJim McGovern Incumbent 75.6% 259,257
     N/A All Others 1.2% 4,078
     N/A Blank Votes 23.2% 79,401
Total Votes 342,736
Source: Massachusetts Secretary of State "Return of Votes"

Democratic Primary

The primary was held on September 6, 2012.[4]

Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngJim McGovern Incumbent 91.5% 24,231
William Feegbeh 8.5% 2,258
Total Votes 26,489

Impact of redistricting

See also: Redistricting in Massachusetts

Owing to the redistricting process, the new 2nd District bore little resemblance to the old 2nd District.

According to the Daily Kos, "With Rep. Olver opting to retire, McGovern inherits a district that is mostly new to him, as his current district snakes southward towards Fall River. He would face two large sets of new constituents: one set in towns both northwest and south of Worcester who may be somewhat familiar with him (most of these towns are covered by Worcester-based media) but would likely prefer a more conservative representative, and the other in the Pioneer Valley who may not know him as well (they’re mostly served by local or Springfield-based media) but are an ideal fit for a progressive like McGovern."[5]

District partisanship

FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012 study

See also: FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2012

In 2012, FairVote did a study on partisanship in the congressional districts, giving each a percentage ranking (D/R) based on the new 2012 maps and comparing that to the old 2010 maps. Massachusetts' 2nd District became more Democratic because of redistricting.[6]

  • 2012: 58D / 42R
  • 2010: 56D / 44R

Cook Political Report's PVI

See also: Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index

In 2012, Cook Political Report released its updated figures on the Partisan Voter Index, which measured each congressional district's partisanship relative to the rest of the country. Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District had a PVI of D+10, which was the 102nd most Democratic district in the country. In 2008, this district was won by Barack Obama (D), 62-38 percent over John McCain (R). In 2004, John Kerry (D) won the district 61-39 percent over George W. Bush (R).[7]

Race Background

The 2nd Congressional District seat had been occupied by Democratic incumbent Richard Neal since 1989. Prior to his tenure, Democrat Ed Boland served from 1953 through 1989. In 2010, Republican Thomas A. Wesley became the first primary challenger to Neal since the 1996 elections. Wesley earned 42.6% of the vote in 2010.[8]

District history

Candidate ballot access
Ballot Access Requirements Final.jpg

Find detailed information on ballot access requirements in all 50 states and Washington D.C.


In 2010, Richard Neal won re-election to the United States House of Representatives. He defeated Tom Wesley in the general election.[9]

U.S. House of Representatives, Massachusetts Congressional District 2 Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRichard Neal Incumbent 57.3% 122,547
     Republican Tom Wesley 42.7% 91,181
Total Votes 213,728

Campaign donors

Jim McGovern

Jim McGovern (2012) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[10]March 31, 2012$372,826.21$209,699.64$(81,127.69)$501,398.16
July Quarterly[11]June 30, 2012$501,398.16$90,574.17$(119,774.22)$472,198.11
Running totals

See also