Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Massachusetts Congressional Seats
By Ballotpedia's Congressional team
|Massachusetts's Congressional Elections in 2012|
|U.S. Senate Election?||U.S. House seats||Possible competitive races?|
|Yes||9||2 (6th & Senate)|
BOSTON, Massachusetts: Massachusetts has nine U.S. House seats and one U.S. Senate seat on the ballot in 2012. Seven of the nine U.S. House incumbents face at least two challengers in the general election while the 1st and 2nd districts have no candidates challenging the incumbents.
Currently, the nine U.S. House seats are held by the Democratic Party while the U.S. Senate seats are split with 1 going to both the Democratic and Republican parties. The state lost one seat in the U.S. House as a result of redistricting. Incumbent senator Scott Brown (R) will defend his seat against Elizabeth Warren on November 6.
On January 19, 2010, a special election was held to fill the seat of stalwart Democratic Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who passed away about five months earlier. The result of the election was surprising, with Scott Brown, a Republican, defeating Martha Coakley (D) and Joseph L. Kennedy (L) for the post. Brown is seeking full term re-election to the Class 1 Senate seat in 2012. He ran unopposed in the party's primary on September 6th, and will face Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren (D) in the general election. Warren's robust campaign war-chest, considerable name recognition, and clout among Democrats -- a product of her work with the Obama administration creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau -- present a formidable challenge to Brown's re-election. The seat is currently considered a toss-up.
|State||General Election Candidates||Incumbent||2012 Winner||Partisan Switch?|
|Massachusetts Class 1 Senate seat|| Elizabeth Warren
The Republican effort to reclaim the majority in the Senate this year hinges considerably upon Brown's successful re-election. This fact, combined with Warren's strong showing in fundraising and polling data in the months leading up to the general election, indicate the race is both high-stakes and highly competitive. The New York Times and Cook Political Report analyses of the 2012 Massachusetts Senate race rated it as a toss-up.
|Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren|
|Poll||Scott Brown||Elizabeth Warren||Neither||Don't know||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|UMass/Boston Herald (December 1-6, 2011)||42%||49%||3%||6%||+/-5.3||505|
|Western NE College (October 17-23, 2011)||47%||42%||1%||10%||+/-4.5||475|
|Public Policy Polling (March 16-18, 2012)||46%||46%||0%||8%||+/-3.3||902|
|The MassInc Polling Group (July 19-22, 2012)||38%||40%||1%||16%||+/-4.4||503|
|Public Policy Polling (August 16-19, 2012)||49%||44%||0%||8%||+/-2.9||1,115|
|Rasmussen Reports (September 24, 2012)||48%||48%||1%||3%||+/-4.5||500|
|WBUR Massachusetts (October 21-22, 2012)||43%||48%||1%||7%||+/-4.4||516|
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District has been listed as a toss-up by the New York Times race ratings and Lean Republican by the Cook Political Report race ratings. Several factors have placed incumbent John Tierney (D) in danger. His wife's legal problems in 2010 where she pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting her brother in filing false income tax returns that concealed his illegal offshore gambling business, being challenged by the openly gay Republican, Richard Tisei, who is social liberal while being fiscally conservative, and the more recent incident where another of Tierney's brothers-in-law was sentenced with racketeering and made a comment that Tierney knew everything going on, have caused this seat to go from safe to competitive.
According to the Washington Post, Tierney has been the target of attack ads from YG Action Fund, a conservative PAC supergroup. This highlights a trend in which super PACs have attempted to swing vulnerable house seats through strategic advertising. These ads were not solicited by the Tisei campaign, but his spokeswomen has voiced her support for them.
Here is a complete list of U.S. House candidates appearing on the general election ballot in Massachusetts:
- Candidates running by District
- Partisan breakdown by district
- Comparison of new and old redistricting maps
|District||General Election Candidates||Incumbent||2012 Winner||Partisan Switch?|
|1st||Richard Neal||John Olver||Pending||Pending|
|2nd||Jim McGovern||Richard Neal||Pending||Pending|
|3rd|| Niki Tsongas
|4th|| Joseph Kennedy III
|5th|| Ed Markey
|6th|| John Tierney
|7th|| Michael Capuano
|8th|| Stephen Lynch
|9th|| William Keating
|10th||District Removed in Redistricting||Bill Keating||Pending||Pending|
| Congressional Redistricting Map, approved November 2011
For more information, view Redistricting in Massachusetts.
- 2012 elections review: Few incumbents defeated in Massachusetts legislative primaries September 7
- 2012 elections preview: Massachusetts voters to select winners in congressional, legislative primaries September 5
- Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Massachusetts State Legislature
- Ballotpedia:2012 general election preview articles
- November 6, 2012 election results
- United States Congressional election results, 2012
- United States Senate elections in Massachusetts, 2012
- United States House of Representatives elections in Massachusetts, 2012
- Massachusetts' 1st Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 2nd Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 4th Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 6th Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 7th Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 8th Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts' 9th Congressional District elections, 2012
- Massachusetts elections, 2012
- National contested primary average during the 2012 U.S. congressional elections
- Massachusetts Secretary of State, "Voting Questions"
- Elections Division, State of Massachusetts, "Special Election Results, January 19, 2010"
- The New York Times, "2012 Ratings Senate," accessed October 25 2012
- Cook Political Report, "2012 SENATE RACE RATINGS FOR OCTOBER 4, 2012," accessed October 25, 2012
- New York Times, "House Race Ratings," accessed October 25, 2012
- Cook Political Report, "2012 HOUSE RACE RATINGS FOR OCTOBER 25, 2012," accessed October 25, 2012
- Roll Call, "John Tierney in Tough Spot as Election Day Looms," October 25, 2012
- Boston Herald, "Experts: Libertarian's run likely a boon for Tierney" August 7, 2012
- The Washington Post, "Conservative super PACs targeting blue-state Democrats," Sept. 17, 2012