If Mitt Romney had one wish for the Republicans primaries ahead, it could easily be this: May all states be Massachusetts.
His overwhelming win in the state where he served as the governor came across demographic and attitudinal groups. The difficulty ahead: it’s a state in which such groups look considerably different than the norm.
Evangelical and very conservative voters, among whom Romney has struggled elsewhere, accounted for 16 and 15 percent of the state’s voters respectively, the fewest all year. Their preferences differed, too: Massachusetts evangelicals favored Romney over Rick Santorum by more than a 2-to-1 margin, very conservatives by more than 3-1.
Half of Massachusetts voters described themselves as moderates or liberals, among the most in any state this season (rivaled only by Vermont); they voted for Romney by a 54-point margin over Ron Paul. Four in 10 reported incomes of more than $100,000 a year, making it the wealthiest electorate to date. They backed Romney by 61 percentage points.
As in other states, Romney led among voters who picked electability as the most important attribute in their vote. They accounted for nearly four in 10 voters, as elsewhere, but in Massachusetts Romney won a remarkable 87 percent of them. He also won nearly eight in 10 of those focused chiefly on the candidates’ experience.
Unlike elsewhere. among those looking for a candidate with “strong moral character” or for a “true conservative,” 30 percent of voters, Romney also won – but by a narrower margin. In this group, 40 percent supported Romney, 26 percent Santorum and 24 percent Ron Paul.