Trump won 32% of Massachusetts, but Republicans are likely to make up 0% of the state’s representatives.
If Massachusetts had multi-member districts and proportional representation, Republicans could have representation in proportion to their amount of support.
WASHINGTON, DC – Fix Our House released the following statement in response to last night’s Massachusetts primary elections:
After last night’s primary elections, all nine of Massachusetts’s incumbent Democratic representatives are poised to skate to victory in November in their solidly Democratic districts. But while it is a solidly Democratic state, Massachusetts has plenty of Republicans, too. Donald Trump won 32% of the state in 2020 and 33% in 2016. And Massachusetts typically has a Republican governor, electing only one Democrat to the state’s highest office since 1992. In spite of that, Massachusetts Republicans will likely once again have no representatives of choice elected to Congress this fall.
“As long as Massachusetts uses single-member congressional districts, Republicans will likely never have a voice in Congress in proportion to their amount of support,” said Fix Our House spokesperson Dustin Wahl. “Democratic candidates only need to worry about winning Democratic voters, and Republicans, being completely shut out of power, feel increasingly voiceless and frustrated. That only increases extreme polarization, both in the state and nationally. Massachusetts is a clear example of the need for proportional representation, where every voter would have a voice in Congress.”
Similar to the problem in Massachusetts, in states like Oklahoma and Arkansas, Democrats have no representation in Congress despite Biden winning a third of each state in 2020. In all cases, the problem is not gerrymandering; it’s geography. Republicans and Democrats often live in different places. If members of the minority party are spread out across the whole state and don’t make up a large enough share of any one district, they will be essentially voiceless thanks to our system of single-member districts.
If Massachusetts elected its representatives proportionally, it could offer an important counter-weight to the extreme polarization in Congress. At the state level, Massachusetts has a long tradition of electing moderate Republicans. Sending some of these Republicans to Washington once again could go a long way towards scrambling the ever-escalating right-vs.-left conflict that is tearing America in two.
Primary reforms do not adequately address America’s representation problem. Only multi-member districts with proportional representation – a constitutional solution that Congress has the power to adopt – can ensure that every voter’s voice is heard.