The Republican, Scott Brown, won the election in Massachusetts Tuesday for the U.S. Senate on the strength of votes in suburban counties. Martha Coakley, the state’s Attorney General and Democrat, won the counties that were both the most urban and the most rural.
In the five counties that had more than 20% of their population living in rural areas, Coakley won 64% of the vote. Those counties are Nantucket, Hampshire, Berkshire, Franklin and Dukes. In Dukes, the most rural county in the state, Coakley won by more than two to one.
Across the state, Brown won the seat to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy with 52 percent of the vote. He lost the rural vote, however, and he lost in the most urban counties.
Suffolk County, for example, has no rural population. Coakley won that county by the same margin as she won Dukes, the most rural county.
As counties grew more suburban, however, Brown’s totals rose. In Worcester County, which has 19% of its population living in rural areas according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Brown won 61 percent of the vote.
Brown ran far better in the state’s rural counties than did John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. McCain won only 25% of the vote in the five rural Massachusetts counties. Brown won 36% of the vote in these counties.