BOSTON — Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., bounded up to the stage in a high-ceilinged ballroom in Copley Square on Tuesday to the loud cheers of an ebullient crowd.

“Wow, what a night,” she said. Results were still being tallied across the country, but in Massachusetts, Democrats had cause to rejoice. “We can see our future,” Warren said. “It is bright, and it is blue.”

Election 2022 Massachusetts Governor

Massachusetts Gov.-elect Maura Healey speaks during a Democratic election night party on Tuesday in Boston. Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

Heading into Tuesday’s midterms, New England was considered a region where Republicans might make crucial inroads, potentially picking up key seats in a Democratic stronghold on the road to a broader nationwide victory.

Instead, the result here looked more like a blue wave. Republicans lost three House races that were considered competitive in Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Hampshire, as well as a Senate race in New Hampshire.

In Massachusetts, Democrats won every race for Congress and every race for statewide office, including the governorship. The same was true in neighboring Rhode Island, where Republicans had staked their hopes on Allan Fung, a popular former mayor whose candidacy was boosted by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

On Tuesday, Fung lost his race for a House seat to Democrat Seth Magaziner, the state treasurer.


Wendy Schiller, a political scientist at Brown University, was among those who believed that Fung’s strong local reputation and his views in favor of abortion rights could propel him to victory, even in a state where Republicans are outnumbered.

Instead, she said, the takeaway from his loss is that the “national Republican Party has become literally unpalatable to independent voters in New England.”

The Democratic sweep of all congressional and statewide offices in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts appears to be without precedent in modern history, according to an analysis by Ted Nesi, an investigative reporter in Rhode Island.

Although Massachusetts is a liberal state that reliably sends Democrats to Congress, it has shown a propensity to elect moderate Republicans as governors. Gov. Charlie Baker, R, the two-term incumbent, is an immensely popular centrist who declined to run for reelection, avoiding what would have been a bruising primary battle.

The party instead nominated state legislator Geoff Diehl as its gubernatorial candidate. Diehl openly embraced former president Donald Trump and attacked Baker for being insufficiently loyal.

In the general election, Diehl was crushed by Democrat Maura Healey, who will become the first woman and the first openly gay person elected as the state’s governor. Healey received 64 percent of the vote to Diehl’s 35 percent.


In Massachusetts, the “one beacon of hope for Republicans was continually being really competitive” in the race for governor, said Erin O’Brien, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Their current predicament is akin to “losing the queen” in a game of chess.

Jane Swift, a Republican who was appointed governor of Massachusetts in 2001, said that the state’s relatively small GOP couldn’t afford the internecine fight that broke out between its moderate and Trump-backing factions.

“There was a battle in the lifeboat,” Swift said. “Frankly, when you’re in the lifeboat, you shouldn’t be shooting each other.”

But Swift wasn’t ready to write the epitaph for Republicans in her state or in New England. Her hope was that Tuesday’s results would help turn the national party away from what she called a “personality-driven mania.”

The blowout in Massachusetts was so dramatic that it reverberated down to local elections, dispatching Republicans who had served for decades. On Cape Cod, the new district attorney will be a Democrat for the first time since the post was created in 1971. In Bristol County, a sheriff who enthusiastically embraced Trump was defeated after 25 years in office.

There were some bright spots for Republicans in New England on Tuesday. Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu both cruised to reelection. The party also still has a slim chance to pick up a seat in Congress in Maine: Democrat Jared Golden received more votes than Republican Bruce Poliquin but fell short of the 50 percent threshold for avoiding a runoff, or ranked-choice, vote.

For now, the lone Republican member of Congress from New England remains Sen. Susan Collins. In these states, being a Republican is “just such an anchor to drag,” said former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee. That became even more true after the overturning of Roe v. Wade, he said. The ruling was “a shock to so many, even those who might be ambivalent” about abortion. “A lot of people just felt, ‘Leave it alone.'”

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