BOSTON — The day Mitt Romney left office as governor of Massachusetts, Jordin Sparks was two weeks away from making her debut on “American Idol,” Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” — set in his home state — was about to win the Best Picture Oscar, and first-time voters in this year’s Super Tuesday primary were only 13 years old.
Romney was the 70th governor of Massachusetts, serving one term (2003-07), but do the residents of this state still have a crush on their former leader? Do young voters even know who he is? We’ll find out on Super Tuesday as MTV News hits the streets of Boston, voters here cast their ballots for the GOP presidential nominee, and Romney returns home to deliver what he hopes will be a major victory speech.
If the polls are correct, not only do the residents here still wave a flag for Romney, but the man who has promised to make President Obama a one-termer is going to bulldoze former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Congressman Ron Paul and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In the state where comparisons of RomneyCare and ObamaCare health plans were born, voters seem to remember their former governor fondly. Keep in mind, though, it’s only one of 10 primaries around the nation on Tuesday, and more than half of them could go a very different way for the former governor.
According to CIRCLE, a nonprofit group that monitors voter turnout, 969,000 young people are eligible to vote in Massachusetts on Super Tuesday — more young people than have voted in all the presidential primaries to date. Both Republican and independent voters are permitted to vote in this state’s “semi-closed” primary system and tough voting laws here mean they can only do it during the hours the polls are open — from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. That means no early voting.
An informal survey of people out and about around Boston on Monday (March 5) showed the GOP primary wasn’t on the minds of everyone in this traditionally Democratic state, but a high turnout of young voters could be a big boost to the former governor, who has struggled to win over the 18-29 crowd so far. Will young voters turn out to vote in Massachusetts? Will they stay at home? And why? We’ll be on the ground in Boston all day on Super Tuesday looking for answers.
MTV has Super Tuesday covered, with reporters on the scene in Georgia, Ohio and Massachusetts! Check back for up-to-the-minute coverage on all the primaries, and stick with PowerOf12.org throughout the presidential election season.