Trump wins in upset, but not on Martha’s Vineyard

Clinton won big in the Bay State, and bigger on the Island.

Marshall Carroll cranks the wheel of the Chilmark ballot box, allowing another ballot to be collected. — Stacey Rupolo

Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump on Election Night was a stunning upset for those who were following national polls. Although Secretary Clinton easily carried Martha’s Vineyard towns — when one adds together the ballots from all the Island towns, Secretary Clinton collected about three times as many votes as Mr. Trump — and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, early in the evening of Nov. 8 she began to lose key battleground states.

In the end, Secretary Clinton did win the popular vote (59,795,906 to 59,589,136), but like Vice President Al Gore in 2000, it did not translate to the largest number of electoral votes. According to a synthesis created by the New York Times of all the national polls in the Huffington Post database, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton always led Donald Trump from June to Election Day. Except for dips in early July and late August, those favoring Secretary Clinton increased from 42 to 46 percent of those polled (when it was framed as a two-way race). Mr. Trump, who rose during the intervals when Secretary Clinton fell, saw his share of the potential electorate rise from 38 percent in June to 43 percent on Nov. 7.

According to, Massachusetts has been generally reliably Democratic since 1928, but has voted Republican four times since then — twice each for Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan. Massachusetts was the only state to vote for George McGovern in his huge 1972 electoral loss to Richard Nixon.

Massachusetts voters were polled 10 times between April and November of this year, and consistently favored Secretary Clinton by a wide margin. Only a Western New England University poll in October found fewer than 50 percent of Bay State voters supporting the Democrat. An average of all the polls suggested that 57.7 percent of voters favored Secretary Clinton, while only 27.3 percent favored Mr. Trump, and an impressive 15 percent of voters polled supported a third-party candidate.

In the end, Secretary Clinton did win nearly 61 percent of the vote in Massachusetts, and nearly 76 percent of the vote on the Island when all the town votes were averaged. No third-party candidate polled more than 5 percent in any Island town; in general, fewer Island voters went with third-party candidates than in the state as a whole, where Gary Johnson and former Governor William Weld collected 4.2 percent of the vote. In contrast, on the Island, Mr. Johnson hit his high mark in Chilmark with 3.9 percent, and Jill Stein received 3.3 percent of the vote in both West Tisbury and Tisbury.

Oddly, Secretary Clinton’s margin of victory decreased smoothly from west to east across the Island. She won with 83.1 percent of the vote in Aquinnah, and with 65.7 percent in Edgartown. She received 80.9 percent in West Tisbury, 79 percent in Tisbury, and 70.6 percent in Oak Bluffs.

Secretary Clinton won the Democratic primary on March 1, defeating three other candidates with 50 percent of the vote. She also defeated then Sen. Barack Obama in the 2008 Massachusetts primary, 56 percent to 40.6 percent.

Rep. William “Bill” Keating easily held onto his seat in Congress, defeating Republican challenger Mark Alliegro. In 2010 Mr. Keating was elected to Congress in the 10th District. The district was subsequently abolished after the 2010 U.S. census caused the number of congressional districts to decline from 10 to nine in Massachusetts. Rep. Keating was nonetheless re-elected to Congress in the new 9th District in 2012. This was not the first time Mr. Keating had seen his constituency abolished. He had been elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1977 in the 19th Norfolk district, which was eliminated the next year. He was then elected to the 9th Norfolk district and served until 1985, when he moved on to the state senate.