Massachusetts 10th District
The South Shore of Massachusetts Bay, from Boston southward to Plymouth and then down Cape Cod (there is a lot of dispute about which way is up and down on the Cape), is Massachusetts’s oldest settled territory. The Pilgrims landed here at Plymouth Rock in 1620. This stony land was farmed by John Adams’s father, who was anything but the aristocrat some later members of the Adams family would have had you believe. Daniel Webster lived in the South Shore town of Marshfield, today a high-income suburb of Boston far out on the usually clogged Southeast Expressway. Joseph P. Kennedy used to summer with his young family on Nantasket Beach in Hull, before moving out of Massachusetts when the Yankees wouldn’t let them into their beach club in Cohasset in the 1920s. But the Kennedys continue to summer at their Hyannis Port compound on the Cape. Provincetown, at the tip of the Cape, is still a fishing port, one of the major gay vacation areas in the country. The islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, rich whaling ports in the early 19th century, are favored summer resorts for the liberal rich of Boston, New York, and Washington. Half the nation’s cranberry growers are clustered among the bogs along Cape Cod Bay. But the Cape is also filled with retirees who enjoy the beauty and quiet pace.
2008 Presidential Vote
|Cook Partisan Voting Index|
The 10th Congressional District of Massachusetts follows the South Shore from Quincy (QUIN zee), with its large Asian population, to the Cape. It juts inland almost, but not quite, to Brockton and includes Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, where the glitterati have generated a “not in my backyard” fury over a proposed windmill farm in the nearby channel waters. With the loss of blue-collar jobs, business growth in the South Shore has been slower than elsewhere in the Boston area. The South Shore and the Cape were once exclusively Protestant and Yankee, but in the Massachusetts way, they have changed over the years, with Irish and Italian surnames as common as Yankee ones (this is the nation’s most heavily Irish congressional district), and the descendants of Portuguese-Azorean fishermen have fanned out into the countryside. Liberal politics, well established on the Vineyard and Nantucket, have spread inland as well. Although Republican Mitt Romney carried the area in 2002, the South Shore is generally Democratic territory.