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Do Massachusetts cocktail parties really turn voters into Democrats?

Posted by Alan Wirzbicki  January 6, 2011 12:44 PM

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Ever wonder why Massachusetts voters lean so heavily Democratic? In an article published yesterday in Politico, former New Hampshire governor John H. Sununu floats his own theory: fear of disapproval at cocktail parties.

“Massachusetts is a politically correct state. People there vote on political correctness,” he told Politico's Byron Tau. “They want to be able to be cast in a politically correct context at their cocktail parties.”

Cocktail parties? Really? Are the Bay State's parties really so plentiful — and so powerful — that they've kept the state in the Democratic column for all these years?

Whatever the merits of Sununu's theory — ballots are secret, after all — it puts a new twist on an old political villain. For years, both left and right have inveighed against the insidious Washington, DC, cocktail party, where Beltway insiders are said to trade favors and plot the nation's future over canapés.

But now the cocktail party has apparently spread its tentacles, and Sununu is not the only Republican to perceive the threat. After the repeal of the don't ask, don't tell policy last month in the Senate, John McCain warned it would lead to "high-fives all over the liberal bastions of America."

And, presumably, cocktails.

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ABOUT THE ANGLE Online commentary and news analysis from the Boston Globe. The Angle is produced by Rob Anderson and Alan Wirzbicki. You can follow Rob on Twitter at @rcand.

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