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United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2008

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Title: United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2008  
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Subject: United States House of Representatives elections in Massachusetts, 2008, United States Senate elections, 2008, United States elections, 2008, List of United States Senators from Massachusetts, Massachusetts general election, 1960
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United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2008

United States Senate election in Massachusetts, 2008

November 4, 2008

Nominee John Kerry Jeff Beatty
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 1,959,843 922,727
Percentage 65.8% 31.0%

County results

U.S. Senator before election

John Kerry

Elected U.S. Senator

John Kerry

The 2008 United States Senate election in Massachusetts took place on November 4, 2008. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator John Kerry won re-election to a fifth term.

Democratic primary



At the state convention on June 7, 2008, Edward O'Reilly received 22.5% of the vote, thereby granting him a spot on the September primary ballot. Kerry, received the vast majority of votes, however, granting him the convention's endorsement.[1] On July 25, O'Reilly challenged Kerry to a series of debates,[2] and the two eventually met for one debate in early September. On September 16, Kerry defeated O'Reilly in the Democratic primary.[3]


2008 United States Senate Democratic primary in Massachusetts
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Kerry 335,923 68.92
Democratic Edward O'Reilly 151,473 31.08
Turnout 487,396

General election


  • Jeff Beatty (R), President of Total Security, and unsuccessful 2006 congressional candidate[4]
  • John Kerry (D), incumbent U.S. Senator
  • Robert Underwood (L)


Democrat John F. Kerry, the incumbent since 1985, was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for President of the United States in the 2004 election. He had historically attracted strong Republican challengers, including two former Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman, Ray Shamie in 1984 and Jim Rappaport in 1990, and former Governor of Massachusetts William Weld in 1996.

Kerry had explored the possibility of seeking the Democratic nomination for President once again in 2008, a circumstance which prompted many of Massachusetts's all-Democratic House delegation, including Marty Meehan, Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, to declare that they would run in the Democratic primary for Senate should Kerry not seek reelection. However, on January 24, 2007, Kerry announced that he would run for reelection to the United States Senate and not for the Presidency. A December 23, 2007, poll indicated his approval rating at 52%, with 43% disapproving.[5]

Massachusetts held primary elections on September 16, 2008.[6] Unlike in 2002, when Kerry was reelected against only third-party opposition, the Democratic nominee faced a Republican opponent in 2008. The Republican candidate, businessman Jeff Beatty who had lost a congressional race two years earlier, was not considered a serious contender in this overwhelmingly Democratic state. Massachusetts had not elected a Republican Senator since Edward Brooke in 1972 and has not sent any Republicans to Congress since incumbents Peter Torkildsen and Peter Blute were defeated in 1996.

On September 16, 2008, Kerry defeated Edward O'Reilly in the Democratic primary and faced Republican Beatty in the November general election.[7]


Source Date Beatty (R) Kerry (D)
Rasmussen Reports September 23, 2008 30% 65%
August 5, 2008 32% 59%
June 1, 2008 25% 63%
April 25, 2008 30% 55%


Results by city and town
General election results
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic John Kerry 1,959,843 65.82 -14.2
Republican Jeff Beatty 922,727 30.99 +30.99
Libertarian Robert J. Underwood 94,727 3.18 -15.1
Majority 1,037,116
Turnout 2,977,631
Democratic hold Swing

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kerry's primary challenger proposes debates, Associated Press
  3. ^
  4. ^ CQPolitics Rates Safe Democratic Senate Races in ’08 - New York Times
  5. ^ Survey USA
  6. ^ Candidates guide from Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division
  7. ^, John Kerry bests 1st primary opponent in 24 years
  • John Kerry not running for President
  • GOP ready to pounce on vulnerable poll
  • Senator Kerry's SurveyUSA Job Approval Ratings
  • 7News/Suffolk University, Mass. Statewide Likely Voters

External links

  • Elections Division from the Massachusetts Secretary of State
  • U.S. Congress candidates for Massachusetts at Project Vote Smart
  • Massachusetts U.S. Senate from CQ Politics
  • Massachusetts U.S. Senate from
  • Massachusetts U.S. Senate race from 2008 Race Tracker
  • Campaign contributions from
  • Beatty (R) vs Kerry (D-i) graph of multiple polls from
  • [1]
  • John Kerry official campaign site
  • Ed O'Reilly official campaign site
  • Jeff Beatty official campaign site
  • Jim Ogonowski official campaign site
  • Kevin Scott for Senate
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