Mitt Romney should easily win the Republican primary Tuesday in Massachusetts, a state where he served as governor for four years. The most recent Suffolk/7News poll had Romney up by 48 percentage points over Rick Santorum, and Public Policy Polling stopped tracking the race in September when Romney was up by 45 points over Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul.
Republicans in the state hope that Romney will put their party back in contention in the general election in November. The last time a Republican won a presidential election in Massachusetts was in 1984, when Ronald Reagan defeated Walter Mondale.
The number of Republican voters in Massachusetts has slipped over the past few years, as the Associated Press reports that only 11 percent of voters currently identify with the party, a two percent drop since 2004.
The Democratic Party has seen a similar dip in the number of voters identifying with their party as the number of independent voters in the state has increased. Fifty-two percent of voters in Massachusetts—more than 10 points higher than the national average—identify as independent. The amount of voters without a strong party allegiance leaves Massachusetts with a large amount of people in a voting bloc that will be key for both candidates in the general election. Coupled with the fact that Massachusetts voters are familiar with Romney, the state could prove to be an interesting battle ground in November.
"He'll put Massachusetts in play," state Republican Party Chairman Bob Maginn told the AP.
Romney is a registered voter in Massachusetts. While he has not spent much time campaigning there, he will cast his own ballot in Belmont, Mass. before addressing supporters at the Westin Copley Place hotel in Boston as Super Tuesday results come in from around the country.