Donald Trump handily won Massachusetts' Republican primary on Tuesday.
Pre-election polls showed Trump faring exceptionally well among Massachusetts' relatively moderate Republican electorate, with leads among voters of both genders, of all ages and in every region of the state.
The real estate mogul was helped by a relatively weak challenge from Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. Cruz's evangelical bona fides carried little weight among the state's largely Catholic Republicans, who place less importance on religion than GOP voters in any other Super Tuesday state. Trump also likely benefited from economic anxiety in the areas left behind as Boston boomed.
"Throughout the cycle, the question has been: Who can stop Donald Trump, and where and when, and what kind of state will it take?" pollster Steve Koczela told WBUR last week. "Is it liberal Massachusetts? Is it a conservative Southern state? Where are the voters where another candidate could possibly win? And what we see -- it doesn't seem like it's going to be Massachusetts."
Just 11 percent of the state's voters are registered Republicans.
According to Massachusetts' secretary of state, William Galvin, nearly 20,000 registered voters left the state's Democratic Party this year, with about 3,500 joining the GOP and the rest declining to identify with any party. In Massachusetts, voters who aren't registered with a party can vote in any primary.
"The tenor of the Republican campaign has been completely different from what we've seen in prior Republican presidential campaigns," Galvin, a Democrat, told the Boston Herald, citing the "Trump phenomenon."
Trump's win comes despite a lack of support from most of Massachusetts' Republican political establishment.
One of Trump's earliest endorsements came in early February from former Sen. Scott Brown, who now lives in New Hampshire. But Charlie Baker, the state's popular Republican governor, told reporters last week that while he hadn't decided whom to vote for, he wouldn't support Trump.
The governor's initial pick was his New Jersey counterpart, Chris Christie, who dropped out after the New Hampshire primary. Baker said last week that he was "surprised" by Christie's subsequent decision to endorse Trump, but stopped short of condemning that choice.
Massachusetts has 42 Republican delegates, who are awarded proportionally.
Editor's note: Donald Trump is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther and bully who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims -- 1.6 billion members of an entire religion -- from entering the U.S.
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