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New England GOP decline continues

November 12, 2012

PROVIDENCE (AP) - The election could not have gone much worse for Republicans in New England.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, did not capture a single electoral vote here. Sen. Scott Brown, who electrified Republicans with his upset victory in a January 2010 special election to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, was cast aside by Massachusetts voters in favor of Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
Elsewhere in New England, Republicans lost every major election for Congress and governor. The six-state region will not have a single Republican U.S. House member, and only two Republican senators will serve in the next session. Only one of six governor's offices will be filled by a Republican.
The results come in an election when local candidates were hurt by national Republicans seen as extremists by the region's moderate and independent-minded populace, and in a year when Democrats turned out in big numbers to re-elect President Barack Obama.
The losses disheartened Republicans, who have been fighting dwindling numbers here for years.
“It's a nightmare,” former Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Shays, of Connecticut, said a day after the election.
Rob Coupe, political director for Rhode Island Republican congressional candidate Brendan Doherty, seen as the party's best shot in two decades to pick up a House seat for the state, struggled when asked to explain his candidate's defeat. Doherty came in a stunning 12 points behind freshman Democratic Rep. David Cicilline.
“I think it's just tough to be Republican in Rhode Island,” Coupe said. “I don't know what else to say.”

Read more in our print edition.

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