Newton Republicans pick Haley, and other presidential primary highlights

Super Tuesday has come and gone, but unlike an actual holiday, the leftovers come in the form of analysis in place of sandwiches.

Across Massachusetts, Republican primary voters went big for former President Donald Trump, and Democratic primary voters went big for current President Joe Biden.

But Newton Republicans opted for a new nominee, turning down Trump for South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley.

Here are some takeaways from Newton’s results:

Newton picks Nikki

Trump swept the Super Tuesday primaries on the Republican side, as expected, but Newton—like Vermont—rebuffed The Don and went for Haley.

Haley raked in 3,413 votes citywide, while Trump trailed in second place with 1,895.

Trump did well in Ward 1, but in the rest of the city Haley trounced him. In Ward 2, for example, she garnered 419 votes while Trump only got 187. In Ward 3, Haley won 486 votes compared with Trump’s 286.

At first glance, Tuesday’s results show a sharp contrast to 2016, in which Trump overwhelmingly won among Newton Republicans.

But that year, on Super Tuesday there were still a few Republicans in the race other than Trump, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio split most of the anti-Trump vote in Newton for that primary. Trump got 100 votes in Newton in the 2016 primary, Rubio got 75, and Kasich got 70. Had Kasich dropped out before Super Tuesday that year, Rubio could have won in Newton (and perhaps would have had a better showing nationwide).

In short, Newton has never been much of a Trump community, even among Republicans.

“No Preference”

On the Democratic side, Biden topped the list with 10,388 votes citywide. U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips pulled in 358 votes, while author Marianne Williamson got 175.

What’s noteworthy is the number of “no preference” ballots—792, more than both non-incumbent candidates combined—on the Democratic side.

Activists had started a campaign to get Democratic voters to choose “no preference” as a show of opposition to Biden’s support for Israel’s military operations in Gaza.

In Newton, “no preference” got votes consistently (averaging between 5 and 10 percent of the number of votes Biden got) throughout most of the wards.

The ghosts

Several candidates on the Republican side dropped out of the race when it was too late to remove them from the ballot. And people started getting their mail-in ballots a while ago.

So the “also ran” candidates, the ghosts of the race, won some votes in Newton on their way t.

  • Former Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis got 45.
  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got 46.
  • Texas pastor Ryan Binkley got 3.
  • Pharmaceutical CEO Vivek Ramaswamy got 23.
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson got 12.
  • And 49 Newton voters chose “no preference” in the Republican primary.

Seriously, no preference

“No preference” seemed to have the biggest night on the Libertarian ballot.

Of the 72 voters who cast a Libertarian ballot in Newton, 40 voted “no preference.”

That’s especially noteworthy since the Libertarian ballot didn’t have any other races on it. So people took the ballot just to vote “no preference.”

Here’s how the Libertarian candidates did:

  • Activist Chase Russell Oliver came in first place with 10 votes.
  • Author Jacob George Hornberger got 8 votes.
  • Author Michael D. Rectenwald got 7 votes.
  • Michael Ter Maat got 4 votes.
  • Tech entrepreneur Lars Damian Mapstead got 3 votes.
  • “No preference” got 40 votes.

Ward committees

In Newton, each ward had its own ballot because each ward elected political party ward committees.

Democratic and Republican ward committees represent their respective parties at the local level, help nominate party candidates and work in their communities to promote their parties’ ideas and agendas.

In Newton, there were a lot of ward committee candidates, especially on the Democratic side. With so many ward committee seats, it’s actually difficult to be on the ballot and not get a seat.

To see who Newton voters picked for each ward, visit the city clerk’s website.

On to the general

Barring any major upsets in the next few months, Biden and Trump will likely be the major party nominees for president in November.

The Nov. 5 general election will also have races for Congress, and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, is up for reelection.

And with both of Newton’s state representatives retiring, November’s ballot will have races for those seats as well.