JP voters favor liberal candidates, causes

Jamaica Plain remained one of the highest-turnout neighborhoods in the city in the Nov. 6 election and continued its liberal voting streak.

About 70 percent of Jamaica Plain registered voters turned out for the election, up 5 percent from the city as a whole. They voted overwhelmingly for President Barack Obama, U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren and medical marijuana.

JP voters also differed from the overall state’s vote in some ways, favoring the “Death with Dignity” ballot question and voting in higher numbers for third-party candidates.

The JP vote that the Gazette calculated is not exact as some precincts also cover other neighborhoods.

Obama, a Democrat, received the nod from 88 percent of JP voters, while former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a Republican, garnered 8 percent. Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian Party) received 3 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Obama received 61 percent of the statewide vote, while Romney took 38 percent. Stein and Johnson each received about 1 percent statewide.

The race was closer nationally with Obama collecting 51 percent to Romney’s 48 percent. Johnson received 1 percent, while Stein took less than 0.5 percent.

Warren, a Democrat, garnered 87 percent of JP voters, while incumbent Scott Brown, a Republican, received 12 percent.

Brown also received 12 percent in JP in 2010 when he was elected senator during a special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy. But turnout was much lower in 2010. He did better this time in JP, a result probably from his several campaign stops here.

Although the state voted down Question 2, which would have allowed terminally ill patients who have been given six months or less to live the ability to obtain lethal drugs to commit suicide, JP voters were in favor of the measure 57 percent to 33 percent.

Question 3, which concerned the legalization of medical marijuana, was approved. The measure received higher support in JP than statewide with 74 percent of JP voters in favor.

Local state Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez, who as chair of the state legislature’s Joint Committee on Public Health has killed previous medical marijuana legalization bills, did not offer a personal comment on the passage.

But he did say that now the state Department of Public Health will need to figure out the regulations and said the department is already stressed for resources dealing with the state drug lab scandal and the meningitis outbreak.

“We’ll see what happens,” said Sánchez.

JP voters also supported by significant margins two non-binding questions.

JP residents voted in favor 72 percent to 12 percent a question that asked if the state representative from the district should vote in favor of a resolution that calls for Congress to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. The question did not appear on the ballot in Ward 19, Precinct 12, which covers Woodbourne.

The Citizens United ruling was a landmark 2010 decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that the First Amendment prohibits the government from restricting independent political donations by corporations and unions.

The other non-binding question on the ballot, which was backed by the Jamaica Plain-based Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants, urged the U.S. Congress to tax the rich, prevent budget cuts, end the Afghanistan war and invest in jobs.

JP residents supported the question 73 percent to 13 percent.

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