Today is big — really big — for the handful of Democrats running for their party’s nomination for president, and for voters in Massachusetts and 13 other states.
The Bay State may not be among the big dogs in Super Tuesday voting – you have to give that to California and Texas – but we have sent our share of candidates to the White House — and quite a few hopefuls who never made it. John Adams was the first Massachusetts native son to be elected president, following by John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy and George H.W. Bush, who was born in Milton and attended Phillips Academy in Andover.
Although Calvin Coolidge was born in Vermont, he spent his formative years in Massachusetts politics, working his way up from mayor of Northampton, to the Massachusetts House and Senate, to the governor’s office and eventually to the White House.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, although not a native, is in the running this year but Sen. Bernie Sanders’ winning ways and growing popularity have put a crimp in Warren’s goal of topping her adopted state’s primary today. Michael Bloomberg is a Bay State native but decamped to New York City long ago.
Today there are choices on four different ballots — Democrat, Republican, Green-Rainbow and Libertarian — but if you are registered in any of those categories you can vote only on the ballot for your party. Unenrolled voters can choose any ballot when they go to the polls, mark the ballot, then go back to unenrolled status afterward.
Many voters went to polls last week for early voting but there will still be large numbers marking ballots today. Unlike New Hampshire, where cities and towns can set their own hours for voting on primary day, the polls in Massachusetts open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
Although it seems like the presidential campaign has been going forever, Super Tuesday marks a major milestone for many of the Democrats, possibly changing the landscape by cutting the size of the field.
In the grand scheme of things Massachusetts will never be a king — or queen — maker in presidential politics, but we have a proud history of political involvement and participation. Today’s the day to continue that tradition.