MA-05: Tsongas wins a tight race [updated]

All precincts reporting:

Tsongas 54,363 (51%)
Ogonowski 47,770 (45%)
Murphy 2,170 (2%)
Hayes 1,125 (1%)
Thompson 494 (0%)

UPDATE: Town-by-town results are here (thanks johnk). 

Hold onto your hats.  I'll update as I hear more. Tsongas is the winner.  Congratulations to her and her hardworking campaign staff!

UPDATE: I'm hearing that WBZ has called it for Tsongas.

Further UPDATE by Charley: Lynne is telling me 53-47 will likely be the final result, once all precincts are in. Matt Murphy of the Lowell Sun says it's over. Niki declares victory.

Another UPDATE: Ogonowski's not conceding. Funny.

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78 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. Any idea what's left? nt

  2. where do you get this data?

    is it available to the common man?  :)

  3. Tsongas wins in Lancaster

    Tsongas 537 Oginowski 438

    Conservatives usually win here so this is a good sign.

  4. You're kicking Boston Channel's butt

    They're stuck at 6 precincts.

  5. really tight?

    40.7k - 38.7k?

    That's like 2.5%.  That's certainly not comfortable, but I don't know if I'd call it really tight either...

    • districts arent symetrical

      Bostonchannel, running behind, still has ogo up 5%.  I'd say its tight.

      • Indeed.

        It could still swing a little bit one way or the other... given different sizes and different voting rates.

        Of course, with 75% of precincts reporting, Ogo will have to win the rest by 7.5ish points to make up the difference...

  6. Two things

    1) Has anyone confirmed the "call" by WBZ & what are their current returns showing? 2) How on Earth are you so far out in front of the posted numbers on

  7. wow

    Hold on to your hat indeed!

  8. From the Eagle-Tribune...

    As of 9:15 p.m., with 168 of 195 precincts - 86 percent, the results were:

    x-Nicola Tsongas, Dem 46,542 - 51 percent

    Jim Ogonowski, GOP 41,508 - 46 percent

    Patrick Murphy, Ind 1,428 - 2 percent

    Kurt Hayes, Ind 970 - 1 percent

    Kevin Thompson, CST 429 - 0 percent

  9. So far, only WBZ seems on a par with davod

    everyone else must be eating pizza

  10. WooHooo!!! Another vote SCHIP override... heading to Washington, DC.  The override will still likely fail, but if I were the Democrats, I'd keep bringing the same bill back up for a vote every couple of weeks.

    • Umm, what are you celebrating?

      A 5 point win over an underfinanced hay farmer in Massachusetts? And at a cost of how many millions? Sounds to me like the message didnt sell, and if it didnt sell here imagine how well it is selling across the rest of America. Cheers!

      • And so the spin begins

        I hope the Republicans have lots of victories like this...

        sabutai   @   Tue 4 Dec 7:00 PM
      • He lost right?

      • you can have your moral victory

        I'll take the real one, thank you.

        Watch out...I think I hear all those illegal immigrants coming to overrun the 5th.

      • Sounds to me like a

        sore loserman. 


        With maybe some sour grapes on top?



        • Lol ...

          I dont know of a single soul who gave a crap about NIKI or the 5th district seat. I couldnt even talk people into showing up to vote with the sox game coming up. This was a test baloon on the national stage and anything less than 10 percent win by the disciples was a big red flag for the stay the course dems. I would expect "our" candidates for prez to now be a bit more populist in their messages, maybe as soon as tommorow. Watch Hillary shift with the breeze. Its like a law of physics.

          • Well, go with that....enjoy.

          • Ahh, but YOU cared.

            You cared enough to sign up (today of all days), and you cared enough to offer those bitter poo poo words at Tsongas' victory.


            ...just sayin'. 


            • Yeah ...

              But do you think I would feel any differently if the other as**hat was dancing on a stage. It didnt matter to me who won. We lost either way.

              • I think your commentary would have been different. Frankly, yes.

                • Nah ...

                  Nothing would change either way. I had no interest in this race until it started popping up on CNN last week as being potentialy close. The spin on this from here will be awesome; we're on the map again. I actualy supported Jamie in the primaries, I mean he was the only one in the debates that could answer any of the questions without a soundbite, but Tsongas and Mr 9-11 was too steroetypical to get worked up about.

                  • No offense but I cannot believe that you supported eldridge in the primary and voted Ogo today.

                    • Why would I lie ...

                      I sat down to watch the first debate and I said to myself the one the comes out here and says that NAFTA kills gets my vote ... And only one of them got it.

                    • Here's why:

                      Well, I have done in it. For the first time in my 50 years I have voted for a repub in a general election. Thanks Niki for putting away any doubts that I may have had that my party wasn't subverted away from within away. Here's to you Niki. Why did I vote Oganowski? Especialy now when my number 1 issue by far is Iraq? First there are the outlying issues. Schip is a sham and the way the dems distort the concept of having others foot the bill for NewYorkers earning 80,000 and over is naseus. I mean come on with the videos of poor little Pablo already ... We already pay to insure poor kids ... If they arent getting insured now its because the states misuse the exisiting funds ... So why not just fix the system instead of scamming us for more money? Umm .. And as for national health care ... I'm all for it but schip isnt that is it? Never will be either, just more of the same. Why did Teddy stop the drug importation from Canada bill this spring, come again? Then there is immigration ... Umm, how simple is this. We have borders, why not enforce them like every other nation on earth ... nah, too simple. And for anyone thinking Niki is somehow a unique character independant of the party line vote ... just look at this pathetic well funded campaign. So this brings us to the WAR issue ... How can I vote for a guy dumb enough to support the war even though he is probably better on all the other issues. I resolved it this way ... which is worse. To support something you wrongly believe is correct or to allow something that you know is wrong to go on just because you can personaly benifit from its continuance. Dems wont end this war. They in fact vow not to. Every action or lack of action that they take maitains the status quo ... And they also profess to know that the war is wrong ... So which is worse.... lesser of evils theory makes this an easy choice ... Go Ogo or whatever your name is ... Maybe next year the primaries will give us better choices. Okay, you may delete this post now. Party over common sense always.


                    • link doesn't work

                    • sorry, I cannot edit.

                      It was nomad's first post.

                      How's this:


                    • Umm ...

                      So whats your point?

                    • No point. Forget it.

                      You've been a loyal democrat for 50 years and just decided today that Nikki was such a rotten candidate that it pushed you over the edge to become a republican.


                      I totally believe you.  Why would I doubt your word?

                      Thanks for setting me straight.  When I look at it that way there's nothing funny about that at all, is there? 

                    • Why would you lie?

                      I don't know why you would lie, but you just created your account at 10am on election day. The statement that you voted for Eldridge in the primary but switched to Ogonowski for the final sounds kind of outlandish.

                      Frankly, you're too new here to be taken at your word.

                      In most cases... NEW MEMBER + OUTLANDISH STATEMENT = TROLL

                    • Really ...

                      I am quite satisfied with my protest vote. I just saw someone flash a Murphy the Bricklayer link ... thats the issue, isnt it. The approved way to express disasatisfaction is to cast a token vote for a guy who gets at best a point or two and its business as usual? Or help make a slam dunk really close and hope that in some think tank someplace someone taking note of public opinion mentions that JUST MAYBE its time to recognize actual peoples concerns. Here is what I noticed alreasdy ... did you catch NIKI's congratulations to herself speach were she through out that line about "to the working people who are worried about losing their jobs, lets get to work". Well, isnt that a big jump over the "we can educate ourself out of job losses" theme she had hammered for all those previous months ... I mean how many PHDs does it take to staff the new home depot? Wake up NIKI, wake up democrats ... Why should I or any of us support you when you REFUSE to represent us outside of some occasional rhetoric and conselation on social issues that are realy not the business of government to begin with.

                    • So instead you chose to support Ogo

                      who would most assuredly caucus and vote with the republican block.

                      You feel you would have been better represented that way? We just ended 12 years of republican domination of congress.  You are clearly dissatisfied with your lot.  How do you think it got that way?  What makes you think that turning over your district to the republicans would be a departure from "business as usual"?

                      The "pox on both your houses" argument is the most flimsy excuse I've ever heard to want to restore republcan domination of our federal government. 

                      Can't have Eldridge?  Might as well vote Ogo?  Hrugh? 

                    • Lol ....

                      You must be really young to think that there are actualy two houses to put a pox on. Some people, myself included, view it as two FACTIONS of the same house ... Its a view you will come to some day yourself. Here check out this short video I lifted off your be-loved DU. What do ya think?


                    • Nice link.

                      I've heard your argument often.  It's the meme of people who are discouraged with the system in general and see no ongoing value in the electorial process.  How does that justify casting a vote for Ogo?

                    • How?

                      Because it DOES NOT MATTER how you vote ... the system is rigged. Vote for OGO, vote for the bricklayer, write in your own name, only the faces will change, the story stays the same. Why do you think noone votes in our great model of democracy? Most people get that point without any doubt in their minds. WE are the MINORITY that is actualy registered to vote and even here only about a quarter of the registered bothers to take 2 minutes to show up. Thats the actual public opinion, not which bill is ammended to this bill which is added to this mess to create a 600 pound document that noone gets to read but everyone feels the effects of.

                    • Then why did you bother if you feel so ineffectual? Why are you even here discussing it?

                      Historically and strategically, republicans benefit from low turnout.  Your message is clear that your vote means nothing, yet not only did you go vote, you cast a "protest" vote for the republican.

                      That does not strike me as the action of someone who finds the system so broken that his vote does not matter. 

                    • Its a tradition in my family ...

                      My father always hammered into my head that line about "if you dont vote then you dont have the right to complain" and since I plan on doing a lot of complaining I always make a point to vote. I suppose it's as quaint of an old tradition as things like knowing what is written in the constitution but I like some tradition in my life from time to time. Besides, this time around I needed to get down there to pick up a party registration change form so I could get the D off my name and be able to vote for RON PAUL in the primary which at the rate they are moving the dates up might be tommorow or next week. I hope they are polite enough to let us know when it is .... Ah well , I better do some work today or else maxwell's silver hammer will come down upon my head .... catch ya later ...

                  • Wow - which of these statements is true?

                    I had no interest in this race until it started popping up on CNN last week as being potentialy close.


                    I actualy supported Jamie in the primaries...

                    Either you had no interest in the race until last week, or you were paying attention during the primary - it can't be both.  Of course, there's another option - that you're lying when you post these comments...

  11. NECN finally has it

    gentlemen, let the pundrity begin.... Let's hear some spin.

    First, though: CONGRATS NIKI!!!!!!!! Do good work there, we're counting on you.

  12. With 168 of 195 reporting...

    ... the most shocking news is that there are almost 500 voters crazy enough to send Thompson to congress to abolish the federal government.

  13. Thank Heavens (or more appropriately, thank all the hard workers)

    I would have been quite ashamed of Massachusetts if a majority of voters in the 5th had fallen for Ogo's rewarmed Republican hash.

    • Well, as you see

      it's considered a district with a relative lot of moron voters and a relative lack of political talent for the state.  I'd say, all the evidence considered including on this thread, things went par for the course.

  14. Scary

    Wow - very scary that it was that close. How does a Bush-like Republican who claimes the biggest issue facing the 5th is illegal immigration make this a nail biter? Is 9/11 still that powerful? I think the Dems did a poor job of getting out the vote in a democratic district. Anyway, glad Nikki did it!

    • How did it happen?

      Easy - this was Tsongas's race to lose, and she nearly lost it. Only in the last couple of weeks, when fate handed her SCHIP on a silver platter, did her message come together and did she make any appearance of an effort to connect with voters.

      EaBo was right - her campaign treated this like a coronation, not an election. I'm glad she won, but I hope that she learns something from this and makes some serious strategic changes next year.

      If Ogo hadn't tanked himself over SCHIP, I wouldn't have been surprised if he'd won.

  15. Turn out seems really low overall

    If that 86% of precincts means is a linear measure of total votes cast, the current numbers project out to a total of around 106,000 votes. That's only about half of the total votes cast in MA-05 in the 2006 general election.

    In fact, there were 54,560 BLANKS cast against Marty Meehan - right now Ogonowski won't get that many votes and Niki will only barely get over that mark.

    • This is a special election, not a General...

      I would hardly expect the same sort of turnout here - it was the only question on most (all?) ballots district-wide.

      • You're right, but

        I still don't understand why. The 2006 general really only had a contested gubernatorial ballot in MA-05 - Meehan ran unopposed and most of the other statewide races were also unopposed, so the only thing to draw voters out was Governor's race. The weather was perfect today and there was a clear choice - why did people come out in the fall last year, but not this year?

        It seems clear that Ogonowski failed to bring out a large chunk of the people who came out for Kerry Healey last year. Given that, I think any claims that he and his Republican handlers have found some sort of magic bullet for the races in 2008 ought to be taken with a large grain of salt. On the other side, Niki Tsongas is only going to get a small fraction of the votes that Marty Meehan garnered in the last election.  That looks like a problem that she might want to address before next year's primary.  My quick take is that both candidates failed to inspire voters and that's just never good.

  16. No concession?

    Sounds like more stellar advice from the junior Keller.

  17. Og not conceding?

    But David who can blame him, with only 195 or 195 polls reporting.  oh...never mind

    well, but he didn't lose by more than the margin that allows for a recount.  oh...never mind....

  18. No concession?

    Paraphrasing: "Not until every vote is counted...  Oh, nevermind." - John Kerry, 2004?

    It now looks like a 51%-45% margin for Tsongas.  Kinda tough to ask for a recount on that basis, eh, Mr. Ogo?

  19. A lousy showing

    I really expected Tsongas to have a much better showing than she did.  There is no excuse for Slobowski coming that close other than a poorly run campaign.  I was fully expecting a nice 58-40-1-.5-.5 outcome.  Needless to say, I think had Eldridge or any of the other lesser candidates won the primary, we would have a very ugly situation on our hands.  It was interesting to see Murphy get more than 5 votes though.  Aside for his "abiding concern for humanity" or whatever, he didn't have much to say, but I would have at least wanted to vote for him had I been able to.

    • Respectfully disagree

      Of course there's no way to know for sure, but Ogo's appeal was his contrast with the supposedly aloof, elite, insider Tsongas. He was a man of the people, pounding the pavement while Niki sat in her ivory tower and spent gobs of special interest $$ on tv ads. (So the Republican message said, at least.)

      Any of the other candidates (and I exclude Miceli for obvious reasons) would have run a much stronger ground game. Sure, they would have had other weaknesses, but in the primary we saw that both Donoghue and Eldridge did a great job rallying their people and getting their message out (and they had good messages to begin with).

      We can't know what the margin would have been with a different Dem nominee, but I feel confident that other primary candidates would have run significantly stronger general elections. The winner would have won the race, not barely avoided a loss.

    • you obviously didn't follow the race

      murphy actually had the most to say, and said it in great detail.  he ran a really great campaign considering the obstacles. 

  20. Congrats!

    It's doable, huh?

    I've been watching Tsongas's race.

    Am thrilled, suffice to say the least....

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