Again, Tsongas won 54,300 to 47,700, or by 6,700 votes.
The two big old cities, Lowell and Lawrence together went 11,300 – 7,000 for Tsongas, 61%
Andover and Haverhill are on the eastern edge of the district. They were each a toss-up; each candidate won one by about 100 votes. Together, they went 6,700 – 6,600 for Tsongas, 50%.
The central core of the district is the towns of Methuen, Dracut, Tewksbury, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tyngsboro, and Dunstable. They form a donut as these towns are contiguous around Lowell. Tsongas lost all 8 towns with 33% to 46% of the vote, in total 15,000 – 19,800 for 43%.
The southern part of the district has ten towns generally inside of I-495: Wayland, Sudbury, Concord, Carlisle, Acton, Maynard, Stow, Hudson, Boxborough, and Harvard. Tsongas won all ten easily with 59% to 69% of the vote, in total 15,000 – 8,200, for 64%.
The western part of the district is Berlin, Bolton, Lancaster, Shirley, Ayer, Groton, Littleton, and Westford. Tsongas got from 47% to 55% in these towns, winning five of them, in total 6,200 – 5,900, for 51%.
What is most remarkable about these latter three groups is that they are geographically contiguous and psephologically contiguous. The ten southern towns all gave Tsongas a higher percentage than the 8 western towns, which in turn all gave her a higher percentage than the 8 central towns.
So we really can talk about distinct areas in the district.
The other thing these numbers tell us is that the central conservative area and the cities tend to cancel out. If anyone wanted to change the competitive balance of this district, it would be by tinkering with the southern part, either by moving towns out of the district or restoring towns like Lincoln, Bedford and Lexington that used to be part of the district and would tend to vote in the same way.
Littleton wins the prize for mirroring the district the closest, with 52.7% for Tsongas vs. 53.2% for the whole district.