ong-term, the percent of the state’s 4 million voters not affiliated with a political party leapt from 40.6 percent of the total in 1982 to 51.9 percent in 2010. Over the same 28-year period, the percent of registered Democrats in the state fell from 45.3 percent to 36.5 percent. Republican totals also dropped from 14 percent in 1982 to 11.3 percent in 2010. . . .
Voters in Massachusetts are notorious ticket-splitters and fiercely independent, Cignoli said. Last year, independents were key in re-electing the Democratic governor but they also pulled the lever in the voting booth for enough Republicans to more than double the party’s numbers in the state House of Representatives from 15 to 31 including the win of Nicholas A. Boldyga in a three-way contest for the Agawam-based seat in the House.
Independents elected one of their own to a major office in Hampden County. Mark G. Mastroianni, a Westfield lawyer and independent, won by a decisive victory for Hampden district attorney after running on a platform of keeping the office above the politics of both parties.. . . .