Dorchester was a bright spot for Kennedy in losing bid

US Rep. Joe Kennedy campaigned for votes outside of the Cristo Rey School (13-10 precinct) on Savin Hill Avenue on Sept 1, 2020. Kennedy lost the precinct to Ed Markey, but finished ahead of the incumbent across Dorchester. Markey won the election statewide by 10 points. Katie Trojano photo

US Rep. Joe Kennedy was defeated in his bid to bump Ed Markey out of the US Senate last Tuesday by a statewide margin of about 10 points, or 55-44 percent. In Boston, the margin was even bigger, with the 74-year-old incumbent besting the 39-year-old Congressman from Newton by an 18-point margin.

But Dorchester — as it turned out— was much friendlier to Kennedy than most sections of the capital city. In fact, when the Reporter crunched the precinct-by-precinct results made available by the city’s Election Dept., it found that Kennedy had won Dorchester by about five points, roughly 52-47 percent.

Markey was strongest in the 12 precincts of Ward 16, the section of Dorchester that includes Neponset, Cedar Grove, Ashmont-Adams, St. Mark’s Area, Pope’s Hill, and parts of Fields Corner. He won every precinct in the ward, with the exception of Florian Hall’s 16-12, typically home to a more conservative vote, which went Kennedy’s way by 68 votes.

But Kennedy dominated in the other four wards— 13, 14, 15, and 17— that make up the bulk of the neighborhood. He was strongest in Ward 14, which includes parts of Dorchester west of Washington Street— including areas around Franklin Park and Franklin Field and the Blue Hill Avenue corridor. While Markey performed better in some parts of ward 17— winning in places like Lower Mills, for instance, Kennedy outpaced him in Codman Square and in precincts along the Mattapan-Dorchester line into ward 18.

Kennedy also topped the ticket in Bowdoin-Geneva and Uphams Corner. Markey, notably, won by a large margin in Savin Hill’s bellwether precinct, 13-10, which Kennedy stopped by late in the day on Tuesday.

Markey’s landslide win in Boston, then, was earned in other neighborhoods, most notable among them East Boston— where Kennedy failed to win a single precinct. Markey also piled on lopsided returns in places like Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, Allston-Brighton, West Roxbury, and South Boston.

Turnout in last week’s election was 33.33 percent, according to the city’s Election department. That is higher — by percentage— than any other Democratic primary since 2008, which posted a 34 percent turnout. But as noted by BNN-TV’s Chris Lovett, the total number of votes cast last Tuesday in Boston – 140,119 – was actually higher than 2008, since there are now more enrolled voters in the city.