Posted by Matt Byrne March 6, 2012 04:30 PM
For a Republican presidential primary marked by heated rhetoric, the voting climate in Medford was considerably cooler this Super Tuesday.
By early afternoon at the Medford Ward 1, Precinct 1 polling location at Andrews Middle School, turnout came at a trickle: After five hours of voting, fewer than 100 ballots were cast.
"I'd think more people would come out," said one poll worker, who was not authorized to speak on the record or give his name. The worker said that after months of coverage by the national media and a constantly shifting nomination race, more voters were expected.
Even with political roots in Massachusetts, former Governor Mitt Romney drew less than enthusiastic reviews from some Medford voters interviewed.
"I think he just used [the governor's office] to get to the presidential platform," said Cecil Jones, 50, from East Medford.
Despite the fierce infighting and posturing by candidates so far, Jones said he believes party regulars will fall in line behind the eventual nominee.
"it's all business as usual," Jones said.
Alice Toomey, who staffs the front office at the Andrews school, criticized candidates' sniping of one another.
"I think the infighting takes away from the race. I think it drags the candidates down," Jones said. "They should be talking about the economy and unemployment and foreign affairs."
Heavily Democratic Massachusetts, one of 10 states from Alaska to Virginia that will post results tonight, is considered among the least influential in the larger nominating process, with relatively strong support for fRomney, who still maintains a home in nearby Belmont.
David D'Arcangelo, a long-time Republican who won an at-large seat on the Malden City Council in November, predicted a strong showing for Romney here, and in the wider contest.
"He has the real-world experience. He has the pedigree. He has the education," D'Arcangelo said. "I'm interested in bigger-picture candidates, and that's Romney, I think. You could argue that he's spent his entire life getting ready for this moment."