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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 October, 2004, 09:38 GMT 10:38 UK
State profile: Massachusetts
Massachusetts is a Democratic heartland, and also the home of the Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry.

Republican Governor Mitt Romney has tried to harness Republican support and give the Democrats a run for their money, but it is highly unlikely that his efforts will make much difference against this backdrop.

Only a tiny proportion of voters in Massachusetts are registered as Republican, and the state is the political and spiritual home of the country's liberal Democrats.

KEY FACTS
Population: 6,349,097 (ranked 13 among states)
Governor: Mitt Romney (R)
Electoral college votes: 12

In 2000 the state gave Al Gore his second-largest margin of victory. Only Hawaii and Rhode Island rival Massachusetts for Democratic allegiance.

Massachusetts is proud of its history and heritage as one of America's oldest states. Since pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620, Massachusetts has played a crucial role in determining the country's history.

2003 CONGRESS
House of Representatives:
10 Democrat
Senate: 2 Democrat
A home of Puritanism and political activity, Boston led the fight for independence in the 18th Century, and in the 19th Century it was one of the leaders in calling for the abolition of slavery.

The state's relative importance declined in the 20th Century but it can still claim to be the home of the Kennedy family that has so gripped the nation's imagination.

VOTING RECORD
2000: Bush 33%, Gore 60%
1996: Clinton 61%, Dole 28%
1992: Clinton 48%, Bush 29%, Perot 23%
Since 1636 Harvard University has produced countless intellectuals and public servants, many of whom retreat to the famous local resorts of Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod when running the country gets too much.

Despite its colonial roots, Massachusetts also brims with hi-tech innovation and blue-collar manufacturing.

Hi-tech industry is based in the Route 128 region around Boston.

In the early 1990s, it helped the state recover well from a serious recession, but those industries were hardest hit by the most recent recession, and the unemployment rate is now amongst the highest in the north-east.



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