- Dec 12, 2018
Western Mass has historically been very progressive when you look at the cities like Northampton, Amherst, and Springfield. Calvin Coolidge, back when he ran as a Republican town and state politician, had progressive views and was part of the Western Mass progressive clique. Coolidge's main allies when he was a state pol were Boston Democrats, who presumably weren't tubthumping conservatives like their Southron brethren.Meh, the old 60's counter culture hippies up in the hill towns are dying off.
Vermont has a similar political history - its always been progressive going back to the days of Ethan Allen.
What changed for these two areas wasn't so much the population (yeah, NY hippies moved in), but the parties. Before the 60s and 70s, you could have both urban progressives and rural conservatives both voting Republican in New England. Once the GOP became more conservative, the New England progressives went to the Dems. There's also the ethnic breakdowns of party loyalty.