The primary election, generally thought to be the most democratic procedure for nominating candidates for office, has long been a handicap to Massachusetts Republicans. It has the effect of shutting off the G.O.P. from the state's powerful groups of non-Yankee voters, especially Irish, Italians, French Canadians and Jews. Party leaders have tried to appeal to non-Yankees by putting up non-Yankee candidates, but the overwhelming Yankee majority in Republican primaries tends to defeat the non-Yankees. Result: the Massachusetts Republicans often go into general elections with "unbalanced" tickets.

Last year the Republicans...

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