For the first time in nearly three decades a Republican presidential candidate has carried New England. But the Ronald Reagan sweep of all six states brought with it few GOP upsets. The presidential reelection coattails, however, may have been particularly strong in Connecticut and New Hampshire, where Republican congressional candidates grabbed Democratic-held seats.
And in Rhode Island, the region's most heavily Democratic state, the first Republican governor since the mid-1960s was elected.
Presidential efforts to pick up the United States Senate seat being vacated by liberal Paul E. Tsongas (D) of Massachusetts fell short of the mark when another Democratic liberal, Lt. Gov. John F. Kerry, outdistanced Republican conservative Raymond Shamie by 10 percentage points.
Similarly unsuccessful, despite a 52-to-48-percent Reagan victory in the Bay State, were Republican reaches for the congressional seats of Democratic Reps. James M. Shannon and Gerry E. Studds, who easily won a seventh term despite his censure last year by the House for a 1973 homosexual affair with a teenage congressional page. Replacing Mr. Shannon, who passed up a try for his fourth term to seek, unsuccessfully, the Democratic senatorial nomination, will be state Sen. Chester G. Atkins.
The region's two new Republican congressmen are state Rep. John Rowland, who toppled third-term US Rep. William R. Ratchford in Connecticut's Fifth District; and Robert Smith, who won in New Hampshire's First District.