Women voters outnumbered men at the polls Tuesday, making Massachusetts one of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s most decisive Super Tuesday wins.

Women voters outnumbered men at the polls Tuesday, making Massachusetts one of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s most decisive Super Tuesday wins.

A record 1.75 million voters, or more than 40 percent of the state’s registered voters, cast ballots in Tuesday’s Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, according to Secretary of State William Galvin’s office.  

Exit polls showed that women made up 58 percent of Democratic primary voters and voted nearly two to one for Clinton over rival Barack Obama, according to CNN.

State Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick, who campaigned for Obama in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, said he was happy with the overall results.

“This is not an election that will be decided in Massachusetts. … He actually gained ground yesterday,” Linsky said.

Obama won more of the 22 states that held Democratic primaries on Tuesday, but after taking California and her home state of New York, Clinton maintained her lead in delegates.  

“The reality is a month ago there was a poll that had Hillary up by 37 points here, and we closed the gap,” Linsky said. “But we knew it was going to be an uphill road.”

MetroWest voters followed the statewide trend, except in Sudbury, Wayland, Acton and Stow where Obama won narrow victories, and Concord where voters preferred him by more than 20 percent.  

Rep. Ruth Balser, D-Newton, who has organized phone banks and gone door to door for Clinton, said the campaign’s grassroots organizing paid off in Massachusetts.

“We didn’t just lend our names, we lent our hands, our voices, our feet, and it worked,” she said of the state lawmakers who endorsed Clinton.

Obama and his supporters also mobilized Bay State voters, but women historically gravitate toward female candidates and vote in larger numbers than men, said Jill Greenlee, assistant political science professor at Brandeis University.

“A lot of women are saying it’s time for a woman. We’ve elected men since the dawn of this country,” said Linsky, who watched as women poured into Natick polls Tuesday evening.

Endorsements from Gov. Deval Patrick, and U.S. Sens. Ted Kennedy and John Kerry helped Obama, Greenlee said, but not enough to overtake Clinton.

“She started strong and stayed strong, and the people who were supporting her worked really hard,” said state Sen. Karen Spilka, D-Ashland. “That’s what ultimately wins a campaign - not big-name endorsement and things like that, but the heart and soul of a campaign is the grassroots organizing.”

In exit polls, half of Obama voters said endorsements from popular Democrats, including Caroline Kennedy, who likened the Illinois senator to her father, John F. Kennedy, were very important.

“It may just have been a timing issue,” Greenlee said. “The Kennedy endorsements and the images of (Obama) being a J.F.K.-like figure are probably pretty powerful, maybe if they had happened earlier (the results would have been closer).”

Spilka said it was exciting and reassuring to watch vote totals roll in at U.S. Rep. James McGovern election night party in Worcester, where Democrats from both camps gathered.

“I think that they (Obama supporters) were a little bummed. … But we all know each other, and it was fine,” she said. “There was a lot of collegiality and support and the feeling that whoever wins the nomination will have the support of all of us who were there.”

Lindsey Parietti can be reached at lindsey.parietti@cnc.com.

MetroWest Daily News