THE STATE HOUSE NEWS POLL

                        SEPTEMBER, 2010

                       EXECUTIVE SUMMARY       

 

     The following are key findings from The State House News Poll, a telephone poll conducted among 400 adults living in Massachusetts by KRC/Communications Research for The State House News Service. The poll was conducted August 29-31, 2010, using standard random-digit-dialing techniques, and carries an overall margin of error of +/-4.8%, with a margin of error of +/-5.0% for the subset of 362 registered voters and a margin of error of +/-6.1% for the subset of 250 likely Democratic primary voters.

 

The lead findings:

 

1.  PATRICK BEARS BRUNT OF DISAPPOINTMENT OVER LACK OF GAMBLING BILL

 

     Support for the expansion of legalized gambling in Massachusetts has never been higher: 

 

GAMBLING             8/10  1/08  9/07  

 

Support               56%   49%   50%  

Oppose                40%   44%   39%

 

     Governor Patrick is held most responsible for the failure of the gambling bill to win approval this session:

 

MOST                     GAMBLING    GAMBLING      UNDECIDED IN

RESPONSIBLE:     TOTAL  SUPPORTERS   OPPONENTS    GOVERNOR’S RACE 

 

Governor Patrick  37%      45%         25%              44%

Speaker DeLeo     19%      16%         24%              12%

President Murray   5%       6%          3%               -

All the same       5%       5%          4%               5%

 

Note that undecided voters in the governor’s race are more supportive of the expansion of legalized gambling (by a 61%-30% margin) than residents in general.

 

Clearly one of the reasons for Patrick taking the blame for the failure of the gambling bill is that there is significant support for legalizing slot machine parlors:  

 

Would you not support any expansion of legalized gambling  35%

Resort casinos only                                        28%

Resort casinos and two or more slot machine parlors        27%

Resort casinos and one slot machine parlor                  8%    


2.  ELECTION FOR GOVERNOR UP FOR GRABS

 

     Anger toward Governor Patrick regarding the failure of the gambling bill may not have yet hurt his ranking in the governor’s race, but his favorability and job performance ratings have plummeted, as has his standing among independent/unenrolled voters.  Baker and Cahill have ratings that aren’t much better, but with improved name recognition there are gains to be made.

 

                                             GAMBLING    GAMBLING     

CANDIDATE:     TOTAL   DEM   IND   GOP      SUPPORTERS   OPPONENTS    

 

Patrick          34%   64%   19%    8%          28%         41%           

Baker            28%    9%   33%   68%          27%         31%             

Cahill           18%   12%   26%    4%          22%         14%               

Stein             4%    3%    4%    0%           5%          1%             

Undecided        12%    8%   14%   15%          13%          9%

 

Patrick job rating:    EXC/ABOVE AVE       AVERAGE     BELOW AVE/POOR

 

             8/10            33%              9%            56%

             1/09            41%             21%            37%

             1/08            45%             10%            40%

             9/07            40%             16%            40%

             4/07            31%             14%            45%

 

Statewide personal popularity:            FAVORABLE     UNFAVORABLE

 

Patrick                                      39%            49%

Baker                                        21%            17%

Cahill                                       25%            22%

 

The generally negative attitude that voters continue to hold regarding the direction in which the state is heading doesn’t bode well for Patrick:

 

                                     RIGHT DIRECTION   WRONG TRACK

 

             August, 2010                 36%              54%

             January, 2009                33%              51%

             January, 2008                41%              46%

             September, 2007              41%              41%

             April, 2007                  39%              49%

             November, 2006               33%              58%

             September, 2006              35%              48%

             May, 2006                    34%              49%

             January, 2006                41%              49%

             November, 2005               48%              42%

             September, 2005              48%              39%

             July, 2005                   48%              42%

             May, 2005                    43%              45%

             March, 2005                  46%              39%


3.  BALLOT QUESTIONS: WILL SALES TAX BE LOWERED?

 

     If any of the three ballot questions has a chance to succeed, it appears to be the one to lower the state sales tax to three percent:

 

Yes        54%

No         44%

Undecided   2%

 

     To repeal the sales tax on alcohol:

 

No        60%

Yes       38%

Undecided  2%

 

     To repeal incentives for communities to construct affordable housing:

 

No        54%

Yes       36%

Undecided 10%

 

 

4.  MAJORITY STILL UNDECIDED IN DEMOCRATIC TREASURER/AUDITOR PRIMARIES

 

Organization and get-out-the-vote operations will determine the winners in these two Democratic primaries:

 

TREASURER:     TOTAL      

 

Undecided        56%

Murphy           18%          

Grossman         14%              

 

AUDITOR:       TOTAL      

 

Undecided        54%

Bump             13%          

Glodis           11%

Lake              7%              

 

 

5.  BROWN OUTPOLLS KERRY IN FAVORABILITY/JOB RATING

 

Statewide personal popularity:            FAVORABLE     UNFAVORABLE

 

Brown                                        53%            24%

Kerry                                        48%            40%

 

Job as Senator:        EXC/ABOVE AVE       AVERAGE     BELOW AVE/POOR

 

Brown                        47%             10%            33%

Kerry                        45%              8%            43%