I have admittedly only skimmed the 51 pages of questions and results in the poll performed for the Globe by Andrew Smith of the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire. (See a graphic representation here of the Globe’s takeaways.) Note to Matt Viser and Frank Phillips: It is always good to give folks a clear sense of whether these were likely voters, random calls, etc.
Page 19 of the summary document is full of interesting tidbits on policy issues of highest concern. Here are some I found interesting:
– Taxes: (1) Taxes mattered most to $30-60,000 earners. (2) Curiously, taxes did not matter to African-Americans (could be an anomaly reflecting the number interviewed or maybe not). (3) Taxes mattered outside 128. Inside 128, they did not. I’ll let you figure out what these numbers mean…
– Jobs/Economy: (1) D’s and I’s feel the economy is the most important issue. R’s don’t (or at least don’t directly). They feel taxes is the #1 issue. (2) Jobs/Economy was the #1 issue at all levels of income.
– 35 cut-off: Jobs were the #1 issue for the OVER 35 set. The state budget was the #1 issue for those UNDER 35. Again, interesting implications in terms of how older adults view the immediate need for a job v. how younger people view the oncoming burden of future liabilities.
On the politics, a few thoughts on each candidate (or potential candidate). I’m primarily interested in regional data for now (it may impact press perceptions), and then some broad takeaways.
Let’s start with Governor Patrick:
– The governor fares pretty well inside 128 and in Western Mass. Trouble everywhere else.
– Problem #1: The legislature’s approval rate . It is certainly not good news for the governor. Why does he get little credit for reform? A perception that he lacks concrete plans and let legislators define the reforms? Dunno. My best guess is that the perception of the Guv hardened over the last 6 months.
– Problem #2: While the poll suggests some citizen approval of resort-style casino gambling, that will undermine the Guv’s approval among his base.
On Tim Cahill:
– He fares well in all regions.
– He is not in a bad position, though (outside of the poll) one wonders what independent status does to his campaign stamina.
On Christy Mihos:
– He does not fare well in any region, not even on the Cape. That can’t be good news.
– Do those unfavorables linger from the last campaign?
On Charlie Baker:
– Hard to draw anything from the numbers because he is largely undefined at this point. The survey suggests potentially rough sledding in Western Mass and the Cape.
– In his announcement he said he will focus on jobs — the survey confirms this is the right issue.
Odds and ends:
– If all politics is local, don’t the numbers suggesting (1) high concern for jobs/the economy, (2) a desire for smaller government, and (3) lower concern on health care carry some sort of message about the current focus in DC?
– What would happen if Baker and Cahill ran together? Hardly likely, and they might not even like each other. I dunno, but it is an interesting question — and one that would have interesting implications for party identities in Massachusetts.