New Poll of Primary Voters Show Strong Support for 1986 Taxpayer Rebate Law

The Fiscal Alliance Foundation announced the results of a new, statewide poll of Massachusetts primary voters gauging their opinions on the September contest and a host of other issues.

Early voting for the primary begins on August 27th and the poll was done on August 22nd and 23rd. This is the fourth poll done this year by the Foundation and the first of the year among primary voters.

The poll crosstabs are available here.

The poll toplines are available here. 

Republican primary voters overwhelmingly give President Joe Biden low marks for his overall job performance, handling of the economy, and inflation. Those numbers were in the mid to high 80s. Among Democratic primary voters, the President fared much better with job performance the highest at 90 percent and handling of inflation the lowest at 78 percent.

Looking at potential ballot questions, 90 percent of Republican primary voters do not think illegal immigrants should get a driver’s license while only 60 percent of Democratic voters think they should. Republican primary voters have strong feelings against the income surtax question with 85 percent opposed, while 43 percent of Democratic primary voters support it, 34 percent oppose it, and 23 percent remain undecided.

Republican and Democratic primary voters are united in supporting the 1986 voter approved tax law set to rebate $3 billion back to the taxpayers. Among Republican primary voters, they support it by 63 percent and Democratic primary voters by 65 percent. However, when asked about the incomplete tax package by legislative leaders, primary voters were less impressed and only 42 percent of Republican and 53 percent of Democratic primary voters supported that tax relief package. Primary votes seem to show more support in their voter approved law that benefits all of the state’s taxpayers, rather than the legislature’s more modest, targeted approach for certain earners.

When looking at the gubernatorial race, the big news among Republican primary voters is that despite Chris Doughty leading with campaign funds, loaning his campaign $2.1 million dollars, only 27 percent of Republican primary voters are supporting him while Geoff Diehl is polling at 42 percent with 31 percent still undecided.

Among Democratic primary voters, there are several candidates stuck below 10 percent with several races showing nearly 2 out of every 3 primary voters are still undecided. However, incumbent Secretary of State Bill Galvin is the only candidate to emerge as the clear frontrunner, with a majority of support among Democratic primary voters. Secretary Galvin is at 55 percent while Tanisha Sullivan is at 14 percent. For Lt. Governor, Driscoll leads with 13 percent, for Attorney General, Campbell leads at 25 percent, and for Auditor, Dempsey leads at 15 percent.

“It’s not very often that any one policy can unite Republican and Democratic primary voters, but support for the 1986 voter approved tax rebate law seems to bring them together,” stated Paul Diego Craney, spokesperson for the Fiscal Alliance Foundation.

“It seems clear that many of the statewide candidate primaries are just not getting as much attention from primary voters as you would think. With nearly two out of three Democratic primary votes still undecided in several races, anything is possible. The only notable strength among the candidates is from Secretary Galvin. He is the only candidate to show a majority of support,” continued Craney.

“With the announcement that the Fair & Secure MA committee gathered significantly more signatures than necessary to get their repeal of the illegal immigrant driver’s license law on the ballot, it should come as no surprise that the issue sees massive support from Republican primary voters. Nearly 90 percent against it. It’ll be interesting to watch how this issue develops with Democratic voters, as 26 percent of Democratic primary voters are against it right now and the campaign hasn’t even started,” Craney said.

“With early voting starting in a few days, Geoff Diehl continues to maintain his frontrunner status among Republican primary voters. Chris Doughty seems to have a limitless supply of personal funds to interject into the Republican primary but right now he’s only at 27 percent, which is not too far off his 29 percent showing at the MassGOP convention in May,” concluded Craney.   

The poll was conducted with live operators and surveyed 750 primary voters with a history of voting in primary elections. The overall margin of error is +/- 3.6 points with a 95% confidence level. For the Democratic Primary, it is +/- 4.1 points at 95% confidence level and for the Republican Primary it is +/- 7.2 points at 95% confidence level. The poll was sponsored by the Fiscal Alliance Foundation and conducted by Jim Eltringham of Advantage Inc., a polling company in the Washington D.C. area.