New Statewide Poll of Primary Voters

Poll Show Preference on Candidates for Governor, Policies, and Issues

The Fiscal Alliance Foundation today announced the release of a new statewide poll of likely primary voters. The 752-person poll was conducted between February 22 through February 26 using live calls and text messaging and asks voters who have a history of voting in Democratic and Republican Primaries their thoughts on current policies, general issues, and their preference for Governor in 2022. Specifically, the poll asks primary voters’ opinions on the state vaccine rollout, remote learning, the practical mechanics of implementing carbon reduction goals, and their choices in the upcoming 2022 gubernatorial election. This is the first statewide poll of primary voters leading up to the 2022 Governor’s race. The pollster was Advantage Inc, a polling company in the Washington D.C. area and the poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.9% with a 95% confidence level.

Poll top lines are available here.

Poll crosstabs are available here.

“The continued issues surrounding the vaccine roll out and the online portal seem to be catching up with Governor Baker. Without President Trump to blame, Democratic primary voters seem to be focusing their frustration on Governor Baker, with nearly 54% ‘somewhat and strongly’ disapprove of the way Governor Baker is handling things. Republican primary voters are also displeased at 52%. This is not good news for the Governor, as he is upside down with both Democratic and Republican primary voters on how he is handling the vaccine roll out,” said Paul Diego Craney, a spokesman for the Foundation.


An issue that is making national and state news is if students should go back to school. The poll found that a majority (58.3%) of Republican primary voters overwhelmingly support sending students back to in classroom learning. Democratic primary voters opinions are more varied, though a large plurality (46.9%) favor a mix of remote and in classroom learning. Primary voters on both sides show very low levels of support for fully remote learning. 


When asked whether appointed bureaucrats should have the power to raise prices on essentials like heating fuel and gasoline in order to lower Massachusetts’s carbon emissions, a majority of (76.4%) of Republican primary voters ‘somewhat and strongly’ oppose this while Democratic primary voters were more split at 37.5% ‘somewhat and strongly’ opposing it and 42% ‘somewhat and strongly’ supporting it. “This is important because it’s essentially the central premise of the Transportation & Climate Initiative. Even in a poll of primary voters, where many are motivated to vote exclusively on environmental issues, the idea of unelected officials increasing prices doesn’t sit well with many people,” noted Craney.


In their first 2022 gubernatorial poll question, primary voters were also asked who they would vote for and what were their most important issues. Nearly 1 in 3 Democratic primary voters (35%) have a clear preference for Attorney General Maura Healey, followed somewhat distantly by former Congressman Joe Kennedy at just above 22%. Examining the crosstabs data shows that Healey is leading Kennedy in every age category, including Democratic primary voters who are over 65 years old, which was long thought of as loyal voting block to the Kennedy family.


Assuming Governor Baker does not run for an unprecedented third consecutive term in office, Republican primary voters were asked who they would vote for. That race found a virtual dead heat between incumbent Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and former State Representative Geoff Diehl, with Polito coming in with 21.72% and Diehl coming in with 20.36%. 57.92% of Republican primary voters were unsure. 


“The good news for Polito is that she has a 1.36% lead over Diehl, the bad news for Polito is that she only has a 1.36% lead, which is well within the margin of error. Examining the crosstabs data, Diehl is leading among GOP primary voters who think ‘jobs/economy’ are the number one issue, which is nearly 40.7% of GOP primary voters. Polito should be where Healey is with her party’s primary voters, and Diehl should be where Ben Downing is. The poll is warning to Polito that despite being the incumbent for six years, she has not cemented her support among GOP primary voters while at the same time Diehl has done a good job of courting them despite not holding office right now. Clearly the Republican nomination is wide open,” concluded Craney.