Poll shows voters remain deadlocked on charter school question
By Evan Lips | October 28, 2016, 18:43 EST
BOSTON — Poll results released Friday show that the ballot question asking voters whether or not the state should lift the cap on the number of charter schools allowed to open annually remains a toss-up, while momentum is gaining for backers of legalizing marijuana.
A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of 500 likely voters, conducted this past Monday and concluding on Wednesday, involved “live telephone interviews of adults,” with the results showing that the charter question remains deadlocked at 45.4 percent between backers and opponents, with 9 percent still undecided.
Supports of marijuana legalization efforts, however, carved out a 7-point edge.
David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Research Center, said in a press release that Gov. Charlie Baker’s popularity combined with his support of the charter school question could ultimately influence undecided voters.
“This question will be decided by these undecided voters, and Gov. Charlie Baker could have an impact,” Paleologos said in a prepared statement. “The politically popular Baker has put himself out front on the yes side, knowing that this question was losing by more than 10 points a few weeks ago.”
The release notes that charter school supporters have begun airing ads showing Baker, who has a just a 12 percent unfavorability rating, speaking straight into the camera to announce his position:
Baker, in the 30-second spot, talks about how charter schools offer parents more choices.
“Imagine if your kids were trapped in a failing school,” Baker says at one point. “Public charter schools give parents a choice, and are a pathway to success for these kids.
“If you like your school, Question 2 won’t affect you, but Question 2 will change the future for thousands of these kids who need your help.”
Opponents have argued that increasing the number of charter schools will take resources away from public schools.
Question 4, which calls for legalizing the recreational usage of marijuana and would pave the way for the drug’s regulation and taxation, was supported by 49 percent of voters who responded to the poll, compared to 42 percent who said they remain opposed and 8 percent who are still undecided.
Other results showed that 57 percent oppose Question 1, which would add a single slot machine casino in the state, compared to 30 percent in support. Question 3, which asks voters to consider supporting a ban on small cages for various farm animals, garnered support from 62 percent of voters.
- Democrat Hillary Clinton leads GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump 57 percent to 25 percent in Massachusetts, with Libertarian Gary Johnson claiming 4 percent and Green-Rainbow nominee at 3 percent. Approximately 10 percent remain undecided.
- A hypothetical poll pitting Sen. Elizabeth Warren against retired Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, a Republican, shows the Cambridge Democrat trouncing the hurler 58 percent to 24 percent should he make good on his talk of challenging her in 2018.
- The Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll correctly predicted that Baker would edge Democrat Martha Coakley in the 2014 gubernatorial election.