About Half of Bay State Voters Say They’ve Never Heard Of Maura Healey

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2022/02/01/about-half-of-bay-state-voters-say-theyve-never-heard-of-maura-healey/

By Michael P. Norton
State House News Service

Who are you again?

That’s the takeaway message from a statewide poll of 504 registered voters early in this election year.

The poll conducted by the MassINC Polling Group was in the field from January 18 to January 20, so there’s months for candidates and voters to get to know each other before the September primaries. Right now, however, the numbers show a big disconnect.

More than half of those surveyed in telephone interviews have never heard of the four declared candidates for governor.

At 48 percent, Democrat Maura Healey, who through two terms as attorney general is more well-known than her rivals, held a big lead among likely Democratic primary voters over state Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz (12 percent) and Harvard professor Danielle Allen (3 percent). Still, 38 percent of respondents, when presented with that trio, said they either didn’t know, wouldn’t vote, or preferred someone else.

If that someone else were former Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, then 32 percent of likely primary voters would take Walsh, who is not a candidate, over Healey (31 percent). While frequently describing his affection for his home state, Walsh says he loves his current federal posting as U.S. labor secretary.

“No, I’m not running for governor of Massachusetts,” Walsh told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer this month.

The Democratic State Committee on January 22 adopted rules for its nominating convention, which is planned for June 3 and June 4 in Worcester. To be eligible for the party’s convention endorsement, candidates had to file a notice of their intention to seek office with the the Democratic State Committee by 5 p.m. Friday, January 28 or present to the committee a petition for endorsement containing the signatures of 500 delegates by 5 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22, 2022.

Republican Governor Charlie Baker has opted against seeking a third term; Healey’s praise of Baker’s State of The Commonwealth address last week generated interest.

Among those polled, 49 percent said Baker’s endorsement of a candidate would make them more likely to vote for that person, compared to 21 percent who said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate endorsed by New York U.S.- Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. And in a nod to the state’s block of unenrolled voters who don’t identify with either major political party, 26 percent said the next governor should be more liberal than Baker, 23 percent said more conservative, and 45 percent said “about the same as Charlie Baker.”

Sponsored by the group Policy for Progress, the poll also included questions about education and rent control.

It found 49 percent oppose letting local governments pursue rent control policies, with 41 percent in support. Seventy-five percent support using federal stimulus money to help school districts offer one-on-one or small group tutoring. And 70 percent support state leaders doing more to racially integrate public schools.

In the race for attorney general, the numbers are favorable for another former City of Boston official. With 63 percent of respondents taking a pass on the question, former city councilor Andrea Campbell, who raised her visibility in last year’s mayoral race, drew 31 percent support compared to just 3 percent for labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and 2 percent for 2018 Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Quentin Palfrey as party insiders gear up for get-to-know-you winter caucuses. Campbell has not yet announced a decision on whether she will run, but filed her intent to seek the office with the Democratic Party on Friday, January 28.

Only 25 percent of likely primary voters expressed a preference between the two candidates running to succeed state Auditor Suzannne Bump. In that race, it’s an early dead heat between state Senator Diana DiZoglio at 13 percent and Chris Dempsey, a former state transportation official and transit advocate, at 12 percent.

Four Democrats running for lieutenant governor split up the 35 percent of respondents with a preference among that field, with Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll at 10 percent, and 5 percent each for state Representative Tami Gouveia and state senators Adam Hinds and Eric Lesser. Candidate Bret Bero, a businessman, was not listed as a choice in the question.

Fifty-seven percent of the voters surveyed said they didn’t know which primary — Democrat or Republican — they would pull a ballot for this September, or refused to answer that question.

The poll’s margin of error was plus or minus 4.4 percent.


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