Enthusiasm Is With Republicans in Massachusetts

BOSTON, Oct. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In an Emerson College Polling Society/WGBH News poll released today, John Chapman (R), candidate for Congress in the Massachusetts 9th  Congressional District, has a five point lead (45%-40%) over incumbent William Keating (D). The poll has Charlie Baker (R) extending his lead to five points (45% to 40%) over Martha Coakley (D) in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race.

Voters were asked if they were more or less enthusiastic about this year’s election than previous elections and it appears that the Republican candidates are attracting the more enthused voters with 56% voting for Chapman compared to 31% who chose Keating. Baker’s supporters are also expressing more excitement. Among those who support Baker, 58% are more enthusiastic about the upcoming election, compared to only 34% of Coakley supporters.

When asked which issue would most influence their vote for governor, 31% chose job creation followed by healthcare (20%), education (14%), and taxes (11%).

Issues play a significant role in candidate preferences, with those who find taxes most important supporting Baker over Coakley 77% to 6%. On job creation, his margin over Coakley is 51% to 37%. Voters who prioritize education and healthcare prefer Coakley, 58% to 39% and 52% to 38%, respectively.

In the heavily Democratic Commonwealth, GOP candidates must take nearly a 2:1 vote margin among Independents in order to secure victory. Chapman holds a solid lead (54% to 28%) among unaffiliated voters and Baker is ahead of Coakley 56% to 25%.

Coakley has a slight lead with women voters (44% to 42%) and Chapman is tied with Keating 39% to 39% among females. Conversely men appear to be lining up with Republicans as Chapman holds a 10 point lead and Baker has a 14 point lead among males.

President Obama holds a favorable rating statewide 51% to 43%, but within the 9th district his image is reversed, with only a 37% favorable rating and a 58% unfavorable opinion.

Keating has higher overall name recognition than Chapman; however, his favorability is only 35%, to 42% unfavorable. Chapman is less well known, but more well liked. His favorability is at 36% to 15% unfavorable.

Baker also holds a favorability ratio of 53% to 35%, while Coakley’s ratings are 46% favorable, 49% unfavorable.

Voters are split on who will win with 43%, picking Baker and 42% picking Coakley. However the supporters of each candidate have doubts about the outcome. Of Baker’s supporters, 78% think Coakley will win, while 68% of Coakley supporters think Baker will win.

Baker, who was raised in Needham and lives in Swampscott, draws support from both areas. He holds a 14-point lead over Coakley (57% to 33%) on the North Shore, and is ahead by 6-points in Norfolk and Suffolk counties. Coakley’s biggest advantage (43% to 31%) is the Worcester/West region.

Chapman enjoys greatest support in Barnstable County and the Islands, where he leads 48% to 38%, and is up by 6 points in Plymouth County. Keating fares best in Bristol County, where he has a 4-point edge. Despite Chapman’s strong showing, 47% of voters expect Keating to win, while only 22% expect Chapman to triumph.

Caller ID

These Emerson College Polling Society polls were conducted October 6-7The polling sample for the gubernatorial race consisted of 500 likely voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.33%, and the sample for the 9th District Congressional District consisted of 370 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 5.25%. Both surveys have a 95% confidence level, and were conducted using an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. The full methodology and results can be found at www.theecps.com.

About WGBH

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