UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion

U.S. Senate Race Poll Data on Key Issues

Important Issues

Oct. 3, 2011 UMass LowellBoston Herald Political Poll 

Poll Conducted Sept. 22 - 28, 2011: Analysis from interviews with 1,005 registered Massachusetts voters (plus or minus 3.8 percentage points on the full sample)
Early 2012 U.S. Senate vote preference by: key issues | favorability (pdf) Complete Analysis of Data (pdf) Topline Document (Full Questionnaire/Data) (pdf) Methodology of the Poll (pdf) Press Release

What Do Massachusetts Voters Care About?
Not surprising, jobs and the economy topped the list of issues that survey respondents want addressed at the debate of democratic candidates for U.S. Senate on Oct. 4. Overall, Massachusetts voters are in a sour mood about the state of the nation - and they generally prefer Democratic policy priorities. In 2010 Brown rode the former to victory despite the latter (and against a candidate considered to be a weak campaigner). The survey also asked about specific issues like health care reform, social security and the budget deficit. 

off-trackU.S. on the Wrong Track
Sixty-two percent say things in this country today are “seriously off on the wrong track” as opposed to “generally going in the right  direction,” comparable to the mood of the January 2010 Senate electorate as measured in the Washington Post post-election poll. Brown won 66 pecent of “wrong track” voters in 2010 but only leads Warren 48 percent to 34 percent among them in this survey of all potential voters.

All MA.
Early 2012 Senate vote preference by key issuesLIKELY VOTE IN 2012 FOR:
Scott Brown (R)Elizabeth Warren (D)Other/no
 Do you think things in this country today are: 
23%Generally going in the right direction32%45%22%
62%Seriously off on the wrong track48%34%18%
12%Mixed (VOL.)26%41%32%
 Do you think the nation's economy is: 
11%Getting better32%51%16%
40%Staying about the same34%47%19%
48%Getting worse49%28%23%
 Which comes closer to your view: 
52%Government should do more to solve problems27%50%23%
40%Government is doing too many things better left to business and individuals61%25%14%
 What is more important: 
29%Taking steps to reduce the budget deficit55%27%18%
55%Keeping Social Security and Medicare benefits as they are38%47%20%
13%Both equally (VOL.)44%31%25%
 2010 federal health care reform 
32%Went too far    71%15%14%
27%Was about right27%49%24%
31%Didn't go far enough23%56%21%
 2006 Massachusetts health care reform 
28%Went too far63%17%21%
45%Was about right33%48%19%
18%Didn't go far enough33%50%17%
 Illegal immigrant who graduates from MA high school and is accepted to state public college ... 
46%Should qualify for in-state tuition30%51%18%
48%Should not qualify for in-state tuition52%27%21%

Note: Percentages across rows might not add to 100 because of rounding

economy-worseEconomy Is Getting Worse
Forty-eight percent of registered voters say the nation’s economy is getting worse, and Brown leads Warren 49 percent to 28 percent among them. Warren leads by a comparable margin, 51 percent to 32 percent, among voters who say the economy is getting better, but only 11 percent say that. Warren leads 47 percent to 34 percent among the 40 percent who say the economy is staying about the same.
Third of Respondents Been Effected by Lay-off Thirty-five percent of voters say someone in their household has been laid off since the most recent U.S. recession began in 2007. That includes 17 percent of the poll respondents themselves.
Nearly Quarter of Respondents "Angry" With Republican Policies

While more voters view Brown favorably (52 percent) than unfavorably (29 percent), 37 percent of respondents said they are dissatisfied with policies offered by Republicans in Congress and another 23 percent said they are angry with those policies. The poll also captured how voters view the current Democratic president in comparison to the Republican U.S. Senator from Massachusetts.

Comparing Mass. voters' views of Barack Obama and Scott Brown
Overall view of ObamaOverall view of Brown
Heard of/undecided4%11%
Never heard of*8%
Has Obama ...Has Brown ...
Exceeded your expectations7%8%
Met your expectations36%46%
Fallen short of your expectations54%34%
Don't know/refused (VOL.)3%12%
Obama compromises with Republications ...Brown compromises with Democrats ...
Too much33%8%
About the right amount34%50%
Not enough25%32%
Don't know/refused (VOL.)9%9%