Post Election poll frames “What Just Happened”

Charlie Baker only won by 14 points among unenrolled voters, and lost the female vote by a resounding 24 points, according to a special post-election voter survey taken Wednesday, November 3rd, by the MassINC Polling Group.  Baker’s margin among unenrolled voters was well short of what was needed to overcome Democrat’s statewide advantage in party registration.  Patrick’s huge margin among female voters, which echoed the gender gap from pre-election polling, easily overcame Baker’s smaller advantage among male voters. 

Baker was further hindered by the fraying of the coalition that delivered Scott Brown to victory in January.  Baker succeeded in pulling nearly all (95 percent) of Brown’s Republican supporters. However, he was less successful at drawing in Brown’s Democrat and unenrolled supporters, losing 26 percent of this group to other candidates.

“Baker needed a larger margin among unenrolled voters, and needed to pull more of Brown’s cross-party support than he did,” said Steven Koczela, President of the MassINC Polling Group.  “Additionally, his message may have not resonated as planned.  The Baker campaign’s sense of pessimism about the state’s prospects fell especially flat among women who are actually fairly hopeful about the State’s direction.”

Pre-election polling showed women as more optimistic than men.  After the election, women are especially positive, with 60 percent now saying the state is headed in the right direction and 33 percent saying it is on the wrong track.  Overall, half of voters now say the state is headed in the right direction, compared to 43 percent who think it is off on the wrong track. 

These results are based on a poll of 500 voters who participated in the November 2, 2010 general election for Massachusetts Governor.  Live telephone interviews were conducted November 3, 2010 via both landline and cell phone by Eastern Research Services.  The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence. 

Topics in this poll were similar to what might be included in an exit poll such as when voters made up their minds, what issues were important, right direction/wrong track, support of the Tea Party movement, support of Brown or Coakley in the 2010 special election, and a variety of demographic information. 

About The MassINC Polling Group – The MassINC Polling Group (MPG) is an independent, non-partisan organization providing public opinion research and analysis to public and private sector clients. MPG is a full service opinion polling operation offering strategic consultation, a wide-ranging suite of analytical products, and high-level communication and outreach planning.  MassINC Polling Group is a subsidiary of MassINC, a nonpartisan think tank.  For more information, visit

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