MPG Polling Briefs: Mass Senate race remains close, Romney falls further, Congress in the dumps, consumer confidence slips

Massachusetts Senate Race: The race for Massachusetts Senate remains close according to the MassPulse Quarterly Poll, released today. Among registered voters, 40 percent support Elizabeth Warren, and 38 percent support Senator Scott Brown, the latest in a series of polls which have shown the two candidates essentially neck and neck. Elizabeth Warren has become better known over the last several months, with 43 percent of Massachusetts residents now viewing her favorably and 24 percent unfavorably. This leaves about a third who have not heard of her or who have not formed an opinion, down from 43 percent in the April MassPulse poll.  

Presidential Race: The Massachusetts Presidential vote is looking more and more one sided with each poll. Mitt Romney’s favorables have fallen further, with just 35 percent of Massachusetts residents now reporting a favorable view of their former governor. About half (52 percent) view him unfavorably, up from the low to mid forties in previous polls. President Obama, on the other hand, has maintained his elevated favorability number (63 percent) for the last two quarters. These figures echo previous polling in the Bay State, which have shown President Obama with a sizeable lead over Mitt Romney in the horserace.

Congress: Massachusetts residents have held onto the dim view of Congress first reported in the middle of 2011 around the time of the debt ceiling negotiations. About three in ten (29 percent) report a favorable view of Congress compared to 55 percent unfavorable. Although these ratings are low, they are still higher than the historically low figures reported in recent national polling.

Consumer Confidence: Consumer confidence in Massachusetts slipped somewhat this quarter, though it remains well above the low levels observed in the middle part of 2011. Leading the decline is a perceived souring outlook for businesses, where just one in three see a positive outlook for the year ahead. Closer to home, residents’ assessment of their personal finances has remained roughly stable since last quarter. The one area where residents have changed is in their plans to buy big ticket items, which has declined since last quarter, a potential trouble spot for retailers and manufacturers.


About the Poll: The MassPulse Quarterly Poll is conducted quarterly among representative samples of 500 Massachusetts residents age 18 and older.  The poll is conducted in English and Spanish among both cell phone and landline households.  This iteration of the survey was conducted from July 19-22, 2012.  The margin of sampling error is 4.4%.

About the MassINC Polling Group: The MassINC Polling Group (MPG) is an independent, non-partisan organization providing public opinion research and analysis to public, private, and social 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. For more information, visit

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