Winter Storm Trump hits Massachusetts
Welcome back to The Topline! Now that we’re through Election 2016, we decided to reboot the newsletter. Every two weeks we’ll round up the latest in national and Massachusetts polling, politics, and data.
Non-presidential years are usually about state and local politics. We have a Mayor’s race in Boston this year, and next year Governor Charlie Baker and Senator Elizabeth Warren are both up for reelection. It’s likely that a proposal to increase the state’s income tax on incomes over $1 million will also go before voters in 2018.
But the state and local concerns risk being snowed under by a blizzard coming up from Washington D.C. Three weeks in, it seems that local politicians’ reactions to the Trump administration may matter as much, or even more, than what they are doing for the Commonwealth.
To that end, this week we asked registered voters to rate several Massachusetts political figures’ reactions to Trump: are they being too critical of the new administration, not critical enough, or have they been pretty much on target so far? Our WBUR poll in January showed 41 percent think Trump will have a negative impact on the state, with just 20 percent seeing positive impacts. It may be hard to avoid confrontation if his policies start showing local impacts.
Voters are split on Governor Charlie Baker’s approach to handling Trump. A plurality of voters think Charlie Baker has threaded the Trump-GOP needle pretty well so far. But a quarter overall, and a third of Democrats, think he hasn’t been critical enough. Another 19 percent are undecided, meaning these numbers could continue to shift as their complicated relationship unfolds.