The Topline

Changing the gender balance on Beacon Hill

It’s been a busy couple weeks in #mapoli, and for MPG. We have you covered with a new WBUR article and not one but two new podcasts.

WBUR: How The Mass. Legislature Can Get Closer To Gender Balance

 Steve Koczela and Jake Rubinstein, writing for WBUR:

“State Sen. Harriette Chandler, a Democrat from Worcester, became the acting president of the Massachusetts Senate this week, the second woman of the last three leaders to hold the gavel. Four of the state’s six key constitutional officers are women, and one of our U.S. senators.

“In the state Legislature, however, Massachusetts is very far from gender balance, and making no progress. Women make up a slim majority of Massachusetts residents, but only a quarter of state legislators.

“The problem isn’t that women aren’t winning elections, but that they have too few opportunities to run. To move toward gender balance, women candidates will have to broaden the field. That means more women candidates challenging sitting lawmakers in party primaries and general elections, rather than waiting for open seats.” Read the rest at WBUR.

The Horse Race LIVE

We looked at this from another angle in a live edition of The Horse Race podcast last week. After a brief look at what’s to come in 2018 (including a primary challenge to Bill Galvin), Steve and Lauren were joined by Puja Mehta of Emerge Massachusetts and Jenn Nassour of Conservative Women for a Better Future to discuss why there aren’t more women in Massachusetts politics, and how to overcome that barrier.

The Horse Race Emergency Podcast

MPG President Steve Koczela and Lauren Dezenski of POLITICO did a snap pod to discuss the Rosenberg saga and resulting leadership shake-up in the State Senate, a Republican pickup in a State Senate special election, and the questions that successfully collected signatures to advance towards the 2018 ballot.

The Horse Race will be back in the new year with more insight, analysis, and trivia. Stay tuned!

The Crosstabs

FiveThirtyEight finds Trump’s approval rating at 37.8 percent, with 55.9 percent disapproving.

NBC News finds 31 percent of Republicans want someone other than Trump to be their party’s nominee in 2020.

Gallup finds 29 percent approve of the Republican tax plan, and 56 percent disapprove. Quinnipiacfound a similar 29-53 split. HuffPost Pollster found 30 percent in favor, but only 39 percent opposed. One apparent reason for the difference is that Gallup did not offer and explicit “don’t know” option, while HuffPost did. CBS News finds 35 percent support.

A new YouGov/Economist poll finds that while leaders of the parties are in sync, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to believe sexual harassment is a serious problem.

Prior to his resignation announcement today, a Politico/Morning Consult poll found 49 percent of Democrats nationally said Senator Al Franken should go. In his home state, 22 percent thought he should remain, 33 percent thought he should resign, and 36 said they wanted to want on the results of the Senate ethics investigation.

Read more

Meet The Authors

Steve Koczela

President, The MassINC Polling Group

Rich Parr

Senior Research Director, The MassINC Polling Group

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