Rich Parr Research Director, The MassINC Polling Group

Richard Parr is Research Director with The MassINC Polling Group. Rich contributes a deep familiarity with Massachusetts policies, politics and media, as well as a background in public policy and media.

Since joining MPG in 2013, Rich has taken primary responsibility for data processing and contributes to survey and sample design. He uses his background in policy and media to craft and edit analysis memos and reports attuned to the political context and salient issues. Rich oversaw data visualization and mapping for WBUR’s Poll Vault during the 2014 election cycle, and co-authored and edited several piece for the site.

Prior to joining MPG, Rich was Policy Director at A Better City, a nonprofit representing Boston-area businesses and institutions on transportation, land development and the environment. In that role Rich became a recognized expert on transportation finance and helped organize a statewide coalition which succeeded in elevating transportation to a top legislative priority. He launched and edited ABC’s blog and oversaw its social media presence. Rich continues to work on transportation projects in his spare time and for MassINC, MPG’s parent think-tank. He is a member of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Legislative Committee and the Boston Bikes Advisory Group, for which MPG has conducted pro-bono analysis.

Before joining ABC, Rich produced web content for the award-winning PBS documentary series FRONTLINE. He has also worked in new media for political campaigns and in media operations for the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Rich holds a Bachelor’s degree in Literature from Harvard College.

ARTICLES By Rich Parr

Seth Moulton and the Shifting Sands of Polls

The Topline

Polling is a snapshot of time; when times change, polls are a time capsule of the way it used to be. Perhaps no one better exemplifies the shifting sands of polls right now than Seth Moulton, who has led the apparently unsuccessful charge to block Nancy Pelosi from returning as Speaker of the House. The

Can Ocasio-Cortez return the favor for Ayanna Pressley?

The Topline

Going into the 7th Congressional District debate this week, Boston City Councillor Ayanna Pressley trailed the incumbent Rep. Michael Capuano by 13 points, according to the latest WBUR poll. The debate was less about issues than it was whether voters want experience or a new perspective in Congress. That’s in keeping with the polling: only

Boston considers non-citizen voting

The Topline

Voting is the core of democracy. But who gets to vote has been fraught with political disagreement since America’s earliest days. Recently, a series of decisions from the Supreme Court has loosened enforcement of voting rights in places with sometimes dubious track records. Those rulings, and continued talk of voter fraud from the administration, has

Late Registration

The Topline

Massachusetts is home to more than one hundred colleges and universities and is the birthplace of American democracy. (Yes, that’s right, Eagles fans.) Nonetheless, the State Supreme Judicial Court recently upheld a voter registration law that makes it harder for college students to vote in our state primary elections. The SJC upheld a rule requiring

Last Exit Before Poll

The Topline

The 2016 cycle was a tough one for exit polling. The major networks’ exit polls showed results far more favorable to Hillary Clinton than Donald Trump, and struggled to accurately represent the demographics of the electorate on key figures such as education, a key indicator of partisanship. This isn’t the first time exit polls have misled the public; don’t

Voters give green light on “red flag” gun law

The Topline

Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo announced this week the House would take up the so-called “red flag” gun safety bill. The move ended months of speculation and growing pressure from outside the building. The proposed legislation would “allow a judge to temporarily seize guns from someone who might pose a danger to themselves and others.” Eight states

State follows voters’ lead on criminal justice

The Topline

The Senate and House sent a sweeping criminal justice reform bill to Governor Charlie Baker’s desk this week. The Governor has not said how he will proceed. Details matter, and there are a lot of them to parse, but the overall thrust of the bill is very much in keeping with what voters have said

Democracy is breaking out all over Massachusetts

The Topline

2018 was supposed to be the year of blockbuster match-ups in Massachusetts. The de facto leaders of both parties are running for reelection, offering the prospect of bruising contests for both Senate and the Governor’s office. Instead, the two main event races are blowouts so far, while a bevy of interesting and important elections are

DA candidates seek to capitalize on public desire for new approach to criminal justice

The Topline

Criminal justice reform legislation has yet to emerge from conference committee on Beacon Hill, but many of the ideas the legislature debated in writing their bills are now making their way into District Attorney races across the state. Polling we’ve conducted shows these ideas are popular among large swaths of the public, setting up potentially interesting contests of ideas

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