After the Economy, Voters Disagree on What Matters in Gov Election

Nine in ten (92%) registered voters* called the issue of jobs and the economy “very important” in deciding who to support in the gubernatorial election, substantially higher than any other issue. Beyond the economy however, the issues of concern differ substantially between the supporters of each candidate, according to the latest MassINC Polling Group figures.  Education and health care top the list for Patrick and supporters, while taxes and corruption are most important to Baker voters. On many issues, the difference in importance placed on each of these issues is stark.  For example, while 89 percent of Baker supporters see taxes are a ‘very important’ issue in this election, just 58 percent of Patrick supporters agree. The opposite split is present on the issue of Education, where Patrick supporters (83%) are far more likely than Baker supporters (63%) to call the issue ‘very important’. The most pronounced difference (34%) showed up on the issue of global warming, where just 17 percent of Baker supporters called the issue “very important”, compared to 52 percent of Patrick supporters.

Percent calling each issue “very important” (Sorted by overall percentages)

Overall Deval Patrick Supporters Charlie Baker Supporters Percent Difference
Jobs and the economy 92 93 94 2
Education 76 83 63 20
Health care 73 79 68 11
Taxes 73 58 89 30
Corruption 68 59 78 18
State budget shortfalls 60 53 70 17
Energy and fuel costs 54 58 40 18
Global warming 37 52 17 34
Gun rights 32 31 29 2
Transportation 29 37 24 13
Gay marriage 25 30 20 10
Cape Wind 24 25 20 4

These results are based on a MassINC Polling Group statewide poll of 400 Massachusetts residents, conducted September 22-25, 2010. Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone.  The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.9 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.  Although the poll was conducted among the adult population of Massachusetts, this question battery was only asked of respondents who said they were registered voters.