Massachusetts Senate race remains close but varies among religious groups

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEMAY 10, 2012 View Topline View Crosstabs

Catholic voters tilt toward Brown overall, but diverge by race/ethnicity

The Massachusetts Senate race is still very close, with 43 percent supporting Elizabeth Warren and 41 percent for Senator Scott Brown, according to polling data released today by The MassINC Polling Group (MPG).  Senator Brown (46 percent) has a seven point edge among Catholic voters over Warren (39 percent), the two candidates are tied among other Christian voters, and Warren holds a large lead among those who say none, atheist, or agnostic in response to the religious preference question.

White Catholic voters favor Brown by a 51 to 34 margin, while non-White Catholics tilt heavily toward Elizabeth Warren. There were not enough non-White Catholics interviewed to report a specific head to head figure. However, the data from this survey generally mirrors dynamics recently reported by Gallup in the Presidential election.

“These poll numbers show that the so-called Catholic vote continues to be significant, but has several sub-components,” said Steve Koczela, President of the MassINC Polling Group.  Koczela noted that slightly less than half (44 percent) of Massachusetts voters identify as Catholic, a quarter as another Christian denomination, and 20 percent “none”, atheist, or agnostic.  For more information on the breakdown of the Senate vote by religious group, see analysis at

Overall, the poll of registered voters showed 46 percent with a favorable view of Brown, with 33 percent unfavorable toward the incumbent Senator. Thirty four percent of voters view Warren favorably while 25 percent see her unfavorably. These figures reflect the responses of the 438 registered voters reached as a part of the MassPulse Quarterly Poll issued by The MassINC Polling Group.

About the Poll: The MassPulse Quarterly Poll is conducted quarterly among representative samples of 500 Massachusetts residents age 18 and older. The figures shown in this document represent the 438 respondents who identified themselves as registered voters. The questions discussed here were asked at the beginning of the questionnaire, to avoid introducing bias by first asking about the other issues included in the omnibus survey. The poll is conducted in English and Spanish among both cell phone and landline households.  This iteration of the survey was conducted from April 25-28, 2012.  The margin of sampling error for the 438 registered voters is 4.7%.

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