MPG Polling Briefs: Dem optimism lifts consumer confidence, residents say Mass headed in right direction, Romney sees highest unfavorables yet


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MassPulse Quarterly Poll checks in on key indicators

Consumer Confidence: The MassINC Polling Group Index of Consumer Sentiment improved significantly to 86.1, higher the last quarter’s reading of 75.5. The index was buoyed primarily by a better perceived outlook for business (see attached Trend Monitor for past readings). In this quarter’s poll, 46 percent of Massachusetts residents see good times ahead for business, compared to 30 percent who see bad times ahead, a reversal from July’s reading. Looking at the other questions that go into the Index, more people are now optimistic than pessimistic on each of the 5 component questions of the index, a first since MPG started collecting these measures in January 2011.

Key to the rise is soaring optimism among Democratic leaning residents, particularly supporters of Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. Among Warren Supporters, the Index of Consumer Sentiment rose by 20 points since July to 107.8, compared to a more modest 6 point gain to 68.4 among supporters of Senator Scott Brown.

“Economic perceptions are splitting more and more along the partisan fault line, both here in Massachusetts and across the country” said Steve Koczela, President of the MassINC Polling Group, who pointed to Gallup’s recent figures showing a similar divide.

Presidential Race: The favorability figures for each of the Presidential candidates are the most recent indicator of how far President Obama is ahead in the presidential race here in Massachusetts. Former Governor Mitt Romney is seen favorably by 36 percent of residents, while Barack Obama enjoys a 64 percent favorability rating.

Senate Race: Scott Brown (47/39) and Elizabeth Warren (48/38) are now roughly even in terms of their favorable / unfavorable ratios. Both Senator Brown and Elizabeth Warren saw their unfavorables hit new records for them in this quarter’s poll. Encouragingly for Warren however, her favorables have also been moving upward throughout the campaign as she has become better known.

Direction of the State: The positive outlook among Bay State residents continued to edge higher this quarter, with 56 percent of residents saying the state is headed in the right direction compared to 35 percent who say it it off on the wrong track.

About the Poll: The MassPulse Quarterly Poll is conducted quarterly among representative samples of approximately 500 Massachusetts residents age 18 and older. The poll is conducted in English and Spanish among both cell phone and landline households. This iteration of the survey was conducted from October 17-20, 2012. The margin of sampling error is 4.4%.

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