Suffolk University/Boston Globe Mayoral Poll Shows Walsh with 35-Point Lead over Jackson

Mayor Martin J. Walsh holds a 35-point lead over District 7 City Councilor Tito Jackson in the Boston mayoral race with the city’s general election just two weeks away, according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely Boston voters.

Walsh is the choice of 58 percent of voters, with Jackson drawing 23 percent and 17 percent undecided.

The poll also registered public support for the sanctuary city designation and efforts to attract retail giant Amazon.

A popular mayor

“The poll is a powerful validation of Mayor Walsh’s first term in office,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “Despite dissatisfaction on issues like the price of housing and the cost of living in Boston, voters don’t appear to be blaming Walsh or other citywide elected officials for these issues at this time.”

Walsh’s favorability rating was 69 percent favorable–20 percent unfavorable, while Jackson’s was 46 percent favorable–19 percent unfavorable.

As mayoral candidates prepare for their final debate tomorrow night, 35 percent of those polled either have never heard of Jackson or haven’t formed an opinion about him, while nearly 50 percent said they have personally met Walsh.

Nearly 67 percent of voters polled were very or somewhat dissatisfied with the price of housing in Boston, and 61 percent were dissatisfied with the cost of living.

City Council

In the at-large City Council race, the incumbents led, with Michelle Wu at 32 percent, followed by Ayanna Pressley (29 percent), Michael Flaherty (26 percent), and Annissa Essaibi George (18 percent). Of the four challengers, Domingos DaRosa and former state Rep. Althea Garrison each received 5 percent, followed by Pat Payaso, 3 percent, and William King, 2 percent respectively.

Progressive leadership

With Walsh courting Amazon by proffering Boston as the ideal location for its second world headquarters, 49 percent of likely voters say the benefits of such a deal would outweigh the costs, while 30 percent say the costs would outweigh the benefits.

A majority of Boston voters (57 percent) agree with Walsh’s decision to offer sanctuary to Boston’s immigrant population, while 32 percent are opposed. When voters were asked if Boston overall has implemented progressive policies under Mayor Walsh, 59 percent said yes and 22 percent no.

Sexual harassment

On the heels of sexual harassment allegations against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, 86 percent of Boston voters said sexual harassment in the workplace is a problem in this country—with a breakdown of 91 percent of women and 81 percent of men saying sexual harassment is a problem—while 9 percent said it is not.

Respondents were read the official definition of sexual harassment from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; 25 percent said that, based on that definition, they have experienced sexual harassment. The gender breakdown of those who had experienced harassment was 39 percent women, 10 percent men.

Twenty-four percent said that a coworker had made unwanted sexual advances, and, among that subgroup, 69 percent said they had not reported those incidents to a supervisor and 30 percent said they had reported them.


In the 2013 race for mayor, the final Suffolk University poll predicted Walsh over challenger John Connolly by 3 points. Walsh won by 3.5 points.


The field of 500 Boston likely voters was conducted Oct. 19 through Oct. 21 using a Boston voters list, assigning turnout quotas based on the 2013 and 2009 citywide elections. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Results are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected].