Mass. Voters Favor Baker & Warren as They Choose Person over Party

Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll shows strong support for nursing, election spending & transgender rights ballot questions

Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll

More than half of Massachusetts voters favor two highly popular statewide candidates from opposite parties, with Gov. Charlie Baker, a Republican, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, each showing strong leads against all challengers, according to a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll of likely midterm voters.

Baker led Democratic nominee Jay Gonzalez 55 percent to 28 percent. The 27-point margin has closed slightly from the 30-point lead Baker held over Gonzalez in a June poll, before the Democrat clinched the nomination. Baker claimed the governor’s office four years ago after defeating Democrat Martha Coakley by just 2 percentage points. Now he has 72 percent job approval and a 73 percent favorability rating, according to the new poll.

In terms of his party, 61 percent of voters said that Baker is “anti-Trump,” 12 percent said “pro-Trump,” 11 percent said “neither,” and 16 percent were undecided.

U.S. Senate race

Warren has a commanding advantage over her Republican and independent opponents, leading Republican Geoff Diehl by 30 points (54 percent to 24 percent), while 6 percent chose independent Shiva Ayyadurai, and 16 percent are undecided. Warren’s job approval and favorable ratings both stood at 57 percent.

“Both Charlie Baker and Elizabeth Warren are entertaining landslide scenarios, even though they follow different paths,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Warren’s rock-solid Democratic base offsets losses among Republicans, and she stays competitive among independents. Baker is competitive among Democrats and dominates among independents and Republicans.”

Baker (40 percent) trailed Gonzalez (41 percent) by 1 point among Democrats, while running 62 percent to 23 percent among independents and 72 percent to 11 percent among Republicans.

Democrats’ support for Warren stood at 84 percent, with Diehl (2 percent) and Ayyadurai (3 percent) trailing far behind. Among Republicans, Diehl (77 percent) led both Warren and Ayyadurai, who tied at 5 percent each. And among independents, Warren (44 percent) led Diehl (28 percent), and Ayyadurai (8 percent), with a relatively high 20 percent undecided.

Ballot Questions

Question 1, which would establish patient-to-nurse limits, was supported 52 percent to 33 percent, with 15 percent undecided. Both the nurses unions and hospital associations have been advertising aggressively to argue their respective points of view, each claiming its position is more positive for patients.

Question 2, which would establish a citizens commission to consider amending the U.S. Constitution to regulate election spending and declare that corporations do not have the same rights as humans, was supported 72 percent to 20 percent.

Question 3, which would retain the current Transgender Anti-Discrimination Law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender identity, was supported 73 percent to 17 percent, with 9 percent undecided.

Record of polling success

Suffolk University polling has a record of accurately predicting Massachusetts statewide elections since 2010. In the 2014 Massachusetts midterm election, the final Suffolk University poll predicted that Baker would defeat Democrat Martha Coakley by 3 points. Baker won by 2 points. The final Suffolk poll in the 2010 midterm race for governor predicted that Democrat Deval Patrick would defeat Baker by 7 points. Patrick won by 6 points.


The statewide Suffolk University survey was conducted through live interviews of cell phone and land line users. All respondents indicated that they were likely to vote in the November midterm election in Massachusetts. The survey of 500 voters was conducted September 13 – September 17. 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,


Greg Gatlin
Office of Public Affairs
Office of Public Affairs