Michael P. Norton
State House News Service
Seventy-four percent of Massachusetts residents support conducting upcoming state elections entirely by mail, with 21 percent opposed, according to new poll results.
The Suffolk University/WGBH News/Boston Globe poll results showed vote-by-mail was supported by 84 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of independents, but only 14 percent of Republicans. The survey, involving 500 respondents and conducted April 29–May 2, also measured public opinion on leadership and decision-making during the COVID-19 crisis and the pandemic’s impacts on income.
Gov. Charlie Baker’s decision to extend his nonessential business closure order and stay-at-home advisory for Massachusetts from May 4 to May 18 was supported by 85 percent of respondents, the same number that supported his handling of the crisis.
Sixty-six percent of respondents disapproved of President Trump’s handling of the pandemic, and 25 percent approved. Forty-six percent of respondents said the coronavirus has diminished their regular income. The results showed residents feel they are more vigilant about wearing masks than others are, and indicate just 23 percent said they would feel comfortable attending a sporting event, while 18 percent would ride a bus, subway or commuter train. Even if there were a vaccine, nearly one in four still would not attend a sporting event or take public transportation.
“These data can inform politicians, sports team owners and business organizations as they consider how to emerge from the current restrictions once public health indicators deem it safe,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a statement. “The large percentages of people who rule out going to an athletic event or riding public transportation suggest that even as businesses reopen it will not be business as usual.”