President Bush is “Making It” in Massachusetts

5/21/2003

Suffolk Contacts: Mariellen Norris at 617-573-8450 or
Tony Ferullo at 617-573-8448

7NBC Contact: Ro Dooley Webster at 617-248-5565

BOSTON, MA – President George Bush will have no trouble being re-elected, according to Massachusetts voters in an exclusive 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll released on May 21.

When asked, “do you think President Bush will be re-elected”, an overwhelming 60% indicated yes, while 31% said no. A total of 9% of the people polled were undecided.

“It appears that we are recording a significant war bounce in this poll,” said Suffolk University adjunct professor David Paleologos, a veteran pollster and author. “People today feel more secure in the aftermath of the Iraq war.”

A total of 56% of respondents said that they felt safer with Sadam Hussein out of power in Iraq, while only 41% did not feel that way. In addition, 65% of respondents indicated they did not think about a terrorist attack happening on an average day, compared to 33% who said they did.

The latest 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll also showed that, on the local political scene, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has vaulted to the second most popular position amongst political figures in Massachusetts, second only to Senator Ted Kennedy.

Mayor Menino (55% favorable/13% unfavorable) trailed Senator Kennedy (62% favorable, 29% unfavorable) in popularity, but edged out Senator John Kerry (54% favorable, 32% unfavorable) and Governor Mitt Romney (52% favorable, 34% unfavorable).

“Mayor Menino had widespread strength across gender, age, party and geographic categories,” said Paleologos. “He could easily become a bonafide statewide candidate if he so chose.”

In other findings, House Speaker Tom Finneran (39%) was crowned the most powerful person on Beacon Hill, with Governor Mitt Romney (20%) a distant second. However, increased power seems to have a price. Finneran’s personal unpopularity (27% favorable/39% unfavorable) was second only to Shannon O’Brien’s (40% favorable, 41% unfavorable) negative rating.

According to the 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll, three out of the top four issues were money related. When asked, “what is the most important issue facing our Governor,” 29% of respondents said the budget, 19% indicated the economy and 8% mentioned taxes. Education, which normally polls first at or about 25% historically, only polled third at 9%.

Respondents were either split or opposed to specific tax increases. Yet, 47% of people polled said they expected the state would raise taxes later this year, while 40% did not believe that to be the case.

When given a list of measures to help balance the state budget, voters rejected cutting Medicaid (82%), the state’s education budget (64%), as well as local aid, public assistance benefits and environmental protection funding, all at 60%. Furthermore, voters rejected a 13% hike in the state income tax (63%), but were evenly split on a 5% state income tax increase.

The 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll was conducted from May 15 through May 18, 2003. The margin of error is +/- 4.9% at a 95% level of confidence. All 400 Massachusetts respondents indicated they were likely voters.

Suffolk University has tabulated 162 pages of statistical data which can be found here. For more information, please contact Suffolk adjunct professor David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.

7NBC (WHDH-TV) is Boston’s NBC Network affiliate, a Sunbeam Broadcasting station, and “the News Station” delivering the market’s leading source for breaking news, special reports, features and critical information: 7NEWS!

Suffolk University, located on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, is a comprehensive, global institution distinguished by its teaching and the intellectual contributions of its faculty. Suffolk offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 70 areas of study. Its mission is to provide quality education at an affordable cost for students of all ages and backgrounds. Suffolk has a combined enrollment of more than 7,000 full-time and part-time students at its College of Arts and Sciences, Sawyer School of Management, Law School and New England School of Art and Design.

Back to News »