Massachusetts Voters Not So Kind In Judging Finneran's Fate

6/14/2005

When asked, "Should Tom Finneran go to jail," 43% of likely voters said yes, while 23% said no, with 35% indicating they were undecided. Voters also believed that Finneran should no longer be allowed to practice law. When asked, "Should Tom Finneran lose his law license," 54% of likely Massachusetts voters said yes, while only 14% said no, with 33% undecided.

Likely voters were also asked whether they felt that the perjury and obstructing justice charges against the former lawmaker were politically motivated, or whether Finneran should be punished accordingly if he broke the law. Some 67% of likely Massachusetts voters felt that if Finneran broke the law, he should be punished, while just 12% of respondents felt the charges were politically motivated.

"Voters believe that justice is more responsible than politics for this indictment," said David Paleologos, Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "It's surprising that while people haven't heard any of the evidence, they still want to throw him in jail and never let him practice law again."

As the Governor and the legislature work to find a solution to health care, the 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll also showed that the public should provide health care even though a majority acknowledges the state couldn't afford it. According to the 7NEWS/Suffolk University survey, 67% of respondents believed that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts should provide health care for every resident.

However, when asked, "Can the Commonwealth of Massachusetts afford to provide health care for every resident, 52% of those questioned said no, while 34% said yes. Also, 69% of likely Massachusetts voters believe that people who can afford health care should be compelled to pay for it, while 19% of respondents said that they should not.

"These numbers show the confusion that people feel," said Paleologos. "They want it, but they can't pay for it."

As Governor Romney attempts to sift through the health care confusion, his own political future is unclear. More than half of respondents surveyed (54%) thought Romney will run for re-election as Governor, but when asked, "Do you think Mitt Romney should run for Governor, President, both or neither office," 41% of those questioned said neither, and only 10% said President.

When likely Democratic Primary voters were asked, "If John Kerry were to run for President in 2008 and was opposed in the Democratic Primary by Hillary Clinton, toward whom would you lean, Kerry or Clinton," 53% of likely voters chose Clinton, while 30% chose Kerry. A total of 17% of respondents were undecided.

In the Republican Primary race for President, Romney (24%) trailed former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani (25%). Arizona Senator John McCain finished third (22%) in the hypothetical 2008 Ballot Test among likely Republican voters in the Bay State.

The 7NEWS-Suffolk University poll was conducted June 11-12, 2005. The margin of error is +/- 4.9% at a 95% level of confidence. All 400 Massachusetts respondents indicated they were likely voters.

Suffolk University is scheduled to release marginals of the survey on its website (www.suffolk.edu)  on Tuesday, June 14, 2005. 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, with campuses in Madrid, Spain and Dakar, Senegal (Africa), 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 a reasonable cost for students of all ages and backgrounds, with strong emphasis on diversity. Suffolk has a combined enrollment of more than 8,300 full-time and part-time students at its Law School, College of Arts and Sciences and Sawyer Business School.

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