Suffolk University Poll Shows Mayor Menino Set for a Landslide Win Voters Want an Elected School Committee

11/4/2005

When asked to choose between Menino and his opponent, Councilor at Large Maura Hennigan, 58% of likely Boston voters chose Menino, while 28% selected Hennigan, with just 14% undecided.

Menino’s personal popularity (71% favorable, 20% unfavorable) toppled Hennigan’s (48% favorable, 29% unfavorable) as both candidates appealed to last-minute voters.

"Mayor Menino’s numbers are clearly off the charts," said David Paleologos, Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "People like him, they believe in him, and they’re voting for him."

The Suffolk University poll also revealed that the job performance of Mayor Menino was the highest of four city entities, including the Boston City Council, Boston School Committee and the Boston Police Commissioner.

A total of 66% of likely Boston voters gave Mayor Menino an "excellent/good" rating, while just 33% indicated "fair" or "poor." Boston Police Commissioner Kathleen M. O’Toole received a 53% "excellent/good" rating, and a 38% "fair/poor" rating.

The Boston City Council did not fair as well, with just a 45% "excellent/good" rating, and a 45% "fair/poor" rating. The Boston School Committee received only a 24% "excellent/good" rating, while registering a dismal 47% "fair/poor" rating.

"School’s out for the Boston School Committee," declared Paleologos. "These unkind numbers appear to be the seeds for change."

Speaking of that change, voters would opt for an elected school committee instead of the current system of an appointed school committee. When asked, "Would you support an elected school committee," 60% said "yes," 24% responded "no," with 16% indicating they were "undecided."

Changes may also take place in the Council at Large race. When asked to choose up to four of the eight listed candidates on the ballot, Councilor at Large Michael Flaherty polled 34%, newcomer Sam Yoon polled 31%, and incumbent Council at Large Felix Arroyo polled 29%. The battle for the fourth and final slot appears to be between newcomer John Connolly (22%), Councilor at Large Stephen Murphy (21%), and newcomers Patricia White (20%) and Matt O’Malley (18%).

"There will be at least one, and maybe two, new Councilor at Large faces next Tuesday," said Paleologos. "The difference between number four and number seven may be a small block of bullet votes. But rest assured, Sam Yoon will be singing a happy tune early next week."

The Suffolk University poll was conducted from October 31 to November 2, 2005. The margin of error is +/- 4.9% at a 95% level of confidence. All 400 Boston respondents indicated they were likely voters.

Suffolk University is scheduled to release marginals, charts and 120 pages of cross-tabulation data on its website (www.suffolk.edu) on Friday, November 4, 2005. For more information, please contact Suffolk adjunct professor David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.

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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