Poll: Bay Staters Not Keen on Warren, Patrick for President

December 4, 2018 GMT

By Sean Philip Cotter

Boston Herald

BOSTON -- Massachusetts voters are not too impressed with the hometown crop of possible presidential hopefuls, according to a recent poll, and political observers say that could spell trouble for the prospective candidates’ higher ambitions if the trend continues.

“If you’re not winning your home state, you have big problems,” GOP consultant Rob Gray told the Herald of presidential campaigns.

In the poll from the University of Massachusetts and YouGov., U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, widely seen as a probable candidate and favorite of the party’s progressive wing, drew 11 percent of self-described Democrats and independents, putting her third on a list of 10 would-be candidates. Gov. Charlie Baker, on the other hand, outperformed the competition on the right, save President Trump.


“Incredibly weak numbers for Elizabeth Warren,” tweeted CNN elections analyst Harry Enten of the poll.

The very early 2020 poll -- which didn’t include many lesser-known Democrats who either have announced or strongly suggested runs -- had former Vice President Joe Biden leading with 19 percent, and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in second with 14 percent. Texas U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who this year lost a high-profile Senate race, drew 10 percent. Among the 10 were former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who got 6 percent, and Salem-area U.S. Rep. Seth Moulton, who brought up the rear with 1 percent.

By comparison, Baker enjoys the comforts of home.

The same poll asked half of Republicans and independents about a hypothetical 2020 GOP primary without President Trump, and the other half about the matchup with Trump included.

Baker cleaned up in the non-Trump version of the question, garnering 33 percent, with current Vice President Mike Pence coming in second with 26. There was a large drop-off to former Gov. Mitt Romney in third with 8 percent.

The version that does feature Trump has the current president drawing 40 percent to 30 percent for Baker, 7 for Romney and no one else getting more than 3 percent.

Experts say early polls like this one are largely about name recognition, so politicians such as Biden, who was vice president for eight years, and Sanders, who was runner-up for the Democratic nomination in 2016, are bound to fare well, as are politicians in the places were they are elected.

So Warren’s primary number is likely “disappointing” for her, independent political consultant Todd Domke said, which means there’s still much work to be done if she does want to mount a run.


“She’ll need to reinforce her base here,” he said.

Democratic consultant Scott Ferson said the numbers shouldn’t be a cause for major alarm for Warren, but were “pretty anemic” for Patrick and Moulton. But, Ferson said, any Massachusetts candidate who declares will surely see their numbers increase in their home state.

“One of them will win the primary in Massachusetts” if Warren or Patrick runs, Ferson predicted.

Warren’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.