A new poll from the Emerson College Polling Society shows New York reality TV star Donald Trump with a commanding lead in the Massachusetts Republican Primary.
Trump leads the Republican field with 50 percent of vote, while his two closest competitors here, Florida senator Marco Rubio and Ohio governor John Kasich, trail with 16 and 13 percent, respectively. Texas senator Ted Cruz is in fourth in Massachusetts with 10 percent and retired Maryland neurosurgeon Ben Carson has just two percent.
Even though Emerson’s polling methods aren’t the greatest (because they’re automated calls to landline phones and don’t include cell phones), this poll should still serve as a rude awakening to the state’s Republican movers and shakers: The question at this point is not whether Trump will win Massachusetts, but by how much? Even if you install an unrealistically high margin of error to this poll (the margin of error for this poll of 289 likely primary voters is +/-5.7%) Trump still comes out a winner. More polls are expected this week that will add more clarity to the state of the race in Massachusetts. This is the first poll of the Massachusetts Republican primary since November, when a poll from Suffolk showed Trump with 32 percent of the vote.
Adding more steam to the Trump train is the fact he has a 64 percent favorable rating among likely GOP primary voters in Massachusetts, a huge departure from his steady 50+ percent unfavorable rating nationally. Republicans who are still in denial about Trump’s chances as their party’s nominee need to look themselves in the mirror and get a grip on reality: Trump is barreling down the track to their nominating convention in Cleveland. If he can win Massachusetts and South Carolina (and probably Nevada), where can he lose?
On the Democratic side of things, the poll from Emerson showed Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton locked in a dead heat in Massachusetts. This is a significant shift from a recent Public Policy Polling poll that showed Sanders with a respectable seven percent lead. Clinton has the backing of the entire state Democratic establishment, so it is easier to believe this poll, but Sanders still has a strong operation in Massachusetts that it would be foolish to count out. This poll also reflected the huge generational gap in support between Clinton and Sanders that has repeatedly been evident up to this point in the race.
Sanders needs to win Massachusetts on Super Tuesday, because otherwise it’s quite possible that the only state where he will be able to claim victory next Tuesday is in his home state of Vermont.
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