Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass/WBZ poll projects tight race Mass. Primary race between Clinton and Sanders, comfortable win for Trump

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(Daily Collegian File Photo)

(Daily Collegian File Photo)

The University of Massachusetts recently released a poll of likely Massachusetts primary voting results one day before “Super Tuesday.”

The sample, done in conjunction with WBZ, included 891 registered voters in Massachusetts, 400 of them Likely Democratic Primary Voters and 292 Likely Republican Primary Voters.

Likely Democratic Primary Voters were nearly split on Clinton and Standers in advance of Tuesday, as Clinton edged Sanders 44-43. Likely Republican Primary Voters were much more set on Donald Trump, who won with 46 points while Marci Rubio and Ted Cruz were tied for second at 14 points each.

The poll also projected who would ultimately garner each party’s presidential nominee in November.

According to the results, 64 percent of Likely Republican Primary Voters (54 points) believed Trump would earn the Republican nomination. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz came in second and third with 10 and seven points respectively.

While likely voters were split on Clinton and Sanders tomorrow, they sent a strong message when choosing the Democratic nominee. Likely Democratic Primary Voters chose Hillary Clinton as most likely to win the nomination with 62 points. Bernie Sanders trailed behind at 17.

This group of voters also cited immigration and homeland security as the most important issues to their vote while likely Democratic primary voters chose the economy.

Both parties of voters felt that Sanders was a much more honest candidate than Clinton. However, they both also said Clinton was more qualified to be president.

“Given the demographics, Massachusetts is a bellwether state for determining whether Sanders has staying power in this race,” said Brian Schaffner, director of the UMass Amherst / WBZ Poll and professor of political science at UMass Amherst, in a release.

“If he can’t succeed here, then there aren’t too many other states he can count on winning.”

Ray La Raja, associate director of the poll and associate professor of political science at UMass, said in the release that Massachusetts GOP voters don’t necessarily reflect the views of the entire nation.

“But the popularity of Trump’s positions are in such contrast to conventional GOP doctrine that the party leaders must be thinking ‘counter-reformation’ at this point, even if Trump does not get the nomination,” he said.

The polls open Tuesday morning at 7 a.m. for the 2016 presidential primary in Massachusetts. Those registered to vote can do so until 8 p.m. that evening. The Town of Amherst hosts eight polling locations.

According to MassLive, Democratic candidates must compete for 116 delegates, 59 of which will be proportional to candidates’ success in each of the state’s congressional districts.

Six Democratic delegates will be determined based on votes in the first congressional district, which spans from the Berkshires to just south of Worcester, while six Democratic delegates will also be up for grabs in the second congressional district, which runs from Northfield to Blackstone.

The article also explained that 20 at-large delegates and a dozen party leaders and elected officials also make up the 116 count. Massachusetts Democrats will send 25 unpledged, or “super delegates,” to the July nominating convention as well.

For the GOP, 27 delegates in Massachusetts will be elected at nine separate congressional district caucuses, three per district, on April 30, MassLive also reported. A dozen other delegates will later be elected by the state committee on May 25.

Marie MacCune can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @MarieMacCune.

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