^ great Massachusetts numbers for Hillary Clinton, but equally great ones for Elizabeth Warren and Charlie Baker. The reasons are not hard to find

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We who live in Massachusetts are very lucky. Our politics tend to the bipartisan; the overwhelming majority agrees on most major issues. The internet’s free access has given trolls enormous voice, yet here in Massachusetts troll politics remain  a fringe annoyance.

WBUR’s new poll demonstrates it. The favorable – unfavorable ratings we give to Trump are 26/65: we get that he is entirely unfit to be anything, much le4s President. Meanwhile,  we give Hillary Clinton a 48 to 38 favorable – unfavorable rating : not great, but certainly on the correct side, for a woman whose major failing is to be kind of stiff, a steel-toed policy soldier (as I’ve called her on facebook recently). It’s hard to warm to a steel toed policy soldier, but our voters do get that being solid has more good to it than bad.

Given our perceptions of Clinton and Trump it’s no surprise that Clinton polls 60 to his 31, head to head — in the four way it’s Clinton 54, Trump 28, Johnson 9 and Stein 4. 60 to 31 is a bit wider a gap than Mitt Romney surrendered to President Obama in 2012 — Obama won our state by 63 to 37, almost the exact number that he beat John McCain by in 2008. Trump’s 31 falls about 20 percent short of Romney’s and McCain’s number — consistent with polls hsowi8ng that about 25 percent of Massachusetts voters who chose Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Ted Cruz ion our primary are now voting for Clinton. (Disclosure : I am one such voter.)

31 percent is a modern-era low for a republican Presidential nominee in Massachusetts, and that low is well deserved, as we all now know far too well. I doubt that this poll finding is any surprise. The really interesting numbers it gives us belong to our in-state political leaders :

Favorability : Charlie baker 62 favorable 16 unfavorable; Elizaberth Warren, 53 / 36; Ed Markey, 40 / 16.

“Deserves re election” : Elizabeth Warren earns 54 yes, 29 no; Charlie Baker gets an almost identical 53 yes, 29 no.

I doubt it’s a coincidence that the 54 or 53 to 29 numbers voters accord both Warren and Baker are the same that voters give to Clinton and Trump. What matters most to Massachusetts voters at this point is not political party, but confidence in government. Trump has run the most anti-government Presidential campaign in modern history. To him and his key supporters, the entire thing is an enemy, to be “2A’d” if needed. In Massachusetts that position attracts 28 to 29 percent of our voters, and these people show remarkable consistency. They dislike Warren and Baker and of course Clinton — all three lions of governmental commitment and diligence. At the same time, 53 to 54 percent of our voters like Warren and Baker and Clinton. that two are Democrats and one a Republican doesn’t matter at all.

Today, American voters are divided not between Republican and Democrat but between those who grant legitimacy to our government and Constitution and those who want to — if need be — raise the cry of sedition against it. Fortunately for us in Massachusetts, the sedition party is two to one outnumbered and, most likely, non-existent in greater Boston.

I wish the same were true of the rest of the nation, but it isn’t. In many states, the sedition mindset draws a majority of voters. Say a prayer for our nation as we try to survive the existential threat posed by the Trump candidacy and the hatreds that have given it legs.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere



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