BOSTON (WPRI) — Gov. Charlie Baker’s approach to battling the coronavirus pandemic is winning high marks from Massachusetts voters in a new poll.
In what was once an early COVID-19 hotspot, the MassINC Polling Group found 81% of Bay State residents say they approve of the work done by Baker, including 47% who “strongly” approve.
The poll shows Democrats approve of Baker’s performance more than his fellow Republicans. A high 91% of Democrats say they approve of how Baker handled the outbreak, including 56% who “strongly” approve. This compares with the 74% approval rating among Republicans, with only 32% who “strongly” approve.
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Even in areas that were hit the hardest by the pandemic, Baker still got a strong nod. A majority of those living in the lowest-income households (80%), those who work part-time (77%) or are not employed (79%), and non-white voters (82%) approve of his handing. However, these groups have been shown they are less likely to say they “strongly” approve.
The virus is at the top of a majority of voters’ minds with 55% calling it the most important issue facing the government. Jobs and the economy (22%) is in second.
Sixty percent say Baker’s plan to reopen the state’s economy has “been about right” but far fewer say businesses opened up too quickly (22%), or not quick enough (11%).
On Monday, Baker said tackling the virus is somewhat of a difficult situation and warns that the work is not over yet.
“If we let our guard down, COVID will take advantage of that and the virus will not take the summer off, and neither can we,” he said.
Overall, 77% of voters hold a favorable view of Baker. By contrast, two-thirds of Massachusetts voters (67%) say they have an unfavorable view of President Donald Trump with about the same as those who disapprove of his national response to the virus (68%).
Republicans still continue to favor Trump over Baker, giving Trump higher marks than Baker for overall favorability (79% compared to 63%), and judging both equally on their response to the virus (74% compared to 75%).
MassINC Polling Group says these results are based on a survey of 797 registered Massachusetts voters that were collected through an online survey between July 17-20.