WBUR

New Poll Suggests Women Souring On Gomez

Republican Gabriel Gomez and Democrat Ed Markey shook hands before their first debate in the race for U.S. Senate. (Shoshana Salzberg for WBUR)

Republican Gabriel Gomez and Democrat Ed Markey shook hands before their first debate in the race for U.S. Senate. (Shoshana Salzberg for WBUR)

BOSTON — A new poll suggests women are souring on Republican Gabriel Gomez in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race.

The survey, which gives U.S. Rep. Edward Markey an overall lead of 47-39 on Gomez, is the third conducted by Democratic-affiliated Public Policy Polling.

Markey, a Democrat, has watched that overall margin grow only slightly over the course of the three polls — from four points, to seven points, to eight.

But Markey’s edge with women has expanded more significantly — from 10 to 16 points — in the last month.

And women voters have a far lower opinion of Gomez than they did just five weeks ago, according to the PPP surveys.

In a May 1-2 poll, just after Gomez won the GOP primary, 41 percent of women said they had a favorable opinion of the Republican, compared to 24 percent who said they had an unfavorable opinion.

That 17-point advantage shrunk to a 10-point edge in a May 13-15 poll. And in the new PPP survey of 560 likely voters, conducted June 3-4, only 35 percent of women had a favorable view of Gomez, compared to 44 percent who had an unfavorable view — a deficit of nine points.

That’s a 26-point swing, in total.

“Gabriel Gomez has revealed himself to be a right-wing ideologue who supports dangerous limits on a woman’s right to choose, and would vote to confirm pro-life justices for the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade, so it comes as no surprise that women across the Commonwealth are seeing Gomez for who he really is — a pro-life Republican who can’t be trusted to protect women’s rights,” said Markey campaign spokesman Andrew Zucker, in a statement.

The Gomez campaign declined to comment.

Steve Koczela, president of MassINC Polling Group, which conducts surveys for WBUR, said Gomez’s declining fortunes among women recall the fate of former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown.

In a September 2011 WBUR poll, Brown had an 18-point edge on the favorable-unfavorable question among women. By the final WBUR poll in his race against Democrat Elizabeth Warren, he faced a three point deficit. He went on to lose.

Markey’s women-friendly message

Markey’s gains among women may indicate that his steady focus on abortion and gun control is paying dividends, Koczela said.

A March WBUR poll of likely voters in the U.S. Senate general election asked respondents what issues are “very important” to them in deciding how to vote. Eighty-five percent of both men and women said “jobs and the economy” are very important.

But when it came to abortion, 54 percent of women said the issue is “very important” compared to 36 percent of men. The split on gun control was 66-56.

A separate February WBUR poll of registered voters found 59 percent of women think Massachusetts gun laws should be “more strict,” compared to 40 percent of men.

Abortion and gun control were both front and center Wednesday night in the first of three televised debates in the special election to replace former U.S. Sen. John Kerry.

Markey said he would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court justice who would overturn Roe v. Wade. Gomez, who describes himself as pro-life but says he would not make the issue a priority, indicated he would have no abortion “litmus test” when it comes to confirming justices.

Markey also took pains to point out that he favors bans on assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, while Gomez does not.

Women have been a key swing vote in recent Massachusetts elections, Koczela said.

In a U.S. Senate special election in 2010, Democrat Martha Coakley won women by just three points, according to a post-election survey commissioned by The Washington Post. Brown, her Republican opponent, racked up a 14-point lead among men and scored an upset victory.

Later that year, women voted for Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick over Republican challenger Charlie Baker by a 24-point margin, according to a post-election MassINC poll, propelling the incumbent to re-election.

And last fall, exit polls show, Warren rode an 18-point edge among women to a victory over then-U.S. Sen. Brown.

Men were more consistent over that period, favoring the Republican in the three races by margins of 14, 13 and 6 points, respectively.

The new PPP survey suggests that men have remained similarly steady in the current U.S. Senate race. Gomez’s 4-point lead among men in the first PPP poll shrunk only slightly to a 1-point edge in the new poll.

Bad news for Gomez on independents

The survey also found that Gomez’s standing among independents — a crucial constituency for Republicans running in Massachusetts — has declined. A 16-point edge in the first PPP poll has turned into a 1-point deficit.

The result is consistent with another recent survey, from New England College, which had Gomez leading Markey by just three points among independents.

Republicans can take some solace in this: Despite Gomez’s slipping standing among women and independents, and a sizable financial edge for Markey, the race is still relatively close.

The new, automated PPP poll was commissioned by the League of Conservation Voters, which is backing Markey in the race. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.1 percent.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

    hmm 59% of women have no idea what the gun laws are here, interesting.

    • jefe68

      What is wrong with you?

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        dont be coy jefe. do tell

    • maraith

      We could add more restrictions to the gun laws here and perhaps that is what women want. Current laws are pretty good in MA although enforcement leaves something to be desired. But maybe women want to go further. So maybe they know the laws, Futo, but think they can be improved. Watch out with those assumptions.

      • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

        the laws in MA are opressive and unconstitutional. we already have the lowest rate of deaths caused by people with guns in the nation. there are only three gun control laws we do not have in MA and those three are accomplished in other ways here. unless women in MA are really worried about banning .50 cal rifles, you know the ones that have never been used in a crime, then gun control in ma cannot get more absurd. anyone who understands the laws here knows they are insane

        • The Other PS

          Maybe women DO know the gun laws and just don’t find them as oppressive as you do. What are these laws preventing you from doing?

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            i don’t know where to begin. do you know that the summary of MA gun laws is over 500 pages long?

            the rabid anti gunners only have three more laws on their wish list for mass which gets an A for gun control from them.

            they want

            .50 cal rifles banned (the ones i mentioned that have never ever been used in a crime in the USA)

            a 10 day waiting period (we already have a 40 day waiting period (although this varies by town, the police in worcester choose not to follow that law and take an 84 day minimum to issue permits unless you are friends of the police chief,) they have that law in california because california does not require a permit like we do)

            a one gun per month limit ( this is designed to prevent straw purchasers but due to the restrictions on the guns that may be sold in MA no one from another state would want a gun from here so straw purchasers do not occur in MA already)

            things that are banned in MA already:

            strike anywhere matches

            shooting at pictures

            peashooters

            slingshots

            the unconstitutional laws we have are preventing me and others from exercising our civil rights fully, that should upset any american. could you imagine if a local unelected bureaucrat in your town was able to decide whether you were allowed to vote or speak? could you imagine if you had to file an application and pay a fee to said unelected bureaucrat before you attended your church?
            thats the state of affairs for guns in ma and its not right.

            so really no sane person could think we need more laws here reguardless of gender if they had a percentage of men who wanted more gun control here i would say the same thing about them

          • The Other PS

            So, what is it again that these laws are preventing you from doing??

          • http://www.facebook.com/futo.buddy Futo Buddy

            buying a glock?

            buying any of number of firearms that are produced in MA but not legal to buy here?

            buying a bushmaster AR15 with a 30 round magazine made after 1998?

            shooting at pictures of things?

            buying strike anywhere matches?

            open carrying a AK47?

            not jumping through hoops set up by unelected bureaucrats?

            spending hundreds of dollars to exercise a basic right?

            the list is quite long, thats a few

            as a law abiding citizen the laws here prevent me from doing all sorts of things other americans can do. who is not prevented from doing or getting whatever they want is the criminals

            what laws do you think we are missing?

  • Vandermeer

    As a woman, I also don’t like Gomez’s views which are the standard Republican mantra… anti-big government, pro gun, anti-choice, pro aggressive military intervention, pro cutting needed social services, anti-Obama Care but pro Romney Care (hello) etc, pro Natural Gas and Big Oil. He is untested on a national level, inarticulate and not very Senatorial. Yes, I’ve been sour on him since he got into this race.

  • maraith

    Gomez refused to sign the “people’s pledge” which has resulted in these absurd ads we see created by outside Massachusetts groups. That did it for me because it said Gomez plans to work hand-in-glove with the conservative GOP if he gets to Washington and with their money people. Those are the idiots who have prevented anything useful from being done in government (aside from Affordable health care) for the past five years so I don’t want to give them more help.

    • jameswhite15

      He will wait until he gets a full term before he signs the People’s Pledge. Meanwhile he is now on record saying he would consider eliminating the Mortgage Interest deduction to reduce the deficit.

  • Amy McNamee

    I find him to be dismissive and indirect. He talks around issues and does not answer questions directly. Awful.

    • jameswhite15

      I haven’t heard anything substantive from him other than he would “not vote for a Supreme Court Justice who would vote to maintain Roe Vs. Wade.”

  • jameswhite15

    Gomez is 100% GOP in disguise to get the Interim position, then if he gets a six year term he will go GOP.

  • Dee Stonewall

    Gomez’ stance on women’s issues is abominable. And the more such is known about him, the more women “will sour” on Gomez.

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