In poll, Baker takes backseat to Trump

Mass. Republicans love the president

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER IS increasingly a man without a party.

Four years ago Donald Trump won the Republican presidential primary in Massachusetts with 49 percent of the vote. Now his support among Republicans in Massachusetts is overwhelming.

A WBUR poll of 374 likely Republican primary voters found 82 percent of them have a favorable view of Trump, compared to only 50 percent for Baker, the state’s Republican governor. Baker’s favorability was actually higher, at 61 percent, among 471 Democratic primary voters surveyed separately.

On question after question in the survey of likely Republican voters, whether it was the firing of those who testified against him during the impeachment proceedings or the pardons and commutations of 11 controversial figures, Trump won strong support.

When asked who is the better model for Republican politicians to follow, 63 percent said Trump. Only 27 percent said Baker.

In the Massachusetts Republican presidential primary, it was no contest: Trump received the support of 83 percent of the likely GOP voters; William Weld, Baker’s political mentor, garnered 14 percent support.

“The party here is Donald Trump’s party,” said Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group, which conducted the survey for WBUR. “Sometimes it’s harder to see, because Charlie Baker is a Republican governor and is incredibly popular, but when it comes to the committed base of the Republican Party, it is Trump’s party.”

Meet the Author

Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

That may explain why a super PAC with close ties to Baker is supporting both Republicans and Democrats in special elections for legislative seats and why it’s backing Republicans who are more in sync with Baker in special election GOP primary fights.

The Massachusetts Majority PAC spent $4,879 on a campaign mailing supporting Democrat Kate Lipper-Garabedian in the Democratic primary race for the rep seat vacated by Paul Brodeur of Melrose. The PAC has also spent $14,025 so far on campaign mailings backing Jesse Brown in his bid to defeat James McMahon III in the GOP primary for the Senate seat vacated by Vincent deMacedo of Plymouth. And the PAC has sent out $7,334 worth of mailings on behalf of Catherine Clark, who is running against Malena Chastain in the Republican primary for the rep seat vacated by Democrat Jennifer Benson of Lunenburg.