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Tatishe Nteta and Ray La Raja Comment On Latest UMass Poll

A new UMass Amherst/WCVB Poll of Massachusetts residents finds that support for Governor Charlie Baker has eroded as he considers running for a third term, dropping from a high of 78% in August 2020 to 52% most recently. “To no one’s surprise, Baker’s approval ratings have dipped and this is true across all demographic and political groups in the state,” says Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Director of the UMass Poll. “Given the tribulations they have endured from the pandemic – especially loss of jobs and remote schooling – young people appeared to have soured on Baker the most,” says Raymond La Raja, Professor of Political Science at UMass Amherst and Associate Director of the UMass Poll.  The new poll also found President Joe Biden with a 62% approval rating among Massachusetts residents and a slight increase in optimism about the national economy. In addition, the poll surveyed respondents on three new policy ideas, and found that 65% of them favor a 4% state income tax surtax on incomes over $1 million; 53% support plans to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers; and 41% support ending the use of Native American names, images, and symbols used as high school, college, or university mascots. (The Boston Globe, 3/16/21; CBS 4 Boston, Boston.com, WCVB [Boston], Politico, WWLP, MassLive, State House News Service, 3/15/21; News Office release)

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