Sen. Elizabeth Warren may be the 2020 Democratic frontrunner according to CNN’s purported power rankings of the potential candidates. But in her home state, most residents don’t want her to even run, according to a new poll.
The Suffolk University Political Research Center/Boston Globe poll asked 500 likely Massachusetts voters for their thoughts on five of the state’s current and former elected officials who are seen as potential future presidential candidates: Warren, former Gov. Deval Patrick, former Sen. John Kerry, Rep. Seth Moulton, and Rep. Joe Kennedy III.
According to results released Thursday, Bay Staters don’t really want any of them to run.
Warren, who has reportedly taken among the most concerted strides toward launching a 2020 bid, is viewed favorably by 57 percent of voters in her home state, compared to 35 percent who disapprove of the job she’s doing. The poll also found that the Massachusetts senator holds a nearly 30-point lead in her re-election campaign this year against Republican challenger Geoff Diehl.
But when it comes to 2020, more than 58 percent of Bay State voters say they think Warren shouldn’t run, while 32 precent said she should. Of all five individuals polled, Warren had the highest percentage of voters opposed to a presidential bid. Even among Democrats, a slim plurality (44 percent to 42 percent) said she shouldn’t run. David Paleologos, the director of Suffolk’s polling center, told the Globe he found the results “shocking.”
“I would have expected her to be leading this list of potential Massachusetts presidential candidates,” Paleologos said.
In interviews with the Globe, some voters said they were worried she wouldn’t win, citing what they believed would be a polarizing race against President Donald Trump, as well as the current state of “gender politics” in the country.
That said, Massachusetts voters weren’t particularly keen of any potential candidates out of their home state, which has a long history of producing (not always successful) White House contenders. For each of the five individuals polled, a solid plurality of Bay Staters voiced opposition to a prospective 2020 run.
The candidate who had the most Massachusetts voters supportive of a run against Trump was Patrick, who governed the state from 2007 to 2015. According to the poll, more than 38 percent of voters said he should run. But still, nearly 48 percent said he shouldn’t.
The former Democratic governor has acknowledged he’s considering a 2020 run and a few of his former aides recently launched a political action group (with the stated purpose of helping Democrats in 2018 midterm elections). However, more recently, Patrick has questioned if “there’s a place for me” in the 2020 primary race.
Fifty-five percent of voters in the state are opposed to Kerry, the former Massachusetts senator and U.S. secretary of state, mounting a second run at the White House, while (in a statistical tie with Warren) 33 percent say he should give it another try — 16 years after his first attempt as the 2004 Democratic nominee. Kerry, for his part, has said he “doubt[s] very much” he’ll run for public office again.
It doesn’t exactly appear to be a generational issue, either. By wide margins, voters also said they didn’t want Moulton or Kennedy, the state’s two young, ascendant stars in Congress, to run in 2020.
Just over 17 percent said they thought Moulton should run, while more than 48 percent said he should not. The Salem Democrat — who, despite encouragement from some advisers, says he has no plans to run for president — had the widest margin of voters opposed to a 2020 bid. But one silver lining in the results is that he had the highest percentage of voters open to a potential bid; 34 percent of Massachusetts voters said they were undecided if he should run.
Meanwhile, voters were a little more willing to embrace the notion of another Kennedy running for president. Still, just over 30 percent of likely voters in the state said the third-term Newton Democrat should run in 2020, while more than 48 percent said they didn’t think he should. Kennedy said in June that a White House run is “not on my horizon,” adding that it’s too early for Democrats to be focusing on 2020.