ECPS polls Massachusetts, Texas to finish primary coverage

by Laura King / Beacon Staff • February 25, 2016

The Emerson College Polling Society found that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are tied among Democratic voters in Massachusetts. The two candidates each hold 46 percent of the vote, with 5 percent undecided, according to a Feb. 22 press release.

Age factors into the Polling Society’s findings in Massachusetts. Younger potential voters—between 18-54 years old—prefer Sanders. Clinton is in the lead among those 55 years old and above. The organization also said that men prefer Sanders 60 to 35 percent, while women prefer Clinton 56 to 34 percent.

Among Republicans, Donald Trump is expected to take 50 percent of the Massachusetts vote. Following are Marco Rubio with 16 percent, John Kasich with 13 percent, and Ted Cruz at 10 percent.

Christine Kane, co-president of ECPS, said that Trump’s majority lead is shocking. Kane, a senior political communication major, said the candidate may have gained new supporters when Jeb Bush dropped out of the race on Sunday after performing poorly in the South Carolina primary.

“Since we’ve been following the Republican race, [Trump has] been regularly polling around 30 percent,” Kane said. “This poll was pretty dramatic.”

In Texas, the polling society has Cruz in the lead among Republicans with 29 percent of the vote, followed by Trump with 28 percent, Rubio with 25 percent, and Kasich at nine percent. For Democrats, Clinton leads over Sanders 56 to 40 percent.

Both the Massachusetts and Texas use tracking polls, meaning the society will survey these areas again this weekend to see if support changes, according to Kane. Both states vote next Tuesday, alongside 10 other states.

ECPS also surveyed Republicans in South Carolina prior to the primary there on Saturday. The organization predicted Trump would lead at 36 percent, followed by Rubio at 19 percent, and Cruz at 18 percent. Kasich and Bush were tied at 10 percent. According to the Associated Press, Trump won in South Carolina with 32.5 percent of the vote, followed by Rubio with 22.5 percent, Cruz at 22.3 percent, Bush at 7.8 percent, and Kasich at 7.6 percent.

Kane said that the society will conduct a poll on the South Carolina Democratic race, but that this will likely conclude their coverage of the presidential primaries. The society will have conducted 11 polls on them since the start of the semester.

“[The] polling society has never had such concentrated work,” Kane said.

Kane said that ECPS will take a break from polling for the rest of the semester to redesign their website and train new members. Next year, the organization plans to survey swing states prior to the general election.

“The fact that we continue to be mentioned [by mainstream media] is really a mark of the kind of credibility we’ve earned,” Kane said.

ECPS was recently interviewed by NECN, and their polls were referenced by the Wall Street Journal, The Houston Chronicle, and Politico.