Trump towers over rivals in Mass., N.H. polls

Trump towers over rivals in Mass., N.H. polls

COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION — Donald Trump is heading to court today on the heels of two New England polls that show him with wide leads in the 2024 GOP presidential primary.

Trump tops the field in Massachusetts, where Opinion Diagnostics’ Brian Wynne, former Gov. Charlie Baker’s campaign manager, surveyed likely GOP primary voters in the two days following the former president’s indictment. The toplines:

Trump won 45 percent support, compared to 21 percent for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, 9 percent for former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, 4 percent for former Vice President Mike Pence and 3 percent for someone else. Trump also beat DeSantis by 14 points in a hypothetical head-to-head matchup.

78 percent of respondents said Trump’s indictment is not justified.

42 percent said Trump facing charges makes them more likely to vote for him, while 46 percent said it would have no effect on their ballot. The 475-person poll has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

Trump saw similar a similar level of support in the Granite State in the days leading up to his indictment, according to a new Saint Anselm/New Hampshire Institute of Politics poll. Of note:

Trump led the GOP pack at 42 percent, followed by DeSantis at 29 percent and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu at 14 percent.

— No other candidate cracked 5 percent in the March 28-30 poll of 1,320 registered voters. The survey has a 4 percent margin of error for the GOP ballot.

— That third-place home-state finish doesn’t look good for Sununu. But he’s still in the maybe stages of a White House run. And the four-term governor maintains the highest job-approval rating of any major officeholder in his state.

The polls put some data behind what we’ve seen anecdotally: Trump retains a vise grip over the GOP base. And his indictment is rallying supporters to his side.

But there are more than a few caveats here. We still don’t know what Trump is charged with. He’s facing other investigations — over his conduct in Georgia after the 2020 election, the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol riot, and his handling of classified documents after leaving office — that could lead to more legal trouble.

All of that could influence voters in the months to come, as could changes in the GOP field. The person who’s perceived as Trump’s biggest competition, DeSantis, isn’t even in the race. Neither is Pence. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson capitalized on Trump’s indictment to jump in over the weekend. Sununu indicated he won’t announce his decision until the summer.

GOOD TUESDAY MORNING, MASSACHUSETTS. Stick with POLITICO for more coverage of Trump’s historic arraignment, from his scheduled surrender in Manhattan to his expected remarks tonight at Mar-a-Lago.

A Trump supporter speaks to members of the press outside of Trump Tower.

A Trump supporter speaks to members of the press outside of Trump Tower before former President Trump arrives in Manhattan for his arraignment in New York, N.Y., on Monday, April 3, 2023. | Bryan Anselm for POLITICO

TODAY — Gov. Maura Healey visits The Community Group in Lawrence at 10 a.m. Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll speaks at the Mt. Wachusett Community College Leominster Campus reopening at 10 a.m. and attends a Nashoba Valley Chamber of Commerce Small Business Roundtable at noon. Rep. Ayanna Pressley announces federal funding at 10:30 a.m. in Randolph. Rep. Lori Trahan announces federal funding at noon in Fitchburg. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu holds a media availability on public safety at noon at the Tobin Community Center and tours MassRobotics at 1 p.m.

Wu, House Ways & Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz and outgoing MassDems Chair Gus Bickford co-host the party’s annual Chinatown Banquet at 6 p.m. at Empire Garden; Healey and Driscoll attend.

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“Why have a women’s legislative caucus in progressive Mass.?” by Kinga Borondy, Telegram & Gazette: “Legislators have already filed some 7,000 bills to address major issues with statewide impact, such as increasing pay rates for workers in the human service sector, to local impacts, such as bills to establish sick banks. … Members say it’s imperative to ensure that issues pertaining to families and women are advanced, but it also offers the only bicameral and nonpartisan legislative working group in the Statehouse.”

“A new Mass. law on passing cyclists and pedestrians is now in effect,” by Christopher Gavin,


— FIRST IN PLAYBOOK: State Rep. Christopher Worrell is endorsing Bill MacGregor for the open 10th Suffolk state House seat.

— ‘NIP’ BAN: Boston City Council President Ed Flynn is asking that people not use the term “nip” to describe the small alcohol bottles the city is debating banning the sale of, noting it’s been used as a “slur against a person of Japanese descent,” the Boston Globe’s Danny McDonald reports.

“Black home buyers are leaving Boston, fueling concerns of racial segregation,” by Eli Curwin, “While statewide Black and Hispanic homeownership increased 4.9% to 6.2% between 2018 and 2021, this growth often took place in concentrated towns and cities outside Boston, despite residents’ desires to stay.”


“Hiring may be the MBTA’s biggest challenge,” by Bruce Mohl, CommonWealth Magazine: “A new report from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation suggests inadequate staffing levels have become the T’s biggest challenge and perhaps the most difficult one to resolve. The numbers are not pretty. According to the foundation, the T needs to hire 2,800 people in the next 12 months to achieve a net gain of 1,800. The odds of reaching that goal are not good because as fast as new employees come in one door existing employees are walking out another. … The implications are enormous. Without adequate staff, the T cannot restore full service, cannot expand into new areas, cannot complete capital projects, and cannot reach its safety objectives.”

The T responded by upping its signing bonus to $7,500 and expanding the list of jobs that qualify for it. The transit authority also released a new three-year plan for safety upgrades meant to address those laid bare in the Federal Transit Administration’s scathing review of the system last year. The Boston Globe’s John R. Ellement and Nick Stoico have more.

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— BOSTON V. BOSTON: It’s not every day you see a sitting congressman testifying in federal court against his city council. But that’s what Rep. Stephen Lynch was doing Monday, on the fourth day of court proceedings surrounding Boston’s redistricting process last fall, as a judge weighs whether to stop implementation of the new map. The Boston Herald’s Sean Philip Cotter and the Dorchester Reporter’s Gintautas Dumcius have more from the courthouse.

“Drug lab case prosecutors get their day in court over allegations of impropriety,” by Matthew Medsger, Boston Herald: “The state’s highest court seemed equal parts willing to concede mistakes may have occurred and ready to lay blame at the feet of state prosecutors when they met this week to hear arguments arising from a decade old drug lab scandal.”

“Revere hotel sues Boston health commission over Mass and Cass agreement,” by Sean Philip Cotter, Boston Herald: “The Revere hotel where Boston was considering putting up the homeless of Mass and Cass is suing the Hub, saying the city’s health commission stiffed it out of $645,000.”


“Groups pressure Healey to expand solar power,” by Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune: “A newly formed coalition of environmental groups, municipal leaders and scientists wrote to Healey on Monday, calling on her administration to set a target of installing 10 gigawatts of solar capacity — the equivalent of one million solar roofs — by 2030, to meet the state’s ambitious climate-change benchmarks.”

“More bus garage delays and blown budgets put T fleet electrification goal in doubt,” by Taylor Dolven, Boston Globe.


“Dominick Pangallo leads March fundraising as Salem mayoral field narrows to two,” by Chris Van Buskirk, MassLive: “Pangallo, who served under now Lt. Gov. Kim Driscoll, will report raising $21,060 in March, according to a campaign aide. That narrowly beats Neil Harrington, the current Salisbury town manager who previously served as mayor of Salem from 1990 to 1997. Harrington told MassLive he brought in $19,095 during the same time period.”

“Marlborough’s mayor says he’ll retire instead of running for a seventh term,” by Jesse Collings, MetroWest Daily News: “Arthur Vigeant, the city’s longest-serving mayor, announced Monday that he will not seek a seventh two-year term this fall, and will instead retire after 30 years on the City Council and Mayor’s Office. … City Councilor Christian Dumais is the first, and is so far only, candidate to announce his intention to run.”


“Essex Tech union votes ‘no confidence’ in superintendent, School Committee chair,” by Caroline Enos, Gloucester Daily Times: “The Hathorne Teachers Federation Local 1269 credited the vote to the district’s ‘repeated attempts to intimidate, coerce and bully union leaders, activists and supporters during the union’s ongoing contract bargaining process,’ the statement said.”

“Undocumented workers boxed out as Eastern Fisheries restructures,” by Will Sennott, New Bedford Light: “Last week, Eastern Fisheries cut ties with its main staffing agencies. The company told 110 of its workers on Friday that they could reapply for the same jobs they previously held as direct employees of Eastern Fisheries. But workers were also told that, as part of the restructuring, the company would be screening their authorization to work in the United States through the government program E-Verify — which checks immigration status and social security numbers.”

“‘April Fools!’: Wrentham police chief’s social media post caught some off guard,” by David Linton, The Sun Chronicle: “[Police Chief Bill] McGrath posted a photo of a 2019 Lamborghini on the police department Facebook page and on his Twitter page, saying he purchased it for the department.”

“Southborough police roll out body cameras for patrol officers,” by Marco Cartolano, Telegram & Gazette.

“Lawmakers seek more fed money for Merrimack River pollution,” by Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune.


SPOTTED — Cape Verdean President José Maria Pereira Neves visiting the State House and New Bedford.

TRANSITIONS — Denterlein’s Anusha Mookherjee has been promoted to senior account director.

— John Warner has joined the Labor Department as special assistant at the Employee Benefits Security Administration. Warner is a Sen. Ed Markey and Liberty Square Group alum.

— Nicole Caravella is now director of communications for the state attorney general’s office.

MassLive’s Alison Kuznitz is joining the State House News Service on April 25.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY — to former Sen. Mo Cowan, Michael Forbes Wilcox, Springfield City Councilor Jesse Lederman and Sam Doran of SHNS.

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