Rep. Michael Capuano leads City Councilor Ayanna Pressley 38% to 29% in Boston area US Congressional race

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, the Boston University graduate who shocked the political world in June with a Primary upset over NY Congressman Joe Crowley tweeted after her win about At-large Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, “Vote her in next, Massachusetts,”

It looks like Pressley has some work to do to duplicate Ocasio Cortez’s performance. A new Emerson College epoll finds Congressman Mike Capuano leading 38% to 29% among registered voters. 33% of voters are undecided. The poll has a sample size of 400 voters with a +/- 5.2% margin of error; data was collected July 19-21, 2018.

Both candidates are popular with Democratic primary voters; Capuano has a 61% favorable rating and a 16% unfavorable. Pressley has a 46% favorable and a 21% unfavorable.

Governor Charlie Baker is also popular among Democratic Primary voters in the 7th district with a 59% favorable rating and 17% unfavorable. This is in stark contrasts with Republican President Donald Trump who has a 26% favorable rating and a 61% unfavorable rating.

Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball, who directs the Emerson epoll, does see a “pathway for Pressley, she leads the Black vote 34% to 27%, with 39% undecided, and leads the Hispanic vote, 30% to 18%, with 51% undecided”. Kimball adds “these numbers suggest there is room to be made up with undecided minority voters”.

Pressley’s strength also is in the youth vote according to Kimball, where she leads among 18-34 year olds 41% to 26%. Nonetheless, Pressley trails with each subsequent age group (35-54 breaks for Capuano 34% to 30%; 55-74 breaks for Capuano 46% to 23% and those over 75 breaks for Capuano 48% to 22%).

Kimball also note troubling news for Pressley, as Capuano leads among females 41% to 26%. Drilling deeper into these numbers reveals that Capuano leading among white females 61% to 30%. Other encouraging news for Capuano is that he leads among very likely voters 51% to 24% (n=253, +/- 6.4), which according to Kimball means that “Pressley has more work to do to get her voters to the polls on September 4”.

When asked which candidate voters considered more progressive, Pressley leads 30% to 25% with 46% reporting being unsure.

Regarding opinion on Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), 29% said ICE should be abolished, 43% said it should not be abolished, with 28% unsure. Pressley voters are more supportive of abolishing ICE 45% to 31%, while Capuano voters are more in favor of keeping ICE 49% to 24%. In a match-up for Secretary of State, Bill Galvin leads his opponent Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim 34% to 12% with 54% undecided.


The Massachusetts US Congressional 7th District Emerson College epoll was conducted July 19-21, 2018 under the Supervision of Assistant Professor Spencer Kimball. The sample consisted of registered voters, n=400, with a Credibility Interval (CI) similar to a poll’s margin of error (MOE) of +/- 5.2 percentage points. The data was weighted by ethnicity, age, and gender. It is important to remember that subsets carry with them higher margins of error, as the sample size is reduced. Data was collected using both an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines and an online panel provided by Survey Monkey and Opinion Research.

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