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Poll finds strong support for shutdown of Boston

Survey suggests public receptive to stronger measures

BY: Bruce Mohl


A NEW POLL INDICATES Massachusetts residents overwhelmingly support state leaders and law enforcement officials who locked down parts of Greater Boston during the manhunt for a Marathon bomber. The poll also suggests large numbers of state residents would have backed stronger measures, even if they would have compromised constitutional rights.

The poll by the MassINC Polling Group indicates 91 percent of Massachusetts residents supported the decision to shut down parts of the Greater Boston area and halt MBTA service during the search for a Marathon bombing suspect. The survey also found 86 percent of residents have a favorable view of the Massachusetts State Police and 61 percent have a favorable view of Gov. Deval Patrick, who played a lead role among public officials in responding to the bombings.

Respondents were also asked what worried them more: that the government will not go far enough to investigate and prevent terrorism because of concerns about constitutional rights, or that the government will compromise constitutional rights in a bid to stop terrorism. Forty-eight percent of the state’s residents said they were more worried about the government not going far enough, while 36 percent said they were more worried about constitutional rights being compromised.

Just over half of Massachusetts residents (51 percent) said the government should not place restrictions on the media during a crisis to prevent the spread of misinformation, but 42 percent favored government intervention.

While the poll indicated state residents followed the bombing controversy closely, it suggests few are paying attention to the special Senate election to replace John Kerry. The poll found 46 percent of those surveyed knew the election was in the next few months, but 28 percent thought it would be held much later and 25 percent either didn’t know or refused to answer. The Democratic and Republican primaries are being held on Tuesday.

 The poll of 500 Massachusetts residents age 18 or older was conducted from April 23 to April 27, the week after the bombings and the massive manhunt for Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.  The MassINC Polling Group is a subsidiary of MassINC, the publisher of CommonWealth magazine.

 

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