Massachusetts still isn’t Trump country, Novus poll shows

Massachusetts voters, who broke nearly 2-to-1 for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in November, have not warmed to the president since he took office, with 53 percent of them giving him a “very unfavorable” rating in a new poll. 

The survey, conducted by the Boston government affairs firm Novus Group, found an across-the-board negative rating for Trump and his agenda. Forty-eight percent “strongly disapproved” of Trump’s performance as president, while just 16 percent strongly approved. 

Nineteen percent want to see the Affordable Care Act passed under former president Barack Obama repealed and replaced, which is a top Trump priority, while 58 percent want the law retained and improved. Fully half said they were “very concerned” about the effect that changes at the federal level could have on the Massachusetts health care market.

Governor Charlie Baker fared better than Trump, with 67 percent viewing him very or somewhat favorably. Fifteen percent viewed him unfavorably. More respondents looked to him to shield the state from the effect of federal budget cuts than any other figure. 

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, won favorable ratings from 57 percent of respondents, while 38 percent viewed her unfavorably. 

The poll comes as a flurry of coverage reflects on Trump’s first 100 days in office, measuring his successes and setbacks, and as Republicans in Congress grapple with a health care bill.

Trump’s low ratings in Massachusetts are no surprise; Clinton won the state with 61 percent of the vote. But any semblance of a Commonwealth honeymoon Trump might have hoped for appears either never to have materialized, or to have already dissipated.

Fifty-three percent gave Trump a “very unfavorable” rating, compared with 38 percent who rated him very or somewhat favorably. Almost half said they “strongly oppose[d]” the two executive orders Trump issued blocking for 90 days any immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries, and 55 percent said they strongly opposed Trump’s approach to climate change. More than half said Russian interference in the 2016 election and connections to Trump constituted “a very important issue.”

A scant glimmer of optimism for the president came on his handling of the economy, where 31 percent said they believe his agenda would have a positive effect locally, though 35 percent perceived a negative effect.

There was a plurality of support for the targeted military strike Trump ordered on a Syrian air base, with 34 percent thinking it necessary to discourage President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons in the future. One in five thought the United States should only involve itself militarily to fight the Islamic State, while 16 percent opposed any military involvement. 

Thirty-eight percent said they held favorable views of Trump’s handling of foreign affairs, stacked against 57 percent who saw it negatively.

The poll was done April 25 through April 27 among 414 Massachusetts voters and carried a margin of error of plus or minus 4.8 percent. 

Novus will formally release the poll Monday at an event at the UMass Club featuring US Representative Michael Capuano, a Somerville Democrat, focused on Trump’s first 100 days.

Rebecca Rutenberg