Kennedy is Early Favorite in UMass-Herald Poll

Kennedy was favored two to one over Republican Sean Bielat in a UMass Lowell-Boston Herald Poll.

Although Joseph Kennedy III has not officially announced his candidacy, a UMass Lowell-Boston Herald Poll shows the young politician is an early favorite in the race for the Fourth Congressional District seat.

According to a press release issued Thursday night, Kennedy leads two to one - 60 percent to 28 percent - over Republican Sean Bielat.

As the poll points out, Kennedy's early lead could, in part, come from his name -- roughly three out of four voters in the district said they viewed the Kennedy family "favorably" overall. Twenty-eight percent of those who took the poll said they are more likely to vote for him because of his name. 

Comparatively, 15 percent of those voters said the Kennedy name makes them less likely to vote for a candidate and 56 percent said it doesn't make much difference. 

Both Kennedy, 31, and Bielat, 36, are vying for the seat that will be vacated by Barney Frank, . 

Bielat, , has returned to Massachusetts and . 

Kennedy, who is the son of former Congressman Joseph Kennedy II, to look at a possible run for the seat. He has since left his position as a Middlesex County prosecutor . 

Along with Kennedy, , Sharon  and  have announced plans to run for the seat.  said this week he will form an exploratory committee to look at the seat.

Newton Democrat , after leaving his campaign to run for U.S. Senate. 

Brookline School Committee member and Republican Elizabeth Childs has also said she will run on the Republican ticket. 

More statistics and information from the UMass Lowell-Boston Herald press release are below:

  • While 73 percent of those polled view the Kennedy family favorably, 34 percent said they think the Kennedys have too much influence on Massachusetts politics. Forty-nine percent said the family has “about the right amount of influence” and 8 percent said they do not have enough influence. 
  • Close to a fifth of those who said Kennedy's family has too much influence would vote for Kennedy anyway.
  • By self-described party identification, Democratic-leaning voters outnumbered Republican leaners 55 percent to 31 percent. 
  • Fifty-three percent of respondents in the poll expressed positive views of Frank, compared to 35 percent who were unfavorable and 6 percent who had no opinion.
  • Kennedy’s overall favorability among those surveyed is 51 percent, compared to 17 percent unfavorable. Only 7 percent haven’t heard of him and the rest said they didn’t know enough about him to give an opinion.
  • Fifty-five percent of respondents said they haven’t heard of Bielat, 13 percent viewed him favorably and another 13 percent see him unfavorably.
  • The Fourth District survey also found extremely low name recognition for Elizabeth Childs, who is running against Bielat for the Republican nomination, and Paul Heroux, an announced Democratic hopeful; in both cases fewer than 10 percent of voters knew enough about those candidates to offer an opinion.
  • The poll also tested overall views toward other political figures and found these favorable/unfavorable splits – President Barack Obama, 59 percent favorable/38 percent unfavorable; U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, 53 percent favorable/33 percent unfavorable; Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, 36 percent favorable/19 unfavorable (29 percent said they hadn’t heard of her); and Frank, 53 percent favorable/35 percent unfavorable. Those were within range statistically of results in a UMass Lowell-Boston Herald poll in December 2011 of registered voters across Massachusetts.
  • Although Kennedy is 31 years old and has never held elected office, 48 percent of voters in the new congressional district said the former Middlesex County assistant district attorney has the kind of experience to serve effectively in Congress; 22 percent said he does not.
  • The survey attempted to measure possible voter confusion between Joseph Kennedy III and his father. When asked their overall opinion of the son, a quarter of respondents made a reference to or asked about the father. Poll interviewers, asked for an assessment at the end of each interview, estimated that 14 percent of respondents were confused about the difference between the younger and older Kennedy. However, the results of the poll indicate that any possible confusion does not hurt Joseph Kennedy III in voter preference.
Gretchen Robinson February 12, 2012 at 02:10 AM
hey, Fact Checker, Fact check this... (sent in parts) http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/01/16/102-things-not-to-do/ 102 Things NOT To Do If You Hate Taxes So, you’re a Republican that hates taxes? Well, since you do not like taxes or government, please kindly do the following. 1. Do not use Medicare. 2. Do not use Social Security 3. Do not become a member of the US military, who are paid with tax dollars. 4. Do not ask the National Guard to help you after a disaster. 5. Do not call 911 when you get hurt. 6. Do not call the police to stop intruders in your home. 7. Do not summon the fire department to save your burning home. 8. Do not drive on any paved road, highway, and interstate or drive on any bridge. 9. Do not use public restrooms. 10. Do not send your kids to public schools. 11. Do not put your trash out for city garbage collectors. 12. Do not live in areas with clean air. 13. Do not drink clean water. 14. Do not visit National Parks. 15. Do not visit public museums, zoos, and monuments. 16. Do not eat or use FDA inspected food and medicines. 17. Do not bring your kids to public playgrounds. 18. Do not walk or run on sidewalks. 19. Do not use public recreational facilities such as basketball and tennis courts. 20. Do not seek shelter facilities or food in soup kitchens when you are homeless and hungry.
Gretchen Robinson February 12, 2012 at 02:11 AM
90. Do not use any resource that was discovered by the USGS. 91. Do not ask for energy assistance from the government. 92. Do not move to any other developed nation, because the taxes are much higher. 93. Do not go to a beach that is kept clean by the state. 94. Do not use money printed by the US Treasury. 95. Do not complain when millions more illegal immigrants cross the border because there are no more border patrol agents. 96. Do not attend a state university. 97. Do not see any doctor that is licensed through the state. 98. Do not use any water from municipal water systems. 99. Do not complain when diseases and viruses, that were once fought around the globe by the US government and CDC, reach your house. 100. Do not work for any company that is required to pay its workers a livable wage, provide them sick days, vacation days, and benefits. 101. Do not expect to be able to vote on election days. Government provides voting booths, election day officials, and voting machines which are paid for with taxes. 102. Do not ride trains. The railroad was built with government financial assistance.
Gretchen Robinson February 12, 2012 at 02:11 AM
The fact is, we pay for the lifestyle we expect. Without taxes, our lifestyles would be totally different and much harder. America would be a third world country. The less we pay, the less we get in return. Americans pay less taxes today since 1958 and is ranked 32nd out of 34 of the top tax paying countries. Chile and Mexico are 33rd and 34th. The Republicans are lying when they say that we pay the highest taxes in the world and are only attacking taxes to reward corporations and the wealthy and to weaken our infrastructure and way of life. So next time you object to paying taxes or fight to abolish taxes for corporations and the wealthy, keep this quote in mind… “I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.” ~Oliver Wendell Holmes
Just sayin' February 12, 2012 at 03:00 AM
So your post today (Saturday) at 12:33 states in part "okay. here's what bugs me: when we/politicians demonize someone. I just did it with Bielat above." What have you done continuously since you made that post? And as much as I hate to encourage this conversation going so off topic, the truth of the matter is that non-government organizations are more efficient and more effective reaching out and helping those in need. Less waste = more who need help receive help. The UN even acknowledges this: http://www.un.org/ecosocdev/geninfo/afrec/subjindx/131ngo.htm Admittedly what appears to be an opinion piece, but containing some interesting facts and stats: http://www.policymic.com/articles/2121/philanthropy-is-more-effective-than-u-s-foreign-aid
Just sayin' February 12, 2012 at 03:04 AM
This is a must read. Gretchen, I thank you. Your comment about taxes and rankings and lifestyle prompted me to find which countries pay the most/least in taxes and compare that to services, etc. I honestly and truly learned something. http://www.businesspundit.com/12-countries-with-the-highest-lowest-tax-rates/
Gretchen Robinson February 12, 2012 at 03:17 AM
thanks, Just saying. As for your first post (10 PM), we all need to be looking for what works. "Government is best which governs least"--yes, but we need a safety net for the poor and elderly and children and those with disabilities, etc. I like that you have taken the discussion beyond national borders. I support groups like Doctors without Borders. They have had a major commitment to places like Haiti even before the earthquake. NGO's have done phenomenal work. So maybe we can update the quote above: Government is best that develops public, private partnerships that work, are ethical, non-discriminatory, and benefit everyone. The problem with US and First World aid, is that it doesn't get to the people who need it, starving in Africa, rape victims wherever, political prisoners, etc. I also support Amnesty International. Most people don't let themselves look at the awful stories and the terrible conditions. But that's not an adult way to be. I'm glad you looked further and found something. I find things online that open my eyes and cause me to revise my opinion. PBS is showing a program on a volunteer effort to save conjoined twins from India, taken in by a nurse in Australia. Riveting TV, life changing to watch. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/separating-twins.html Thanks for businesspundit. Will check it out tomorrow. My husband and I watch Nightly Business Report so I do follow business news.
Tisiphone February 12, 2012 at 01:03 PM
"JK3 is a fine person but he went to private school (BB&N) at $30K a year for 13 years and will probably never know what it is like to live as middle class. " My daughter did her 13 years there, such students are known as "lifers". Many of the students are quite middle class, if you live in Cambridge and care for your children at all, public schools are not an option. I think BB&N topped out at 19K while he was there. While my daughter was there, they decided to drop several "units" of American history to make room for "units" of African history. Several parents, including myself, objected. We were warned that if "students were not supported at home,their grades might be degraded". I understood that they meant they would punish the children, "grades" are what it is all about. I could not recommned BB&N for "middle class" values.
Tisiphone February 12, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Although I might have missed something, I doubt if the items you list take up more than 10% of the Federal budget. Efficiency suggests that we should concentrate on the other 90%.
Tisiphone February 12, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Would love to know what the latest Pampered Kennedy - Joe 3.0 - thinks about JFK cheating on his wife in the White House with a teenage intern??? Gretchen, will you ask Joe 3.0 for us? We need to know his opinion on this before we go to the voting booths.
Fact Checker February 12, 2012 at 01:49 PM
WOW! I realize that it was raining yesterday and then the temperature dropped quite a bit but I thought Gretchen's Prius would have anti-lock brakes. You just skidded way out of control there and a few miles off the topic. You might want to stop in to New England Tire and have your vehicle checked out. 6 posts about taxes when the discussion was regarding Paul's published position pieces. I asked people to look into what your candidate offered in the form of lengthy position pieces so that individual voters could have a better insight into the likely decision making process of a person asking us to vote for him. Mrs. Robinson, why are you so intimidated by a request that voters should look into the published opinions of your candidate or, for that matter, any and all candidates?
Paul4Congress February 12, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Everything Paul has written (except his book on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East not yet published) can be found at: http://www.paulforcongress2012.com/press.html ... happy reading.
Paul4Congress February 12, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Everything Paul has written (except his book on US Foreign Policy in the Middle East not yet published) can be found at: http://www.paulforcongress2012.com/press.html ... happy reading.
Gretchen Robinson February 12, 2012 at 02:53 PM
I am a married woman of 46 years. I am socially conservative for my own personal life. I never had sex before marriage. My husband and I never had sex outside of marriage. I am appalled by the news that JFK cheated on his wife, and betrayed the decency of his office. The woman may say it was consensual now but he targeted her, cultivated a relationship, seduced her, and had an immoral relationship with her. It violated his wedding vows. I don't want to defend him by saying Everyone does it (every male potentate leader) in both parties. Read the bible. It's everywhere, harems, concubines. But please don't smear Joe Kennedy from the outset. I withdrew my smear of Bielet because that's not how I want to be on this forum. Wait and see. I am probably as against oligarchy as anyone. But look to the national presidential candidate for instruction in this. All these wanna be princes of the kingdom and no one likes Romney but the others are real kooks. So along comes Palin and draft Christie movements, such utter desperation on the Right. Meanwhile ole Jeb Bush refuses to endorse anyone for the repub. nomination, waiting to be Bush III? I'm 68 and a grandmother. I'm retiring from 6 years of hospice chaplaincy. And Tisiphone, I don't know who you are, because you hide behind a pen name. But I am not going to waste my time here responding to snide remarks, smears and putdowns. I have a good life to live. And life is too short for such prattle as I see here.
Just sayin' February 12, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Huh? But, didn't...? Aren't...? Wha? Oh, nevermind. So how about them Red Sox?
Tisiphone February 13, 2012 at 08:34 PM
"such utter desperation on the Right" It is true that the "right" is somewhat disconcerted. Faced with the liklihood that Romney will be the Republican candidate gives pause. It would seem that Mr. Romney speaks "conservative" as a second language. There is some concern that he is just saying what he must to get elected. "please don't smear Joe Kennedy from the outset" He does seem to come from a family which lives outside of societal norms, that may be considered reason for enquiry. It also seems acceptable. I listened to NPR for a bit this morning. Three times commentators referred to Romney's great grandfather as a "polygamist". Well, at least as opposed to the Kennedys, he married them.
Gretchen Robinson February 13, 2012 at 10:25 PM
wonder what ole Barry Goldwater would say about this election.... http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/about/Goldwater.html part 1 "I don't have any respect for the Religious Right. There is no place in this country for practicing religion in politics. That goes for Falwell, Robertson and all the rest of these political preachers. They are a detriment to the country." While some Americans might find Goldwater's stand against all interaction between religion and politics too sweeping, many would agree with his strong commitment to individual freedom of conscience on issues as diverse as religion in schools, gay rights or abortion. In 1994 he told The Los Angeles Times, "A lot of so-called conservatives don't know what the word means. They think I've turned liberal because I believe a woman has a right to an abortion. That's a decision that's up to the pregnant woman, not up to the pope or some do-gooders or the Religious Right."
Gretchen Robinson February 13, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Goldwater, an Episcopalian, had theological differences with greedy TV preachers. "I look at these religious television shows," he said, "and they are raising big money on God. One million, three million, five million – they brag about it. I don't believe in that. It's not a very religious thing to do." But Goldwater was also deeply worried about the Religious Right's long-term impact on his beloved GOP. "If they succeed in establishing religion as a basic Republican Party tenet," he told U.S. News & World Report in 1994, "they could do us in." In an interview with The Post that same year, Goldwater observed, "When you say 'radical right' today, I think of these moneymaking ventures by fellows like Pat Robertson and others who are trying to take the Republican Party and make a religious organization out of it. If that ever happens, kiss politics goodbye."
Gretchen Robinson February 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM
But most importantly, Goldwater was deeply concerned about the Religious Right's relentless war on the Constitution and basic American freedoms. In a Sept. 15, 1981 senate speech, Goldwater noted that Falwell's Moral Majority, anti-abortion groups and other Religious Right outfits were sometimes referred to in the press as the "New Right" and the "New Conservatism."
Gretchen Robinson February 13, 2012 at 10:31 PM
Responded Goldwater, "Well, I've spent quite a number of years carrying the flag of the 'Old Conservatism.' And I can say with conviction that the religious issues of these groups have little or nothing to do with conservative or liberal politics. The uncompromising position of these groups is a divisive element that could tear apart the very spirit of our representative system, if they gain sufficient strength." Insisted Goldwater, "Being a conservative in America traditionally has meant that one holds a deep, abiding respect for the Constitution. We conservatives believe sincerely in the integrity of the Constitution. We treasure the freedoms that document protects. . . "
Gretchen Robinson February 13, 2012 at 10:32 PM
By maintaining the separation of church and state," he explained, "the United States has avoided the intolerance which has so divided the rest of the world with religious wars . . . Can any of us refute the wisdom of Madison and the other framers? Can anyone look at the carnage in Iran, the bloodshed in Northem Ireland, or the bombs bursting in Lebanon and yet question the dangers of injecting religious issues into the affairs of state?" Goldwater concluded with a waming to the American people. "The religious factions will go on imposing their will on others," { he said,} "unless the decent people connected to them recognize that religion has no place in public policy. They must learn to make their views known without trying to make their views the only alternatives. . . We have succeeded for 205 years in keeping the affairs of state separate from the uncompromising idealism of religious groups and we mustn't stop now" { he insisted}. "To retreat from that separation would violate the principles of conservatism and the values upon which the framers built this democratic republic." from CHURCH & STATE July / August 1998 "In your heart, you know he's right." "Church and State" magazine can be accessed at www.au.org
Tisiphone February 13, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Gretchen, it is always well to remember that America is the product of Judeo-Christian culture and that is almost inextricably woven into our laws. It is not unreasonable to assume that, at many times, culture and religion will converge. As the country secularizes, there will also be more divergence. The Constitution requires that Congress "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,". This does not necessarily interpret as "freedom from religion". The phrase "separation of church and state" itself does not appear in the United States Constitution. And is clearly means that the government shall not support, nor incorporate, a religion. A clearly American principle our Founders did not wish to replicate the "Church of England". Since Mr. Goldwater's paternal family was Jewish, he probably exerienced anti-Semitism first hand. Understandably, he would not wish to see fundamentalist Christians becoming a branch of government. Interestingly, as far as I know, Massachusetts is the only state to have elected a priest to Congress. He lived at the Watergate Apartments during the "Watergate Crisis". At the time Mr. Goldwater was a nominal Episcopalian, the Archbishop of Canterbury was the senior bishop of the Church of England and symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion. So, I guess he had not escaped it completely.
Just sayin' February 13, 2012 at 11:40 PM
Gretchen: ok - you lost me. Why the Barry Goldwater comment? What am I missing? Tisi: I agree. Romney reminds me of Clinton in that he says what he thinks people want to hear.
Gretchen Robinson February 14, 2012 at 01:02 AM
separation of church and state, something the Religious and Political (the same thing these days) that the Right hate. Goldwater was a REAL Liberarian. Scary to me back then. I never would have voted for him. But he was true to his values and told it like it is. he caught the beginning of the evangelists taking over the government. It's just about complete now.
Tisiphone February 14, 2012 at 02:00 AM
"the evangelists taking over the government. It's just about complete now." Can I assume that this is a guarded reference to Rev. Jeremiah Wright? Or is it Rev. Sharpton? Rev. Jesse Jackson? (Remember how he used the "priest - penitent" exclusion to have secret conversations with Clinton during the Lewinsky mess, knowing that he could not be required to testify)
Gretchen Robinson February 14, 2012 at 02:03 AM
the wrongs of a few marginal Black preachers arrayed against the Right wingers Barry Goldwater describes....surely you jest
Gretchen Robinson February 14, 2012 at 02:03 AM
tizzy, I'm out of here. You wasted enough of my time....
Tisiphone February 14, 2012 at 05:54 AM
"surely you jest" The preachers I mentioned as no more "marginal" in the black community than Farwell was in the white community. Of course, they get much better press.
Tisiphone February 14, 2012 at 05:54 AM
Always a pleasure to hear from you.
Darren Major February 15, 2012 at 12:04 PM
The guy who ran against Frank is a carpetbagger having left and now returning to run - shouldn't the same criticism apply - otherwise its kinda hypocritical :( to say what you are saying
Dennis Naughton February 21, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Oh please! Military shmilitary. Broaden your perspective at least a little.


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