Just 50 percent of registered Massachusetts voters are aware that there is an election for US Senate in the next few months. The other half are divided between those who don’t know when the next election is (22 percent) and those who think it is sometime later (28 percent). Fewer voters are aware of an election coming up than voted in the 2012 Senate Election (67 percent turnout).
Voters under age 30 are less likely to know when the next election is (31 percent) compared to 57 percent of those over 60. Older voters typically turn out in higher numbers in elections where overall turnout is low. Among Republicans, 41 percent are aware of the election, compared to 51 percent each of Democrats and Unenrolled voters.
This lack of awareness is the latest indicator of low voter engagement in this election. Secretary of State William Gavin said in an interview with the Boston Globe that requests for absentee ballots are running at approximately 25 percent of the level observed during the primary for the 2010 Special Election. Our last poll with WBUR in March showed very low name identification and high levels of undecided voters, both indications that voters had not focused on the candidates at that point.
About the Poll: The MassPulse Quarterly Poll is conducted quarterly among representative samples of approximately 500 Massachusetts residents age 18 and older. The poll is conducted in English and Spanish among both cell phone and landline households. This iteration of the survey was conducted from April 23-27 2013. The margin of sampling error is ∓4.4 percent.