466 people responded to the survey further below which sought to understand which of our progress areas in the recent legislative session were ‘favorite’ to constituents. The table below ranks the number of times each issue was marked as a favorite. Resspondents could select as many as they liked but were encouraged not to select all.
|CLIMATE CHANGE (GHG reduction)||322|
|REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH (Out of state access)||295|
|REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH (special cases late in pregnancy)||250|
|CLIMATE CHANGE (Flooding)||240|
|PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS||235|
|END OF LIFE OPTIONS||232|
|CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Eliminating probation and parole fees)||229|
|EDUCATION FUNDING: increase funding for K-12 education||222|
|CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Free prison calls)||210|
|LGBTQ (repeal archaic laws)||210|
|IMMIGRATION (Driver’s license bill)||200|
|LGBTQ (gender-affirming care)||178|
|PUBLIC HEALTH (infrastructure)||163|
|CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Dangerousness)||159|
|RIGHT TO REPAIR||158|
|VOTING RIGHTS (Redistricting)||155|
|INDIGENOUS PEOPLE DAY||137|
|CRIMINAL JUSTICE (Prison Capacity Data)||136|
|MILITARY (Soldier’s Homes)||120|
|CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE||109|
|LGBTQ (HIV prevention)||96|
|MILITARY (facilitate employment)||89|
|CANNABIS BUSINESS (streamline licensing)||66|
|CRIMINAL JUSTICE (moratorium on prison construction)||42|
A few notes about the survey and survey responses. Essentially, the survey represents people who are engaged with my office on a frequent voluntary basis. It is not a scientific sample of the general public.
- The survey was only sent to people subscribed to my office news mailing list — this list consists of a little over 4,000 people who have affirmatively chosen to subscribe.
- The survey was sent on August 5 at 10:40AM.
- The survey was sent only once — so only more diligent readers were included. On that date, 4,027 were subscribed, of which 66.2% opened the email and 17.6% clicked through. There were 704 unique clicks on the survey link, leading to 466 people in total who actually responded — in other words, an apparent response rate of 11.6%.
- Some may have forwarded the mail to others — a click through on a forwarded email is not distinguishable from a click by the original recipient, but there was only one instance of over 10 clicks on a single email (21). The lack of delay in the responses indicates that the secondary response rate is low. Although the survey remained open for over a month (until September 9), 70% of the responses came in within the first 13 hours and 93% of the responses came in within the first 85 hours. Spot checking doesn’t indicate an obvious pattern of variation between the immediate responses and the later responses.
- There was no evidence of ballot stuffing — repeated response by individuals: Only 12 IP addresses appeared twice in the response set and none more than twice. Two different people in the same household could legitimately respond with the same IP address.
- Other than zip code, the survey did not request identification. There was no obvious pattern of response variation by zip code.
Comparison to Other Results
Classification of Correspondence
We recently consolidated our classification of calls and correspondence on policy issues. The results appear below — these include contacts over the past 15 years with constituents still resident in my senate district. However, it is incomplete — many contacts were never classified or were classified into categories too small to bother analyzing. Also, there are duplicates across categories — often, active constituents write about many different issues.
The categories that rise to the top here are those within which advocacy organizations have worked to generate calls or emails. The list is similar but not the same as the list of issues that people on my list responded most positively to in the survey.
|Issue Category (Top 20 only)||Constituents|
|Criminal Justice Reform (Pro)||906|
|Clean Energy and Climate (Pro)||713|
|EDUCATION Funding (Pro)||642|
|Reproductive Rights (Pro)||567|
|Voting Rights (Pro)||549|
|Immigrants — Driving, Safe Communities (Pro)||472|
|Animal protection legislation (Pro)||361|
|MBTA Improvement (Pro)||349|
|GMO Labelling (Pro)||346|
|Gun Safety (Pro)||330|
|Housing Affordability, Homelessness/Poverty Response (Pro)||326|
|Uber/Lyft Regulation (Con)||325|
|Mass Cultural Council Funding (Pro)||254|
|Civil Rights — Personal Privacy, Government Transparency (Pro)||233|
|Health Care Access (Pro)||232|
|Indigenous People’s Agenda (Pro)||209|
|Public Employee Concerns (Pro)||205|
|Wages/Worker Protection (Pro)||187|
It’s interesting to rank the issues by contacts per constituent. To some extent this ranking reflects our decisions as to how to group issues.
|Issue Category (Top 20 only)||Constituents||Contacts||Contacts/Constituent|
|Animal protection legislation (Pro)||361||862||2.4|
|Civil Rights — Personal Privacy, Government Transparency (Pro)||233||536||2.3|
|Reproductive Rights (Pro)||567||1172||2.1|
|Voting Rights (Pro)||549||1108||2.0|
|Clean Energy and Climate (Pro)||713||1376||1.9|
|Immigrants — Driving, Safe Communities (Pro)||472||825||1.7|
|Wages/Worker Protection (Pro)||187||312||1.7|
|Mass Cultural Council Funding (Pro)||254||384||1.5|
|Housing Affordability, Homelessness/Poverty Response (Pro)||326||487||1.5|
|Public Employee Concerns (Pro)||205||302||1.5|
|Criminal Justice Reform (Pro)||906||1298||1.4|
|GMO Labeling (Pro)||346||487||1.4|
|MBTA Improvement (Pro)||349||455||1.3|
|Indigenous People’s Agenda (Pro)||209||271||1.3|
|Gun Safety (Pro)||330||427||1.3|
|LGBTQ Rights (Pro)||187||233||1.2|
|EDUCATION Funding (Pro)||642||786||1.2|
|Health Care Access (Pro)||232||254||1.1|
|Uber/Lyft Regulation (Con)||325||329||1.0|
Our list survey is broadly consistent with broader public polling. Many local and national polls ask questions about what people are most concerned about. Following the Supreme Court decisions on guns, abortion, and climate, many voters were especially concerned about these issues.
Even though Massachusetts legislative action on guns in July was a pretty small adjustment, it ranked among the most frequently favored in our own survey. The Massachusetts polling above is consistent with national polling.
Of course, perceptions of what problems are most important vary widely across demographics and over time.
This survey form is closed. Results are tabulated above; additional form responses will not be tabulated. But you can add to the comment thread below.