BOSTON (September 17, 2020) – In an early assessment of the potential 2021 Boston mayoral race, a GBH News / MassINC poll finds incumbent Boston Mayor Marty Walsh leading City Councilor Michelle Wu by 23 points. The poll of registered Boston voters found 46 percent of respondents likely to support a Walsh bid for reelection, 23 percent supporting challenger Wu and 18 percent undecided.

Mayor Walsh’s strong support is bolstered by high marks for his handling of the impact of COVID-19 in Boston. 85 percent of respondents approve of Walsh’s handling of coronavirus, identified by 39 percent of respondents as the biggest issue facing the city. The poll found a favorability rating of 69 percent for Walsh and 48 percent for Wu. To explore the full findings about the 2021 Boston mayoral race visit the GBH News website.

“Both Marty Walsh and Michelle Wu are well-liked, according to the poll results,” said Steve Koczela, president of the MassINC Polling Group, which conducted the poll for GBH News. “Mayor Walsh has enjoyed high levels of support throughout his time in office, and that has not changed. But there is a long way to go in this contest, and the coalitions have yet to clearly form.”

Mayor Walsh declined to answer if he was running for reelection when questioned on the recurring “Ask the Mayor” segment on GBH News’ Boston Public Radio. Councilor Wu announced her candidacy for Mayor of Boston on September 15. The poll was conducted from September 11-15.

“As we head into 2021, the Boston mayoral race will be top of mind for many voters,” said Pam Johnston, general manager for news at GBH. “We worked with MassINC on this poll to bring early insights into this closely watched race. Over the next year, GBH News will provide consistent reporting and analysis about the mayoral race to help voters make informed decisions at the ballot box next fall.”

The GBH News / MassINC poll also measured residents’ perceptions of the Boston Police Department, sentiments about local police reform and the impact of COVID-19 on local employment, finances and food security. These findings will be released along with reporting on the GBH News website on Friday, September 18.

The poll surveyed 400 registered voters in the City of Boston. The margin of error for the results is +/- 4.9 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.

About GBH News
GBH News is among the fastest-growing local news providers in Greater Boston and draws on the talent of a multiplatform newsroom that includes GBH 89.7, Boston’s Local NPR, television and digital reporting. The GBH newsroom continues to invest in substantive local coverage and has established dedicated desks for higher education, politics, innovation and investigations as well as unique partnerships to expand on that commitment, including with WNYC’s The Takeaway, The World from PRX and The GroundTruth Project. GBH News partners with CAI, the Cape and Islands NPR station, and New England Public Media in western Massachusetts to connect the Commonwealth with trusted journalism. GBH News maintains bureaus at the Massachusetts State House; Dorchester, Boston’s largest neighborhood, and Worcester.

About GBH
GBH is the leading multiplatform creator for public media in America. As the largest producer of content for PBS and partner to NPR and PRX, GBH delivers compelling experiences, stories and information to audiences wherever they are. With studios and a newsroom headquartered in Boston, GBH reaches across New England, serving a diverse community, fostering growth and empowering individuals. From Boston to the Berkshires, from Worcester to the Cape and Islands, GBH is dedicated to connecting the Commonwealth through news, programming, learning tools and events. GBH has been recognized with hundreds of the nation’s premier broadcast, digital and journalism awards. Find more information at