Boston is almost universally loved in Massachusetts, something that cannot be said for any of the state's other cities except two of its main vacation destinations—Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, which are held in even higher esteem.
78% see Boston favorably and only 12% unfavorably, which tops the six other actual cities we measured public opinion of by a long shot. Next is its next-door neighbor Cambridge (55-25), home of Harvard and MIT, and then Provincetown (46-18). The others are disliked at least a little. Voters split on Worcester (29-30), and are mildly down on New Bedford (21-25). But they pretty strongly dislike Lowell (24-40) and Springfield (16-38).
Though not technically cities, Cape Cod comes in at 84-6 and the Vineyard at 71-9. Few have any quibbles with either.
Some do, however, with the urban centers. There is a 78-point marginal partisan gap on Cambridge, with 74% of Democrats and only 30% of Republicans liking it. It is 61 points for Provincetown (60-11 vs. 27-39). Independents like both of the latter, 48-30 and 39-17.
Democrats like Boston best (86% favorable), but even two-thirds of Republicans like it. No one likes Springfield—37% of Democrats, 38% of independents, and 43% of Republicans see it negatively. Similarly for Lowell—25% of Republicans, 34% of independents, and 41% of Democrats frown on it—and New Bedford, which gets disfavor from 23% of Democrats, 24% of independents, and 37% of Republicans.
Provincetown is noted for its gay tourism, and supporters of same-sex marriage see the city favorably by a 63-5 margin, as opposed to 15-46 by those who oppose marriage equality. These folks see only Boston, Cape Cod, and Martha’s Vineyard favorably.
There is a big gender divide on Provincetown and Cambridge that is not entirely explained by partisanship. Women break down 63-17 on Cambridge (as opposed to men’s 48-33) and 56-11 on Provincetown (35-25). Republican women like the latter by a 41-18 margin and the former by a 49-17 spread, versus Republicans’ overall 27-39 and 30-45 dislike.
Full results here