Saturday, September 26, 2009

New poll on the Governor's race

Suffolk University released a new poll of 500 registered voters regarding the 2010 gubernatorial race this week. The news continues to be bad for Deval Patrick in terms of favorability, but the three-way race keeps him in front.

Favorability for Governor Patrick - 42% favorable; 54% unfavorable

Does Governor Patrick deserve another term - 29% yes; 56% no

Hypothetical match-up:
Patrick 36%
Cahill 23%
Baker 14%
Undecided 26%

Baker's low support is mainly due to the nearly 50% of the sample who don't know enough of him to form an opinion. His numbers should rise as the campaign progresses. However the following "gut feeling" question does not bode well for Baker.

Would the state would be better off with a Republican governor?
Yes 39%
No 54%

This indicates the continuing deep blue bias in Massachusetts as the Republican Party continues to be viewed unfavorably by many residents of the state. Baker has an uphill climb, even with Patrick being viewed so poorly.

The surprise here is the continuing strength of Democrat turned Independent Tim Cahill. Regardless of who voters indicated as their first choice, a strong majority chose Cahill as a second choice. Cahill voters would choose Baker as their backup. This hurts Baker who really needs a two way race. It is not inconceivable that the is becomes a Cahill vs. Patrick race as the anti-Patrick vote may end up with who is perceived to be the strongest horse.

There is a block of loyal Patrick supporters composing between 35 and 40 percent of voters. In a conventional two-way race (undecideds usually break to the challenger) it would be bad news. However, in this three-way race it may be all he needs to win a second term. I maintain my prediction that he has a 55% chance of winning another term in November 2010. I also think that unless Baker can start stepping up his campaign that many independent voters may really consider supporting Cahill. This will be much clearer as time progresses, but Baker needs to find a message that can out-compete Cahill as the alternative to the second Patrick administration.


The Prof

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