Suffolk University’s latest poll of the Massachusetts Governor’s race confirms some of the trend lines apparent from the last Rasmussen survey, showing Governor Deval Patrick widening his lead over Charlie Baker and Tim Cahill. From the Suffolk press release:
In the poll of registered voters, 42 percent say they would vote for Patrick, compared to 29 percent for Baker and 14 percent for independent Tim Cahill. Green Party candidate Jill Stein gets 8 percent, while 7 percent were undecided. Of the three candidates whose numbers improved since a February 2010 Suffolk University/7News poll, Patrick’s increase of 9 points was higher than Baker’s (+4) and Stein’s (+5). Cahill dropped 9 points, likely due to a $1 million barrage of attack ads financed by the Republican Governor’s Association.
After Rasmussen it was apparent that the Republican Governor’s Association barrage against Tim Cahill was having an impact. Suffolk now confirms the big drop for Cahill, but also shows that as of today the main beneficiary of that drop has been Governor Patrick. Suffolk’s polling shows that 60% or better have never heard of, or have no opinion of, Charlie Baker. Baker had better look at that number closely, as Governor Patrick and some third party groups will be looking to define Baker to the electorate real soon. Another interesting number is the race amongst independents, where Baker leads Governor Patrick by a 35% to 26% margin. That is far below the number achieved within that demographic by Scott Brown, and is insufficient for a Baker victory. And it appears to me to be a number that will be difficult for Baker to grow with Tim Cahill in the race.
As for Cahill the trend lines now offer him choices that are very difficult. He should have, if he had adequate finances, been up on the air to counter the RGA assault. Even absent the assault he should be defining himself to the electorate early. Instead he has had to be largely silent while being negatively defined, and has added to his own misery with some of his comments on patronage relative to the Probation Department problems, with the Globe and Herald pouncing on his less than stellar remarks. The overall campaign strategy is now exposed as flawed, and without retooling that strategy and message Tim Cahill faces a long, tough summer.
Link to the Suffolk Press Release here.
Link to the Globe story on the Suffolk poll here.