Governors Race Polling

The Boston Globe released a poll on the Governor’s race a couple of days ago, and it showed a couple of interesting variables. Patrick led the poll, as he has done consistently, by 7 points over Charlie Baker 38-31. The Governor’s numbers in terms of job performance are still shaky, but he has shown marked improvement over the last Globe survey. Baker, behind an introductory ad blitz, has moved his numbers up as well.

Tim Cahill’s numbers, tanking after he absorbed a deluge of negative ads from the Republican Governor’s Association, really bottomed out in this survey, where he came in at 9%. I realize that it is relatively early but his rapid descent is now self feeding, with folks likely not wanting to “waste” their vote on the independent candidacy that appears to be faltering. Of course that is only one man’s speculation but independent candidacies that are underfunded face similar challenges, and usually meet the same fate.

One number that stands out to me is the preference of the “independent” (unenrolled) voter, where Baker leads by a 35 to 30 margin over the Governor, with Cahill coming in with 12%. Still a good sized chunk of undecided voters at 20%, but Baker will be hard pressed to win this race without substantially widening that gap. With the party voters appearing to return “home” Governor Patrick just needs to stay close with independents, and leverage his larger Democratic base to victory in November.

Baker has made the move that he needed to make to stay in this race, and the Globe has characterized it as “a surge”. But the Governor has yet to do any paid media, and has held a consistent lead even in his worst days. Knocking out the Governor is going to be a bit harder than some of the pundits thought a few months back.

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