Western New England College just completed a new Governor’s race survey, and the results mirror all recent polling. Governor Patrick is holding the lead, at 39%, with Charlie Baker close behind at 33% and Tim Cahill out of striking range at 16%. I have attached the poll below. Some numbers I find of interest in the survey.
1) Independents. For me the key category. Baker leads Patrick by 12 points in this category (40% to 28%). But that margin is just not enough. Scott Brown slaughtered Martha Coakley in this category, beating her by over 2 to 1 (by memory folks) and Baker needs to drive this number up if he hopes to win. But he is blocked from a category rout by Tim Cahill, who is grabbing 21% of independents. For those wondering why Baker is fixated on Cahill this number is one of your key answers.
2) Right Track- Wrong Track. Governor Patrick has seen the number of voters who believe the state is “on the right track” go up slightly, while the voters who think we are on the “wrong track” has gone down some. Some good news there for the Governor. But the real story lies in how those folks respond in the survey. Lets take a look. “Right track” voters favor Deval Patrick by a whopping 75% to 8% margin, with both Cahill and Baker receiving 8%. Now let us look at the “wrong track” voters. Baker leads in that category, receiving 49%, to 16% for Patrick, and 21% for Cahill. Hard for me to figure that Patrick would receive much more than his current 16% in this category from voters who think we are “on the wrong track” if Cahill were out. The numbers are almost identical in reverse to the right track numbers, but Cahill’s presence in the race prevents Baker from piling up the type of numbers in this category that Patrick compiles in the “right track” category. For those wondering why Baker is fixated on Cahill this number is another clear cut answer.
3) Gender. Baker is getting whipped hard amongst female voters, losing to Patrick 41% to 25%, with Cahill third at 20%. Don’t think you can blame this one on Cahill. Going to have to blame the Baker campaign for the gender gap. Baker can win with this spread, but not without improvement in the other two areas. But his job would certainly be made easier if he could close that number in some way.
Baker will count on an ad onslaught against the Governor (in the next two weeks) to further drive Patrick negatives, and he is also counting on a collapse in support for Tim Cahill on election day. But Cahill has $2 million or so to spend on ads, and I would have to say that Charlie Baker will be the recipient of some negativity from Cahill with that money. The Governor will come swinging as well. The margin seems so close for Baker, but he just hasn’t been able to get over the hump. And that window is closing faster than it appears. The next two weeks are make or break for Charlie Baker. The edge right now is with the Governor. The new ads from Deval Patrick and Charlie Baker are below.