Gabrieli New Front-Runner in Democratic Governor's Race

8/22/2006

In the Democratic Primary, Gabrieli (32%) topped candidate Deval Patrick (24%) and Attorney General Tom Reilly (20%), while 24% of likely Democratic voters were undecided. Gabrieli’s 8-point lead contrasts sharply with the June 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll, which showed Gabrieli trailing Patrick by 9% and Reilly by 3%.

“Chris Gabrieli is clearly the person to beat in both the primary and the final election,” said David Paleologos, Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “His widespread strength cuts across all demographics including gender, party, age, and geography.”

The 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll also revealed that Gabrieli will be the strongest Democratic candidate to defeat Lt. Governor Kerry Healey in the final election. Gabrieli’s margin over Healey was a whopping 21% (46%-25%), while Reilly topped Healey by 9% (38%-29%), and Patrick led Healey by 8% (38%-30%).

“With third party candidates drawing away votes in this race, 45% becomes the new magic number to win the final election,” said Paleologos. “Today, Chris Gabrieli already has 46% and that’s not counting any of the 20% who are undecided.”

While Healey trailed all three Democrats in the final election, there may be a silver lining in her political future. Healey’s popularity is back in positive territory, with 39% viewing her favorably, while 35% viewing her unfavorably. In addition, when asked, who ultimately voters thought would be elected Governor, 20% selected Healey, while 19% chose Gabrieli.

Christy Mihos continues to tread water in his quest to become the first Independent Governor of Massachusetts. In any of the three possible general election matchups, Mihos did not exceed 10% of likely voters. Green Rainbow nominee Grace Ross did not exceed 2% in any of the general election matchups.

In other poll findings, the most important issues facing our next Governor were: education/schools (23%); jobs/economy (16%); health care (14%); taxes (10%); and the Big Dig (10%). Casino gambling, an issue embraced by Gabrieli, was supported 51% to 42%.

The most supported ballot question of the three statewide referenda was the sale of wine by food stores, which was supported by a 54% to 38% margin.

State voters are frustrated with the status quo as elections approach. When asked, do you think Massachusetts is heading in the right direction or on the wrong track, 31% indicated right direction, while 48% said wrong track (this 17% spread is the worst rating recorded in eight consecutive 7NEWS/Suffolk University polls). Although many voters feel that the state in on the wrong track, they are still supporting incumbent Constitutional Officers by wide margins.

The Suffolk University poll was conducted August 17 thru August 21, 2006. The margin of error is +/- 4.00% at a 95% level of confidence. All 600 Massachusetts respondents indicated they were registered voters and had voted in the 2002 gubernatorial election.

Suffolk University is scheduled to release 376 pages of cross-tabulation data, marginals, and charts on its website on Tuesday, August 22, 2006. For more information, please contact Suffolk adjunct professor David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.

Suffolk University, located on Boston’s historic Beacon Hill, with campuses in Madrid, Spain and Dakar, Senegal (Africa), is a comprehensive global institution distinguished by its teaching and the intellectual contributions of its faculty. Suffolk offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in more than 70 areas of study. Its mission is to provide quality education at a reasonable cost for students of all ages and backgrounds, with strong emphasis on diversity. Suffolk has a combined enrollment of more than 8,300 full-time and part-time students at its Law School, College of Arts and Sciences, and Sawyer School of Business.

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