Andy Card not the solution to GOP woes in 2006

4/3/2006

For more information, please contact:
Mariellen Norris at 617.573.8450 or
Tony Ferullo at 617.573.8448

BOSTON – Former White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card may have many career options, but running for Governor of Massachusetts in 2006 may not be one of them, according to a 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll released today.

When asked, if the Republican Primary for Governor was held today and the candidates were Andy Card or Kerry Healey, 44% of likely Republican voters chose Healey, while just 29% selected Card, with 22% undecided.

In addition, Card lost all three final election ballot tests against Democratic Gubernatorial hopefuls Tom Reilly (-17%), Deval Patrick (-10%) and Chris Gabrieli (-4%).

“Kerry Healey has higher name recognition and would thwart a Card primary challenge,” said David Paleologos, Director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “The low marks of the Bush Administration are showing strong statistical significance which would hamper a Card candidacy in 2006.”

The 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll also revealed that voters believed Massachusetts and the United States are heading on the wrong track. When asked, do you think Massachusetts is heading in the right direction or is on the wrong track, 29% said “right direction,” while 44% indicated “wrong track,” with 27% undecided. Even worse, when asked, do you think the United States is heading in the right direction or is on the wrong track, 21% said “right direction,” while 65% indicated “wrong track,” with 14% undecided.

President George Bush’s troubles don’t end there. Regarding the war in Iraq, 58% of likely voters said they were not very supportive, while 21% indicated they were supportive, with only 18% saying they were very supportive. When asked to grade President Bush, 54% graded him a “D” or “F,” while just 26% graded him an “A” or a “B.”

In another interesting finding, the 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll showed venture capitalist Chris Gabrieli, who is expected to announce his candidacy this week, trailing Democratic front-runner and current Attorney General Tom Reilly, by 21 percent. When likely Democratic voters were asked, toward whom would they lean at this time, 32% chose Reilly, 21% selected corporate executive Deval Patrick and 11% Chris Gabrieli, with 36% undecided.

“In this three-way Democratic ballot test, the undecided block of voters has been greater than any of the individual candidate totals,” said Paleologos. “This three-month trend tells us that the Democratic Primary is wide open.”

The 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll also found that a third major political party (Green Rainbow) may be created in the fall, in addition to the Democratic and Republican parties. According to Massachusetts State Law, a political party is established when a candidate garners 3% of the statewide vote in a federal election. The 7NEWS/Suffolk University political polling team was the first of its kind to include all Green Rainbow Party nominees on the November 2006 ballot.

The Green Rainbow Party nominees include: Worcester activist Grace Ross (Governor); 2002 Green Party nominee Jill Stein (Secretary of State); and former candidate for State Treasurer James O’Keefe (State Treasurer). Both James O’Keefe (21%) and Jill Stein (8%) were polling well above the 3% threshold in their respective races, which would grant Green Rainbow official party status in Massachusetts.

The Suffolk University poll was conducted April 1 and April 2, 2006. The margin of error is +/- 4.9% at a 95% level of confidence. All 400 Massachusetts respondents indicated they were registered voters and had voted in the 2002 gubernatorial election.

Suffolk University is scheduled to release marginals, charts and cross-tabulation data on its website on Tuesday, April 4, 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 Business School.

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