Latest Political Research Center Poll 10/24



Patrick Regains Commanding Lead over Healey

With two weeks remaining until the General Election, Democratic nominee Deval Patrick leads Republican nominee Kerry Healey by 27 percent (53 percent-26 percent), according to a 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll released today.  Independent Christy Mihos (9 percent) and Green Rainbow nominee Grace Ross (2 percent) were far behind.  There were 11 percent of likely voters undecided.

This is the third 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll in October of the Massachusetts Governor’s race.  During that period, Healey initially reduced Patrick’s lead, but now Patrick has recaptured all the votes he lost and more.  On Oct. 5, Patrick led Healey by 21 percent (49 percent-28 percent), but after Healey launched her attack ads on crime, Patrick’s lead was cut to 13 percent (46 percent-33 percent) on Oct. 12. 

“Massachusetts voters were pushed to the limit,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.  “The negative tone by Kerry Healey was overkill – it made her unpopular with some voters and neutralized would-be supporters.  Once voters gave the race a second look, they returned to Deval Patrick.”

Another indication that Healey’s campaign had backfired: 61 percent of voters say the recent tone of her campaign made them less likely to vote for her.  In addition, Healey’s personal unpopularity is at an all-time high, making her campaign an unlikely place to go if Patrick’s campaign falters in the final days.  More than 53 percent of voters now, view her unfavorably, while just 30 percent looked upon her favorably.  In sharp contrast, Patrick had a 60 percent favorable rating and a 24 percent unfavorable rating.

The 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll also reveals that voters believe the state is heading on the wrong track.  There were 49 percent of respondents who said they thought Massachusetts was heading on the wrong track, while only 28 percent said Massachusetts was heading in the right direction.

“It’s too late for Healey to go informative; there aren’t enough undecided voters for her to go comparative; and she can’t continue to go negative,” said Paleologos.  “Her aggressive style lost her too many political chess pieces.  The next two weeks may make for a painful endgame marked with a dwindling army and just a few squares to move to.”

As Healey struggles in her bid to occupy the office held by Mitt Romney, likely voters gave Mitt Romney a sad send-off.  When asked to grade the job performance of Romney over the last four years, just 31 percent said excellent/good, while 67 percent said fair/poor.  Romney has been stumping for viable Republican candidates from other states recently to gain favor for his anticipated Presidential bid.

Of the three ballot questions, voters responded in the following way: Question 1 (sale of wine by food stores), 52 percent yes, 40 percent no; Question 2 (nomination of candidates for public office), 26 percent yes, 51 percent no; and Question 3 (family childcare providers), 34 percent yes, 36 percent no.

All Democratic nominees for constitutional offices had large leads over their respective opponents, ranging from 41 to 46 points, depending on the office.  In addition, in the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Edward "Ted" Kennedy (60 percent) crushed his Republican opponent, Kenneth Chase (26 percent), while 14% were undecided.

The Suffolk University poll was conducted Oct. 20 through Oct. 23, 2006.  The margin of error is +/- 4.9 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.  All 400 Massachusetts likely voters indicated they were registered and that they were certain to or may vote on November 7.

Suffolk University is scheduled to release 252 pages of cross-tabulation data, marginals, and charts on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2006, once all of the 7NEWS broadcasts have concluded. 

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Mariellen Norris,

Tony Ferullo,

David Paleologos,