Shannon Surging: Suffolk University Political Poll Shows O'Brien Passing Romney

6/6/2002

BOSTON June 6, 2002 — Shannon O’Brien, hot off an upset win at the Democratic Convention in Worcester on June 1, is surging ahead of Republican nominee Mitt Romney and far ahead of her Democratic rivals for Governor, according to a recent poll taken by Suffolk University graduate students. 

If the final election for Governor were held today, O’Brien would lead Olympic chairman Romney by a margin of 41% to 32%, and would easily defeat her major Democratic rivals by nearly two to one (Shannon O’Brien ­ 36%, Robert Reich ­ 20%, and Tom Birmingham ­ 16%).

In March, a Suffolk study showed O’Brien close to Romney but trailing by five percent (39% to 34%), while in a statistical dead heat with Democrat Robert Reich.  In that same poll, Romney easily bested acting Governor Jane Swift by a wide margin.  The Suffolk study was confirmed days later by a major newspaper release of similar findings.  In the hours that followed, Governor Swift announced her intention not to seek the Republican nomination for Governor.

In other races, Suffolk’s June study showed the Democratic Primary races for Lieutenant Governor and Treasurer were too close to call, with scores of undecided voters in both fights.  On the Republican side, Lieutenant Governor hopeful Jim Rappaport led Kerry Murphy Healey by a margin of 38% to 30%.

However, just 32% of respondents indicated that they would support a Republican ticket pairing businessmen Romney and Rappaport, while 58% said they were unlikely to support such a pairing.  On the Democratic side, some 39% of respondents said they would be likely to support an all-women ticket of O’Brien and Lois Pines, while 46% said they would be unlikely to do so.

The Suffolk University Poll was conducted from June 2 through June 5, 2002.  The poll has a margin of error of +/- 4.90% at a 95% level of confidence.  The poll was conducted statewide and had 400 respondents.  All respondents indicated they were likely voters.

Suffolk University Survey
400 Respondents
Error +/- 4.90%
Confidence Level 95%
Summary of Results with Significant Shifts Bolded:

Favorability Ratings

Name 

Favorable

Unfavorable

Undecided

Never Heard

March Results

Jane Swift   

33%

48%

15%

4%

(was 24%/ 55% / 19% / 2%)

Warren Tolman

15%

06%

34%

45%

(was 13% / 12% / 35% / 40%)

Jill Stein

14%

04%

26%

56%

 

Thomas Birmingham

31%

24%

25%

21%

(was 18% / 26% / 32% / 24%)

John Kerry  

63%

13%

14%

11%

 

Steve Grossman 

19%

12%

36%

34%

(was 16% / 14% / 29% / 41%)

Mitt Romney 

50%

29%

17%

05%

(was 47% / 18% / 24% / 11%)

Carla Howell

11%

10%

30%

49%

 

Robert Reich

34%

18%

24%

25%

(was 32% / 15% / 23% / 30%)

Shannon O’Brien  

49%

17%

22%

13%

(was 36% / 23% / 29% / 12%)

 

Ballot Test Governor Democratic Primary
Democrats & Undecided Leaning Democratic             
(Sub sample 209)
(Includes Aided Test to Initial Undecideds)

   

March

June

Net

‡     

Shannon O’Brien   

24.5

37.3

+ 12.8%

 

Robert Reich  

25.3

22.5

– 02.8%

 

Thomas Birmingham

07.9

18.7

+ 10.8%

 

Steve Grossman 

06.1

01.4

– 04.7%

 

Warren Tolman  

00.4

04.3

+ 03.9%

 

Undecided/Refused

35.8

15.8

– 20.0%

Ballot Test Lieutenant Governor Democratic Primary
Democrats & Undecided Leaning Democratic
(Sub sample 209)         
                             

 

Initial Ballot Test Unaided

Aided with Ballot and/or Web Bio

Lois Pines

14%

John Slattery          

23.0%

Chris Gabrieli

11%

Lois Pines           

22.5%

John Slattery

10%

Chris Gabrieli              

14.4%

Undecided/Refused

64%

Undecided/Refused     

40.1%

Ballot Test Treasurer Democratic Primary
Democrats & Undecided Leaning Democratic                    
(Sub sample 209)            
  

 

Initial Ballot Test Unaided

Aided with Ballot and/or Web Bio

Stephen Murphy

13%

Timothy Cahill            

19.6%

Timothy Cahill   

10%

Stephen Murphy          

18.7%

Jim Segal  

04%

Jim Segal           

08.6%

Michael Cahill   

03%

Michael Cahill             

07.2%

Undecided/Refused

70%

Undecided/Refused     

45.9%

Ballot Test Lieutenant Governor Republican Primary
Republicans & Undecided Leaning Republican
(Sub sample 111)

 

Initial Ballot Test Unaided

Aided with Ballot and/or Web Bio

Jim Rappaport    

37.8%

Jim Rappaport

37.8%

Kerry Murphy Healey

29.7%

Kerry Murphy Healey

29.7%

Undecided/Refused

32.5%

Undecided/Refused

32.5%

Ballot Test Treasurer Republican Primary
Republicans & Undecided Leaning Republican
(Sub sample 111)

 

Initial Ballot Test Unaided

Aided with Ballot and/or Web Bio

Dan Grabauskas

16%

Dan Grabauskas

24.3%

Bruce Herzfelder

8%

Bruce Herzfelder

24.3%

Undecided/Refused

76%

Undecided/Refused

51.4%

Support an all women ticket offered by the Democratic Party, which would include Shannon O’Brien as Governor and Lois Pines as Lieutenant Governor?
All Voters Total (Sample 400)

Very Likely         

12.8%   

Somewhat Likely    

26.0%

Somewhat Unlikely

12.8%

Not At All Likely 

32.8%

Undecided/Refused

15.6%

Support a ticket offered by the Republican Party, which would include businessmen Mitt Romney as Governor and Jim Rappaport as Lieutenant Governor?
All Voters Total (Sample 400)

Very Likely         

12.0%   

Somewhat Likely    

19.5%

Somewhat Unlikely

13.3%

Not At All Likely    

44.8%

Undecided/Refused

10.4%

Ballot Test Governor Final Election
All Voters Total (Sample 400)

   

March

June

Net

‡ 

Shannon O’Brien   

34.5 

41.0 

+ 6.5%

 

Mitt Romney       

39.5  

32.3  

– 7.2%

 

Jill Stein            

    

  3.8  

No Previous Rating

 

Carla Howell       

    

  3.5  

No Previous Rating

 

Undecided/Refused

26.0  

19.4  

– 6.6%

Ballot Test Governor Final Election
All Voters Total (Sample 400)

   

March

June

Net

  ‡ 

Mitt Romney       

39.5

36.8  

– 2.7%

 

Robert Reich       

31.2

30.5  

– 0.7%

 

Carla Howell       

 

  2.3  

No Previous Rating

 

Jill Stein            

 

  2.3  

No Previous Rating

 

Undecided/Refused

29.3

28.1  

– 1.2%



Suffolk University has produced 176 pages of cross-tabulation tables available by request courtesy of the Government Department at (617) 573-8122 or by calling Adjunct Professor David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.

For more information, please contact:
Tony Ferullo at 617-573-8448
Prof. David Paleologos at 781-290-9310 or
Prof. John Berg at 617-899-7324

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