Obama Lead Eroding in Massachusetts

7News/Suffolk University Poll


Democrat Barack Obama (47 percent) leads Republican John McCain (38 percent) by 9 percent among Massachusetts voters, according to a poll released today by 7NEWS/Suffolk University.  Green Party nominee Cynthia McKinney and Libertarian Party nominee Bob Barr each polled 1 percent, while 13 percent of voters surveyed were undecided.

The poll sharply contrasts with a June 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll, which showed Obama with a 23-point lead, 53 percent to 30 percent.

"Barack Obama's campaign has hit a soft patch this summer," said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University in Boston.  "With November just three months off, it still appears an Obama outcome in Massachusetts is not in question, but the margin certainly is."

Shifting demographics

The biggest McCain gains came among Western Massachusetts voters, men, middle-aged voters, and independents.

"These were the four demographics that shifted the most.  Obama held every other demographic category quite competitively."

Obama continues to win the perception game by a wide margin. When asked who would be the next president, regardless of their personal preference, 54 percent of voters polled said Obama, 30 percent said McCain, and 17 percent were undecided, almost exactly mirroring the June survey.

Voters disagreed with the suggestion that Obama is arrogant and was premature in taking a trip overseas to Afghanistan and the Middle East.  While 32 percent said that the recent trip was premature and showed arrogance, 62 percent said the trip was necessary for Obama to learn about problems in other countries and to familiarize himself with foreign leaders.  Even among the four shifting demographics (Western Massachusetts voters, men, ages 46-55 years, and independents), Obama overwhelmingly carried the day in each demographic on this question.


The 7NEWS/Suffolk University poll was conducted Thursday, July 31, 2008, through Sunday, August 3, 2008.  The margin of error on the study of 400 is +/- 4.90 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.  All respondents from the statewide survey were registered voters form all parties in Massachusetts.  Marginals and cross-tabulation data will be posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site on Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2008.  Selected questions have been embargoed for a 7NEWS broadcast airing on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.  The complete set of marginals and the 328-page cross-tabulation report will be available on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.  For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.

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Greg Gatlin

Mariellen Norris