Poll: Coakley Still Leads Opponents

11/12/2009

Bay State voters expect Attorney General Martha Coakley to be the next U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, and, while 51 percent say they disapprove of the job Deval Patrick is doing as governor, they expect him to win another term in a three-way race, according to a Suffolk University/7News poll.

On the Democratic side of the Senate race, 44 percent chose Coakley, followed by 17 percent for Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca, 16 percent for U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, and 3 percent for City Year founder Alan Khazei.  Twenty percent were undecided.

“Steve Pagliuca scored the biggest improvement since September,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.  “He traveled from zero to second place by flooding the air waves with TV ads.  However, he still has not secured the most aware Democratic voters who are choosing Coakley and Capuano before him.”

On the Republican side, state Sen. Scott Brown (45 percent) led Jack E. Robinson (7 percent) with 47 percent undecided.

In General Election head-to-head matchups between the Democratic contenders and the GOP’s Brown, only Khazei fell short, with 33 percent of voters choosing Brown and 30 percent Khazei.

Gubernatorial race

Gov. Patrick’s negative marks have inched up to 47 percent since September, when they stood at 45 percent. Nevertheless, he remains predominant (36 percent) in a contest with state Treasurer Tim Cahill (26 percent), running as an Independent, and Republican businessman Christy Mihos (20 percent).

Republican primary voters give Mihos the edge (33 percent) over Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO Charlie Baker (30 percent) in a GOP primary.  Baker led Mihos among registered Republicans (33 percent to 28 percent) but Mihos, a former Independent candidate for Governor in 2006, outpolled Baker among Republican-leaning Independents (39 percent to 25 percent).

A general election scenario with Baker in the mix ticks Patrick up to 38 percent; Cahill remains at 26 percent; and Baker gets just 15 percent.

Bellwethers

Using party primary good voter lists from two key towns, the Democratic and Republican bellwethers showed similar results to the statewide U.S. Senate poll.  In the Democratic bellwether of Falmouth, where respondents were required to name both the correct election date or month and precinct polling location, Coakley (33 percent) led Capuano (13 percent), Pagliuca (8 percent), Khazei (2 percent) and 39 percent undecided.  In the Republican bellwether of Millbury, Brown (42 percent) led Robinson (7 percent) with 49 percent undecided.

The results from Millbury in the 2006 Republican Primary for U.S. Senate closely tracked the statewide percentages for the two Republican candidates Kenneth Chase and Kevin Scott.  Similarly, the Falmouth Democratic Primary results for U.S. Senate in 2008 signaled how Democrats statewide voted.

Methodology

The statewide survey of 600 Massachusetts registered voters was conducted Nov. 4-8, 2009. The margin of error is +/- 4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence.  Bellwether ID’s were fielded Nov. 9-10.  Marginals and 424 pages of statewide cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site: http://www.suffolk.edu/college/1450.html. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, dpaleolo@suffolk.edu.

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