Suffolk University Pollsters On Target


Suffolk University proved to be a big winner on Election Day, correctly predicting that Gov. Deval Patrick would defeat Republican rival Charlie Baker to win a second term in office – by a total of 7 points.

In fact, all three statewide Suffolk polls released throughout the campaign season beginning in September, accurately had Patrick topping Baker by that 7-point margin. The polls were released Sept. 21, Oct. 14 and Oct. 28.

In the final statewide Suffolk University/7News poll of Massachusetts likely voters released Oct. 28, Suffolk’s Political Research Center was right on target, showing Patrick leading Baker by 7 points – followed by Independent candidate Tim Cahill (9 percent) and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein (2 percent).

On Election Day, after all the votes were tallied, Patrick (48.8 percent) beat Baker by 7 points, followed by Cahill (8 percent) and Stein (1.4 percent).

“It looks like seven was the magic number,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “Even our bellwether poll of Waltham, released one day before the Nov. 2 election, showed Patrick leading Baker (47-40 percent) by a 7-point margin.”

Nationally, Suffolk’s Political Research Center was a perfect 7-for-7 in predicting U.S. Senate races in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

In California, Suffolk was right on target in predicting Democrat Barbara Boxer would defeat Republican Carly Fiorina by a 52-43 percent margin, which was the exact 9-point spread on Election Day. Suffolk was also close to the mark in Nevada, predicting Democrat Harry Reid would beat Republican Sharron Angle by a 3-point margin (46-43 percent). In the end, Reid defeated Angle by a 5-point spread (50-45 percent). Suffolk was the only recent poll to predict a Reid victory.

“These national results mirror many of our accurate findings of the 2008 presidential election,” said Paleologos. “And many of these states are key bellwethers for the upcoming 2012 presidential election.”

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