With 42 days until the general election, Gov. Deval Patrick (41 percent) leads Republican Charlie Baker (34 percent) by seven points, according to the latest Suffolk University/7News poll. Independent Tim Cahill has 14 percent, and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein, 4 percent, while 6 percent remain undecided.
“Deval Patrick continues to click with voters as time ticks away,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “He does so despite a majority of voters who say that he does not deserve reelection.”
Tim Cahill’s candidacy continues to be a factor. When Cahill voters were asked who their second choice would be if their candidate could not win the election, 46 percent of Cahill voters chose Baker, while 35 percent chose Democratic candidate Patrick, with 13 percent undecided.
“Tonight’s debate is wide open, and that is the reason why people will be watching,” said Paleologos. “You can expect that Tim Cahill will be treated like royalty by his opponents, as Cahill voters are now the biggest block of votes left to decide the outcome.”
Sixty-five percent of voters surveyed said they plan to watch tonight’s televised debate. When asked who would win the debate, 44 percent of voters said they were undecided about the outcome; 25 percent said Patrick would win; 22 percent said Baker; 6 percent, Cahill; and 1 percent said Jill Stein would win the debate.
Among those voters who are familiar with the Democratic and Republican candidates, Baker (39 percent) leads Patrick (38 percent) by a percentage point.
“That statistic tells us that, as Baker becomes more well known, he has the potential of overtaking Patrick, which makes the remaining debates all the more critical for Baker,” Paleologos said.
Women prefer Patrick
Among women, Patrick (43 percent) leads Baker (31 percent) by double digits. But among men it is almost a dead heat, with Patrick leading Baker by 2 percentage points.
When asked which of the four candidates is most likely to raise taxes, 48 percent said Patrick; while 7 percent indicated Baker; 5 percent said Cahill; 4 percent Stein; and 34 percent weren’t sure.
And 52 percent of voters said Massachusetts is heading in the wrong direction, while 37 percent said the state was headed in the right direction.
A majority (51 percent) of voters said they support the November referendum question that would cut the state’s sales tax from 6.25 percent to 3 percent, while 42 percent were opposed.
Treasurer's and auditor's races
In the race for state treasurer, Democratic nominee Steven Grossman (39 percent) led Republican nominee Karyn Polito (28 percent), with 33 percent undecided.
The poll shows a tight race for state auditor, Democratic nominee Suzanne Bump (29 percent) led Republican Mary Connaughton (27 percent) and Green-Rainbow candidate Nathanael Fortune (3 percent), with 41 percent undecided.
The statewide survey of 500 Massachusetts registered voters was conducted September 16-19, 2010. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Some questions have been embargoed until 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 21. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data will be posted at that time on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.