Bellwether Surveys Show Coakley Holding Lead in Governor’s Race
With the race for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination to be decided in tomorrow’s state primaries, Attorney General Martha Coakley led Treasurer Steve Grossman and former Medicare and Medicaid head Donald Berwick in bellwether polls taken in Hull and Randolph over the weekend.
In Hull, Coakley (40 percent) led Grossman (28 percent) and Berwick (15 percent) with 17 percent undecided or refused a response. In Randolph, the race between the top two rivals was closer, as Coakley (42 percent) led Grossman (35 percent) and Berwick (10 percent), with 13 percent undecided.
“Martha Coakley continues to poll consistently in the forties but hasn’t put the race away among the Democratic super voters,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. “It’s interesting to note that where Berwick polls better, Grossman suffers.”
In the last two gubernatorial primaries where there was an open seat – September 2002 and 2006 – both Hull and Randolph closely mirrored the statewide Democratic vote by choosing the winner and order of finish, and the tallies were within 3 percent of each candidate’s statewide vote percentage. And Hull Democrats voted for Coakley over Mike Capuano by a 49 percent to 25 percent in the December 2009 special Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, while Randolph voted Coakley 50 percent to 28 percent. Statewide, Coakley beat Capuano 47 percent to 28 percent.
"Grossman actually polled a little better on Sunday than Saturday, indicating some movement to him,” said Paleologos. “In the final day before the primary, there are three factors that could accelerate his movement. First, if undecided voters continue breaking to him, it could have an impact; second, if a larger swath of independents decides at the last minute to jump into the Democratic primary and cast a ballot for Grossman, it could further move the dial; finally, if Berwick voters, literally standing in the voting booth tomorrow, opt to choose between Coakley and Grossman, they could be kingmakers. Otherwise, Coakley is positioned to prevail."
More than 2 million Massachusetts voters are registered as unenrolled, or independent, making up the single largest grouping, with more registered voters than Democrats and Republicans combined.
Each bellwether survey included 300 very likely voters randomly selected from a super voter list of respondents who said they were very likely to vote and knew when the Democratic primary would be held. All other respondents were screened out. The field was conducted Sept. 6-7, 2014. The margin of error is +/-5.65 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Bellwethers are designed to predict outcomes, not margins. Results will be posted at noon Monday, Sept. 8, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, or by email.