State House News Service reports new Baker poll showing him 2 points behind guv

Text of State House News Service article as follows –

BAKER RIGHT BEHIND PATRICK, GALVIN MEASURES UP IN NEW POLL: Republican candidate for governor Charles Baker trails Gov. Deval Patrick by just two points in a new poll, which also found that Secretary of State William Galvin, a Democrat, measures up competitively against Baker and Treasurer Tim Cahill.  The polls show Cahill, running as an independent, within striking distance of the leaders.  Baker’s campaign circulated the poll, conducted by the North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling, early Tuesday afternoon.  Pollsters surveyed 744 likely voters between Jan. 7 and Jan. 9 and found 29 percent behind Patrick, with 27 percent supporting Baker and 21 percent preferring Cahill.  The poll also measured the public’s pulse on a potential run for the Corner Office by Secretary of State William Galvin, who says he’ll be on the November ballot but hasn’t declared which office he will seek.  In a three-way race with Mihos and Cahill, Galvin was favored by 26 percent, compared to 22 percent for Cahill and 20 percent for Mihos.  Galvin was tied at 26 with Baker if the former health care CEO was subbed in for Mihos, with Cahill at 18 percent. The poll pegged Patrick’s approval rating at 22 percent, with 59 percent of voters disapproving of his job performance.   PPP President Dean Debnam said the poll was not paid for by any candidate.  Asked why the firm chose to poll on Galvin since the veteran Democrat has been cagey about his plans, Debnam said, “A lot of people are like that so we don’t wait for them to totally announce.”  He said the firm polls on candidates who might be interested in a particular race.  The poll found that other than Patrick, the voters don’t know three candidates other candidates that well, including Baker, Cahill and Republican Christy Mihos.  Dr. Jill Stein, who has previously run as a Green-Rainbow candidate for governor and secretary of state, also intends to run for governor this year.   As for favorables, the poll found 35 percent of respondents view Mihos unfavorably, with 20 percent holding a positive opinion, Cahill is at 24/22 favorable/unfavorable and Baker, who pollsters describe as “pretty anonymous at this juncture” at 17/13 favorable/unfavorable.   Between his own unfavorable ratings and the likelihood that his opponents will boost their name recognition, Debnam said the poll presents “very very bad news” for Patrick, adding, “The rest of the state doesn’t really know these other guys.”  The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 3.6 percent.  PPP, which often polls for Democratic candidates, will have a new poll of the state’s special U.S. Senate election this weekend.  Its most recent poll on that contest gave Sen. Scott Brown a slight edge over Democrat Martha Coakley, who is favored to win in other polls, including a recent Boston Globe poll that showed her with a 15-point lead.  1:29 P.M.  

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