Baker internal poll shows him down by 7 points

Red Mass Group has obtained an internal memo from Public Opinion Strategies to the Baker Campaign.  They recently conducted a poll at the end of July for the campaign showing Charlie Baker within striking distance of Deval Patrick. Here is the memo with the findings of that poll.

pos

MEMORANDUM

TO:                  TIM O’BRIEN – BAKER FOR GOVERNOR CAMPAIGN

FROM:            NEIL NEWHOUSE – PUBLIC OPINION STRATEGIES

SUBJECT:      RECENT BAKER POLL DATA

DATE:            AUGUST 9, 2010

As you know, our firm recently completed a statewide survey in Massachusetts of 500 likely general election voters.  The poll was conducted July 25-27 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.38% in 95 out of 100 cases.

           Key Findings

1.      Just over one-third of voters believe that Deval Patrick deserves re-election.

Just 36% of voters believe that Patrick deserves re-election, while 59% believe it’s time for a change and a new person to be elected Governor.  These figures parallel the sentiment that the state is off on the wrong track (57%), and the clear sense that the state’s economy is NOT getting better (80%).  Massachusetts voters are clearly not enamored with the political status quo in the state.

2.      Baker trails Patrick by just seven points.

While our previous poll in April showed Patrick with an eleven-point lead over Charlie, the current poll shows that has been whittled down to just seven (39% Patrick / 32% Charlie, with Cahill at 17%).

Baker’s gain since our last poll is eight points, compared to just four points for Patrick.

3.      Baker’s name ID is tracking Patrick’s 2006 numbers.

While Charlie is just seven points back, he is still not all that well-known in the state, as his image is 32% favorable/15% unfavorable, with 53% of voters either having no impression or having never heard of him.  Those who think these might be low should understand that Charlie’s current image score is almost IDENTICAL to both POS and Suffolk University August 2006 polling regarding Deval Patrick (POS – 34%-14%/52%, Suffolk – 36%-14%/51%).

Charlie’s potential for picking up support is pretty clear – among those voters in the state who have heard of Charlie Baker, he leads Patrick by 39%-37% on the trial heat.  He’s leading by 12 points among voters who rank their election interest as a “9 or a 10” (44% Baker, 32% Patrick, 16% Cahill).

Bottom Line

Despite being a first time candidate who was not that well-known coming into the race, Charlie Baker is clearly closing the gap in this race as Massachusetts voters continue to have doubts about Deval Patrick.  Baker is picking up support not only among Independents, but among those voters who say the state is on the wrong track.  He is gradually becoming the “go-to” candidate for “change” in the state.

It’s helpful to put this race in perspective.  Charlie Baker’s current image among Massachusetts voters is identical to where Deval Patrick was four years ago.

With a little more than 80 days left in this race, Charlie Baker is right where he wants to be – single digits back in a political environment favoring the outsider/challenger candidate against two incumbents, with a very positive image and room to grow on the ballot.

About Rob "EaBo Clipper" Eno

  • The numbers are getting better and better for Charlie Baker as time goes on, and I suspect they are higher than the July 25-27 figures since the Governor threw away all the potential jobs coming to Mass when he shot down the Casino bill.  

    I can’t imagine too many unemployed people are happy with the Governor turning down such a gift of jobs to the Commonwealth.

    Charlie Baker was instrumental in bringing Harvard Pilgrim out of the gutter, turning the company around.  I’m sure he can and will do the same for Massachusetts.  

    It is time for fiscal responsibility in the Governor’s office and Charlie Baker has it.

  • Vincent Errichetti

    Just say’in.  

  • Rob “EaBo Clipper” Eno

    Baker leads by 12 points amongst those most likely to vote.

    Charlie’s potential for picking up support is pretty clear – among those voters in the state who have heard of Charlie Baker, he leads Patrick by 39%-37% on the trial heat.  He’s leading by 12 points among voters who rank their election interest as a “9 or a 10” (44% Baker, 32% Patrick, 16% Cahill).

  • MerrimackMan

    Everyone knows who Deval Patrick is. He’s been the incumbent for 3+ years, he gets all the press, and yet he can’t get himself over the 40% mark without a crisis like the Boston Water Shortage from this spring. In my opinion, I think its pretty safe to say that the undecideds will probably not vote for Deval. But lets say he makes it to 40%, with a couple of disgruntled Democrats deciding that the only way to back up Obama is to vote for Patrick.

    That leaves 11% of the electorate up for grabs.

    Therefore, Baker will need 41% to win the election. That will require getting another 9% of the voters to back him. This doesn’t seem that impossible considering that 53% of voters have no impression of him, or have never heard of him. I’m going to assume that the 11% of undecideds are all from this group. They know and dislike Deval, they are just waiting for the alternative.

    Then, there’s Cahill. Cahill is pretty much out of contention for winning the race. Even if he picks up the 11% of undecideds, he is still at 28%, and solidly in 3rd place. Baker and Patrick support seems to be pretty solid. I think with their favorability ratings and associated party apparati they are simply not going to slip support to an Indepdendent after Labor Day (which is right around the corner I might add). Therefore, Cahill has no way to win. Realistically, he can’t get to 33%. (Yes Cahill could find Osama Bin Laden and become a State Hero and win, but thats not going to happen)

    The key at this point is for Baker to put those undecideds behind him, and keep Cahill from 20%. Cahill can take 2% of the undecideds, but he gets 3%, and gets over 20%, Baker can’t win and Deval gets re-elected. Baker will need to articulate his alternative vision for Massachusetts and contrast against Patrick. Yet, at the same time, these undecideds are probably Patrick voters from 2006. He will need to win them over the same way that Weld and Cellucci won liberal-leaning voters over in the 1990’s. He needs to be the candidate of pragmatic reform. Luckily, Cahill doesn’t care about meaningful reform and won’t be competing for these voters. Then again however, if Baker runs too far from the right, he risks losing much needed votes to Cahill, whose support as far as Red Mass Group indicates, comes from confused Social Conservatives and Hibernian-philes. So Baker really needs to walk a fine line here. He can’t go negative on Patrick the way that Healey attempted, and yet he still needs to present a contrasting view of reforming Massachusetts to steer the undecideds away from the high-minded, and empty rhetoric of Deval Patrick.

    Luckily for us, Baker is a pragmatic reformer and a cool customer who will refrain from throwing bombs. He’s definetly got a shot at sending MiniObama back to Richmond.

  • At this point, it is crystal clear that Cahill has absolutely no chance of winning the election. Zero. You can talk all you want on this site about your conservative credentials, about not wanting Charlie as your candidate – even how you are voting on principle when voting for Cahill. But please, end the ridiculous notion that Cahill can win. He simply cannot. Period.

    And Cahill knows this as well. He also knows very well that all he is doing is helping his party out by running. It is a great scam being perpetrated on (conservative) Cahill supporters. It is a vote against Patrick that isn’t really going to Patrick’s opponent. Shear genius.

    It had been clear for some time that Patrick could not win a head to head against a palatable Republican. Enter Cahill.

    Chew on that one while you espouse your conservative credentials.

    I had people telling me in ’08 that Obama was a moderate because he said so on the campaign trail.

    Again, that doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is Cahill has zero (not small, but zero) chance of winning. Voting for him is simply helping Patrick get re-elected.  

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