Conventional wisdom says Dianne Wilkerson is a long-time incumbent, and the only reason she nearly lost two years ago is that she failed to get her name on the ballot so had to run a write-in campaign. Plus, she’s got lots of powerful friends — Senator Kerry, Governor Patrick, Senate President Murray, Speaker DiMasi, Mayor Menino, and a host of prominent lefty interest groups (including MassEquality and the Boston Teachers Union) — in her corner. All of that should translate into an easy win, right?
Well, maybe wrong. Check out the results of a tracking poll just released by the Chang-Diaz campaign:
The numbers, for those of you not graphically inclined (counting “probably” and “lean” voters):
(Data collected 8/10-12. 417 likely Democratic primary voters. MoE: +/- 4.8%)
If those numbers are good, then even if every single undecided voter broke for Wilkerson, she would barely eke out a win. And that, of course, is not going to happen — late-deciders seem at least as likely to favor the challenger as the incumbent.
Also of interest are the “Wilkerson deserves reelection/time for someone new” numbers, which have heavily favored Chang-Diaz since January:
Deserves reelection — time for someone new
January: 28% — 47.5%
August: 25.1% — 46.9%
This is huge news for Sonia Chang-Diaz, who appears to have a real chance at unseating Wilkerson. It’s also huge news for progressives tired of having to explain away bad behavior by people who advocate for positions they like.