Patrick’s favorability rating has dropped sharply over the past seven months, with just 36 percent of respondents holding a favorable opinion of him, and 52 percent viewing him unfavorably. As recently as December, 64 percent of voters viewed him favorably.
The governor’s job-approval rating, sampled after Patrick scored several major legislative victories but also approved $1 billion in new taxes, is even worse, with just 35 percent of respondents approving and 56 per cent disapproving of his performance. Just as ominously, 61 percent said the state is on the wrong track, compared with 31 percent who said it was headed in the right direction, down from 44 percent in December – numbers reminiscent of voters’ mood before Patrick captured the corner office from Republicans in 2006.
This part is nothing short of shocking:
Without Cahill in the race, the poll indicates, Patrick runs behind or even with the two potential Republican contenders. The newest GOP entrant, former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care chief executive Charles D. Baker, tops Patrick 41 percent to 35 percent in a head-to-head matchup. Baker beats Patrick even though more than six in 10 respondents said they knew little about the Republican.
The other Republican candidate, former Turnpike Authority board member Christy Mihos, runs about even, getting 41 percent to Patrick’s 40 percent, even though nearly two in five respondents said they viewed Mihos unfavorably.
Two out of five people view Mihos unfavorably, but two out of the remaining three are willing to vote for him?
No wonder the governor is holding so many town meetings.
One of the most damaging findings in the poll for Patrick was that most Massachusetts residents do not believe he has brought change to Beacon Hill, a core tenet of his 2006 gubernatorial race and a key aspect of his political persona.
This poll is almost too negative. Maybe a rainy June made people cranky.
Massachusetts residents also apparently believe that one-party rule on Beacon Hill has not worked. After 16 years of Republican governors, Patrick’s 2006 victory brought Democratic dominance to the State House. But a plurality of voters surveyed – 46 percent – prefer divided government; even 28 percent of Democrats said so.
One more tidbit that surprised me.
A majority of respondents – 57 percent – said they support Patrick’s plan for casino gambling in three locations in Massachusetts, a slight increase from previous Globe polls. The public overwhelmingly wants resort casinos, which Patrick has pushed, over slot machines at racetracks, which House Speaker Robert DeLeo strongly favors. Sixty percent of respondents favored resort-style casinos, compared with 12 percent preferring slots at racetracks.
The rainy June, again? I wish I had a casino to visit.
I have to assume this will make the governor think about his options.