A new poll out from Suffolk University shows Governor Patrick holding roughly the same margin he’s had over Charlie Baker for several months now, with Tim Cahill in the teens, and Jill Stein in low single digits. In other words, not much has changed. Here are the numbers, with the previous Suffolk poll from May 25 (in parens).
Now (May 25)
Patrick: 41% (42%)
Baker: 34% (29%)
Cahill: 14% (14%)
Stein: 4% (8%)
Undecided: 6% (7%)
So despite millions of dollars spent by the Baker campaign, as well as Washington-based groups like the Republican Governors Association, basically nothing has changed. Patrick’s lead has generally been 6-8 points, depending on the poll, for months, and that’s still where it is today. (While it’s true that Rasmussen’s recent polling has shown the race within a couple of points by including confusingly-defined “leaners,” I don’t see any reason to think that those polls are more reliable than Suffolk’s. Fivethirtyeight has not been updated to include the two or three most recent polls, so his numbers aren’t helpful right now.)
I recall a bit of hoopla over Jill Stein’s unexpectedly high 8% showing back in May. I always thought the 8% number was an outlier, and this new poll suggests I was right. I doubt that Stein’s campaign has lost half of its support since May; I just don’t think she ever had anything like 8% of likely voters in her camp. I also think that Rasmussen’s oddly low numbers for Cahill are suspect; Suffolk’s numbers in the teens seem more likely to me.
Suffolk’s wretched website still has not been updated to include this poll, so for now I’m just going on what’s in the Herald reports. I predict that, when they’re available, the details will show that dangers signs persist for Patrick: fairly high unfavorables, etc. So nobody should be especially comforted by this poll. The good news, though, is that so far the Patrick campaign has been anything but complacent, and all indications are that its aggressive approach will continue, as it should.
As for Charlie Baker, well, the Herald story says it best:
it’s panic time for the former Harvard Pilgrim Health Care CEO.