The Globe’s new poll shows a closer race than most other independent pollsters, though it still has Patrick ahead. As the title indicates, the poll shows Patrick up over Baker 43-39, with Cahill at 8%, Stein at 2%, and 8% undecided or refusing to answer.
Interestingly, the last time the Globe did a poll, it had the race much closer – it showed Patrick up only 1 point, 35-34. Then, as now, most other independent pollsters showed Patrick up 6-8 points. Hard to say whether there’s a systemic difference between what the Globe’s pollster does and what the others do, or if it’s just random fluctuation, or what.
In any event, other news from the poll does support another thing that other pollsters have been saying: Patrick’s fav/unfav rating is moving in a positive direction, and Baker’s is not. Patrick is now +6 (49/43) fav/unfav, while Baker is -2 (38/40), the first time the Globe has had him in negative territory. That’s a tough place to be when you’re behind with ten days to go.
Another important result: Baker is +14 (47-33) among unenrolled voters. That sounds like a big advantage – until you remember that, to overcome the Democratic advantage in party registration, he’ll have to do a lot better than that. In Scott Brown’s election, the poll that most nearly nailed the final result was Suffolk’s, released five days before the election. In that poll, Brown was ahead by a whopping 35 points (65-30) among unenrolled voters. So Baker’s got a long way to go to find a winning formula.
So, overall, this poll could have been better for Patrick, in that it could have shown him holding the same lead that every other independent pollster has. But it could also have been a lot worse: it could have shown him in negative fav/unfav territory, or Baker with a positive fav/unfav rating. And it could have shown Baker with the kind of advantage among unenrolled voters that he needs to win – but it didn’t.
Still, the poll shows that the race is close, and it could well tighten up over the next ten days. The worst thing we can do is become complacent. Patrick’s excellent campaign team has put the Governor in a position to win. Now it’s up to us. Do what you can.