24 October 2006

Suffolk Poll on Patrick and Healey

Since Deval Patrick's Democratic primary win last month, there have been nine polls. In seven of them, Patrick has polled over 50%, the two in which he did not were Suffolk University polls. Well, today, Suffolk released their latest and he's now broken 50% in this poll as well: 53% to be exact. In those same nine polls, Lt. Gov and Republican candidate Kerry Healey has never garnered more than 34%, and has polled as low as 24%. Though the previous three polls had shown her with 33-34% support, today's drops her down to 26%. Subtract that abysmal smattering of support from Patrick's numbers and you are left with 27%. Patrick leads by a margin wider than Healey's total support. That's ... um ... good.

Also in the realm of good news from this poll, the public isn't buying Healey's negative campaign. According to the Suffolk press release: "61 percent of voters say the recent tone of her campaign made them less likely to vote for her." As if this weren't enough, her already horrific favorability numbers have also taken a dive. 53% view her unfavorably, the same percentage favoring Patrick in the election, while only 30% viewed her favorably. That's a -21% rating among people who had an opinion of her. Patrick, meanwhile, enjoys a robust 60% favorability, with only 24% against: that's a positive 36%.

David Paleologos, who ran the poll, all but calls the race for Patrick:
"It’s too late for Healey to go informative; there aren’t enough undecided voters for her to go comparative; and she can’t continue to go negative,” said Paleologos. “Her aggressive style lost her too many political chess pieces. The next two weeks may make for a painful endgame marked with a dwindling army and just a few squares to move to."
I'm not quite as willing to announce Patrick's win as a foregone conclusion, but I will absolutely rejoice in the failure of any negative campaign. Healey has not said anything substantive about her own agenda to govern (likely because there is no there there), and she chose instead to descend into some of the worst gutter politics I've ever seen --- and I've spent election seasons in Ohio.

I am ecstatic that the people of Massachusetts have emphatically rejected the disgusting tactics on which the Healey campaign has been run, and run into the ground. It's a victory for Deval Patrick, for the Democratic Party and for Massachusetts. I hope this signals the end of campaigns run on attacks and more like the positive and substantial one Patrick has run. Of course, that would leave Republicans with little to say.

IMMEDIATE UPDATE!: Hey, look at that, another new poll! CBS4 reports these results from their own poll, conducted by SurveyUSA: "In the survey of 623 likely voters taken earlier this week, Patrick garnered 56% support, easily outdistancing Healey's 31%." John Keller sounds a different, more cautionary note than Paleologos, partly because he has a debate to pimp:
"This race isn't over, not with Healey's financial resources, polls showing a majority of voters in agreement with her on key issues, and two televised debates still to come. But she must immediately find a winning issue where she can take him on while simultaneously projecting a more positive image, a tricky task under any circumstances. And she must roll out this new strategy starting Wednesday night in the CBS4 debate, which could prove her last best chance to turn what looks like a pro-Patrick tide," said Keller.
I agree it's not over, if only because of Healey's massive bankroll. Still, she's tried hard thus far and Patrick retains a majority of voters, Healey can't even garner a third, and the result is a margin of over 20 points. In short: good news.


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