Deval Patrick is holding on... Charlie Baker is coming on... Christy Mihos is barely on... and Tim Cahill needs to turn it on.
The biggest winner in our poll is Republican Charlie Baker.
He now seems set to cruise by Christy Mihos in the GOP primary..(47% to 17%) and is showing the most growth of any of the gubernatorial candidates.
29 percent "deserves re-election" is a rough number three months into an election year. Perhaps the worst news for Patrick lies in that second bit, though - the result showing only 22 percent of voters will let him get away with his preferred mode of 'leadership' (finger-pointing).
Meanwhile, there are ominous signs for Patrick. Only 29 percent of likely voters said they thought the governor deserved re-election, compared to 60 percent who wanted to give “someone else” a chance. Equally grim for Patrick is a job approval rating of just 35 percent, and 68 percent who view him as a “weak leader.”
Using the sour economy as an excuse won’t fly with voters, the survey shows. Only 22 percent agreed that Patrick is a “victim of the bad economy.”
Looks like that Superbowl ad didn't do much for Tim Cahill. The Treasurer got some exposure earlier in the month when he made much of a Superbowl ad buy. No, he didn't spend millions - broadcasters reserve a slot for cut-rate local market ads, and Cahill snatched it up. The ad was intended to convince voters that the decade-long Beacon Hill Democratic fixture has transmogrified into a genuine "independent." This is a tough sell for Cahill, first because of his history as a statewide office holder, and second because of the long and very public evaluation of his chances in a Democratic primary that immediately predated his change of registration. Voters who are paying attention aren't so easy to fool. They can tell the difference between opportunism and ideology. In any event, the Suffolk poll shows the voters aren't buying what Treasurer Tim is selling, as noted by the Herald in a separate article titled "Analyst says Timothy Cahill's suffering from 'lack of definition':
Being viewed as a "true Democrat" is hardly the worst thing that can happen to a statewide candidate here in Massachusetts. This year, though, being viewed as a Beacon Hill Democrat is probably something to be avoided. Hence, Cahill's continuing effort to flee his true identity.
State Treasurer Timothy Cahill may have made a grand exit from the Democratic Party, but that bold move has done little to boost his independent street cred.
A new Suffolk University/7News poll shows only 26 percent of likely voters view Cahill as a “true independent.” That compares to 47 percent who view him as a “true Democrat,” and 26 percent who were undecided.
Meanwhile, Christy is... still running. In the November Suffolk poll, the mercurial Christy Mihos held a small lead over Charlie Baker among Republican primary voters. A few months later, without having run a single ad, Baker has surged past Christy to a 47-17 lead among those same voters. In a question asking Scott Brown's voters their preference for Governor, Mihos didn't even register (43% said Baker, 28% Tim Cahill, 11% Patrick, 2% Jill Stein of the Green Party, and 16% are undecided, as reported by Andy Hiller). Ouch.
Ironically, in a month that has seen his campaign bounce a $20,000 check and lose his celebrity consultant and top fund raising draw, the news that there are still 17% of Republican primary voters willing to support him might well be the best news Christy has heard in weeks.
UPDATE (2/27): Mihos's spiral accelerates.
The exodus continues. The Globe gives front page space this morning to the accelerating phenomenon of state legislators making the decision to leave office rather than face the voters this year. Yet another day of front page treatment for the Beacon Hill Democrats' long series of embarrassing scandals:
Republicans are expected to seize on ethics scandals that have forced several Democrats out of the Legislature in recent years. Former senator Dianne Wilkerson is awaiting a federal trial on charges that she took bribes, and former senator James Marzilli stepped down after being accused of accosting several women. Salvatore F. DiMasi, the former House speaker, was indicted in a federal corruption probe after his resignation in January 2009, just three weeks after his Democratic colleagues reelected him speaker during an ethics scandal.Well said. And as the Herald noted earlier this week, the DiMasi scandal is likely to continue to burn its way through the Beacon Hill Democrats all year, as his trial approaches and a long line of party luminaries are summoned to testify. A lot of legislators will have cause to deeply regret their sheep-like votes to reelect DiMasi as Speaker back in January - especially the freshmen who had the dubious honor of making that vote their first.
DiMasi is accused of taking money from a software firm he helped to win a state contract. Republicans were thrilled at news yesterday that DiMasi’s trial is expected to begin in September, during the campaign.
“Any incumbent who voted for Sal DiMasi has a target on their back,’’ said Jason Kauppi, a Republican consultant. “Scandal was everywhere around him. They still voted for this guy. Someone has to take responsibility for condoning the culture of corruption.’’