Barely a third of likely Democratic primary voters in his district say that Steve Lynch deserves re-election, according to April poll numbers obtained by the Boston Phoenix.
Lynch, a relatively conservative Democrat, has been criticized by some liberals for voting against the final health care reform bill earlier this year. In the past, he has also received criticism for his positions on social issues like abortion, and for his vote to authorize the war in Iraq.
However, he has never had difficulty winning re-election. This year, he is being challenged in the primary by Mac D'Alessandro, northeast political director for the Service Employee International Union (SEIU).
The poll, conducted on behalf of a third party prior to D'Alessandro's entrance
into the race, did not test any potential head-to-head match-ups. It found that 39 percent of likely primary voters hold a favorable impression of Lynch, with 29 percent unfavorable and 32 percent undecided. That is a low favorability number for an incumbent, among voters in his own party -- although not as bad as it might be in the current anti-incumbent mood.
Just 35 percent said that Lynch deserves re-election, with 33 percent saying it is time for somebody new, and 32 percent not offering an opinion.
"No doubt it's a volatile year, but we'll happily start with those numbers," says Lynch campaign spokesperson Scott Ferson.
D'Alessandro's campaign manager, Deb Shaw Shah [Oops!], says that she is "aware of" the third-party poll, but had not seen the numbers. She said the results are similar to the campaign's informal polling of delegates from the district to this weekend's state Democratic convention in Worcester.
The poll, conducted April 9th and 10th, had a sample size of 423 voters with a history of voting in similar primaries, and who described themselves as definitely or probably voting in the September Democratic primary. The margin of error is plus or minus 5 percent.