Two weeks ago, after the last round of polls on the Massachusetts Governor race began, I wrote:

...pretty much nobody seriously thinks that anybody is ahead by a comfortable margin in the Massachusetts governor's race.

Second: Every independent poll since Labor Day -- check that, since June -- has shown Deval Patrick leading with margins ranging from 1 percentage point (Globe/UNH) to 7, as in the Suffolk University poll that came out earlier this week.

Since most people expect undecideds -- and deserting Cahill supporters -- to break favorably for Baker, that pretty much means that if the election was held today we should expect to sleep late tomorrow morning, because it'll be a late night of watching close returns.

I updated that after all those polls came in, writing that:

At this point, I would have to consider it a surprise if Charlie Baker wins. I would say it's at least an 80% chance of a Patrick victory....

The four recent polls are remarkably consistent with one another. Averaging them out, you get Patrick 45%, Baker 39%, Cahill 8% -- and in every one of the four, Patrick's number is within 2 points of 45, Baker's is within 3 of 39, and Cahill's is within 2 of 8. There are no outliers.

All of that remains true following another round of polls released in the past 15 hours or so. Suffolk still has it at Patrick by 7; Rasmussen has the lead shrinking from 5 to 2 points; and State House News Service, which had Patrick ahead by 7 in late August, has him ahead by 3 now. Those three new polls average to Patrick 44%, Baker 40%, Cahill 7%, again with no significant outliers. Add in the mid-October polls from Globe/UNH (Patrick +4) and Western New England College (Patrick +8) and you have a bunch of polls within the margin of error of one another, all suggesting a small but definite Patrick lead -- with no real room for any significant change. [Update: Western New England College has released a new poll, with Patrick ahead by 5]

It's not that a Baker win is out of the question, by any means -- just that these latest polls reinforce my opinion that there is at least an 80% chance of Deval Patrick winning re-election.

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