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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ta ta Timmie

The latest Globe poll is less about the Charlie Baker "surge" and more about the Cahill Collapse.

Treasurer Tim may have expended all nine of his lives, dropping into single-digit Jill Stein territory as the Republican Governors Association attack ad campaign appears to have borne significant fruit.

Meanwhile Deval Patrick continues to hold a lead over Baker -- a 7-point margin consistent with a Rasmussen Poll earlier this week, ironically one which showed a far healthier Cahill. But with perception a key factor, the Globe's bad news is likely to dominate discussion far more than the wide spread in results, particularly since neither survey amounts to good news for the man running second a few months ago.

The Baker camp is sure to draw good news from their man's whittling of what had been a 14-point lead, even while 45 percent of likely voters still don't know who he is. That drop from more than 60 percent is no doubt a reflection of Baker's introductory TV ad buy.

But it's still somewhat intriguing that with just five months to go, an incumbent with high unfavorables can still hold any lead, particularly with the seeming demise of the third man in the race that many thought necessary for his survival.

The results also suggest a strategy for Patrick as he gears up for his own ad buys -- which I suspect he will hold off until September. Only 28 percent of respondents think he's brought change to Beacon Hill, half that who disagree. Ads focusing on pension and ethics reform as well as the transportation overhaul and standing up to police detail abuse could make a difference.

More important ground though lies in the economy. Signs that Massachusetts is doing better than the rest of the nation in digging out -- should they continue -- could blunt Baker's attacks. It's a basic fact that incumbent success rises or falls with the economy and Patrick could be a beneficiary.

As for Cahill? I don't see him quitting, at least not yet. He still holds a substantial war chest and could use his tailored for Tea Party issues to try and breath life back into his effort. But in the meantime, he is on life support and the former health insurance executive will no doubt be thinking about how the pull the plug on the thorn in his side.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I largely agree with you. I think Patrick's fortunes ride mostly with the state of the economy.

I don't think Baker has done enough to be an exciting alternative to Patrick on his own. He is at least so far looking like a safe alternative for those who are unhappy with Patrick, without being enough for people to vote for him for him on his own merits. He's going to have to become more interesting if he wants to win outright.

I'm not so sanguine about the state of the economy. I know there is a lot of positive news flowing around the newspapers - but I just don't see it on the ground. I think its all puffery that is going to collapse mid summer.

I think you should consider the demographics of Patrick supporters. Patrick supporters right now are largely retirees - that is people with less direct exposure to the economy. Those on the ground aren't buying all the economic 'good news'

June 27, 2010 9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the Globe's numbers on Jill Stein is that they hardly ever cover her, only mentioning her in passing like some weird oddity instead of a candidate for governor. So their numbers on her are a little suspect. She's a good candidate who's really worth a look, despite the fact that the Globe proves over and over it gushes for Democrats.

June 28, 2010 12:48 PM  

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