MA-Gov: Patrick Has 7-Point Lead Over Baker

Suffolk (9/14-16, registered voters, 5/20-23 in parentheses):

Deval Patrick (D-inc): 41 (42)

Charlie Baker (R): 34 (29)

Tim Cahill (I): 14 (14)

Jill Stein (G): 4 (8)

Undecided: 6 (7)

(MoE: ±4.4%)

Suffolk is one pollster that I trust to get Massachusetts right (other states, not so much, but recall that they nailed the MA-Sen special election’s 5-pt margin and even some individual bellwether towns). As in previous polls, they find Deval Patrick in fairly durable shape against Charlie Baker, but that’s mostly because of an assist from Tim Cahill, an ex-Dem who’s a wedge right through the anti-Patrick vote. The 7-point margin is a little bigger than the average of all polling (although that average is pretty heavily Rasmussen-based).

Two words of caution, though: one is that among voters who actually know both candidates (16% of voters still haven’t heard of Baker), Baker leads 39-38. The other is that this is a registered voter model, which may be worth a few points to Patrick. However, here’s a hypothesis I have: there’s probably less enthusiasm gap here than in a lot of other states. Recent polling has shown much less of an enthusiasm gap in solidly blue states (California, Washington) and red states (Kentucky, Texas, Louisiana) than in the swingiest of states (Wisconsin, Ohio, Pennsylvania). Guess which category Massachusetts falls in?

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