Massachusetts Archive:

Friday, September 22, 2006

MA-Gov: Memo to Republicans - Be Careful What You Wish For

Posted by James L.

From Hotline on Call (Sept. 18):

Massachusetts Democratic gubernatorial candidate Chris Gabrieli plays the victim in a spot his campaign released Friday -- a day after Republican candidate Kerry Healey shot an attack his way before Tuesday's intense Democratic primary. [...]

And playing into the theory that Healey's initial attack was a sign that her campaign is more concerned about facing Gabrieli than state Attorney General Tom Reilly or Deval Patrick in the general election, the response ad quotes a Washington Post columnist who supports the idea.

If that was the intent of Healey's strategy, she must be happy with the way the result is unfolding: the Boston Globe reported Sunday morning that its new poll shows Patrick has opened a 21-point lead over Gabrieli and Reilly.

Um, better think again (SUSA, likely voters, May in parens):

Deval Patrick (D): 64 (34)
Kerry Healey (R): 25 (32)
Christy Mihos (I) 5 (17)
Other: 4
Undecided: 2 (17)

40 freaking points. Healey and her merry gang of MA state Republicans figured that progressive rising star Deval Patrick was an outsider who was not ready for prime time, and therefore beatable. Not so fast. Patrick rode a wave of positive campaigning and progressive advocacy that captured the hearts of the Democratic primary electorate despite being outspent by his wealthy establishment opponents. Looks like Massachusetts likes what it sees, too.

Good luck making up those 40 points, Kerry.

Posted at 06:57 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Late Night Poll Round-up: MA-Gov, VA-Sen, GA-Gov, Pew and Gallup

Posted by James L.

MA-Gov: Buzz candidate and former Clinton Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Deval Patrick is now pulling significantly ahead of Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly in the Democratic primary for Governor, while businessman Chris Gabrieli (who has pumped $2.5 million into a hefty TV ad campaign) is threatening to leave Reilly in third place if this trend continues (likely voters, May in parens).

Deval Patrick (D): 31 (20)
Tom Reilly (D): 25 (35)
Chris Gabrieli (D): 22 (15)
MoE: ±4%

Obviously a big part of Patrick's bounce has to do with snagging the MA Democratic Party endorsement at the recent state convention, but Patrick is also pushing himself as a fresh face in a state full of tired, entrenched incumbents. In a hypothetical general election match-up, however, all three candidates lead Republican Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey by wide margins.

Massachusetts has been reluctant to give the Democrats full control of every lever of power in the state, hence the lack of a Democrat in the Governor's mansion since Dukakis. But after seeing Romney veto bills in favor of embryonic stem cell research and emergency contraception (both vetoes were overridden by the MA legislature) in order to prove his conservative cred for a possible '08 White House bid, it seems like the good people of Massachusetts are tired of their Governors playing petty political games with the veto button. It will be a pleasure to watch Deval Patrick's campaign in the weeks and months ahead.

VA-Sen (SUSA, likely voters, no trendlines):

Jim Webb (D): 37
George Felix Allen, Jr. (R): 56
Gail Parker (I): 2
MoE: ±4.3%

It's not too surprising, given that Webb just came off a nasty primary that he won by just a few points, and that Allen has already been saturating tthe airwaves with TV ads. Given that Webb has a lot of ground to cover, including introducing himself via TV and radio (his campaign only aired a few radio spots during the final days of the primary due to funding constraints), there's clearly potential for him to make this race a lot tighter, given the proper funding.

GA-Gov: Oh right, there's a race here. (Strategic Vision [R], likely voters, May in parens)

Mark Taylor (D): 44 (39)
Sonny Perdue (R-Inc.): 50 (51)

Cathy Cox (D): 40 (42)
Sonny Perdue (R-Inc.): 53 (50)
MoE: ±3%

Strategic Vision is a Republican polling firm, and I'm not terribly comfortable in treating their work on the same par as SUSA or Gallup. Still, as far as the Georgia Governor's race is concerned, the pickin's is slim. The same poll shows Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor edging Secretary of State Cathy Cox by 46-42, a significant swing from last month's 42-47 margin in Cox's favor. I'm not sure why Taylor has caught a break this month, as I have not been following this race closely, but even the locals are scratching their heads.

Finally, two new polls by Gallup and Pew seem to contradict certain theories bouncing around the blogosphere that Democrats are weary and dispirited, and won't turn up at the polls this November.

First, from Gallup:

Americans are paying unusually close attention to the congressional elections in November, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. They are more inclined to deliver significant gains to Democrats than in any year since Republicans won control of the House and Senate in 1994.

Those surveyed are more concerned about national issues than local ones — a situation that favors Democrats hoping to tap discontent over the Iraq war and gasoline prices — and prefer Democrats over Republicans on handling every major issue except terrorism.

President Bush looms as a significant drag: 40% of Americans say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports Bush. A fifth say they are more likely.


• Democrats are particularly engaged: 56% say they are "more enthusiastic about voting than usual," the highest level recorded since the question was first asked in 1994. Among Republicans, 43% say they are more enthusiastic than usual.

• Americans are increasingly likely to identify themselves as Democrats. Including those who "lean" to one party or the other, 55% call themselves Democrats; 38%, Republicans. That's the biggest edge for Democrats since 1998. By 54%-38%, the registered voters surveyed say they'd vote for a Democratic congressional candidate over a Republican one if the election were held today.

Et cetera. And this comes from a Democratic base that STILL isn't particularly enamored with congressional Democrats.

And, from Pew Research, more of the same:

With less than five months to go before Election Day, Democrats hold two distinct advantages in the midterm campaign that they have not enjoyed for some time. First, Americans continue to say they favor the Democratic candidate in their district, by a 51% to 39% margin. Second, the level of enthusiasm about voting among Democrats is unusually high, and is atypically low among Republicans. In fact, Democrats now hold a voter enthusiasm advantage that is the mirror image of the GOP's edge in voter zeal leading up to the 1994 midterm election. [emphasis added]


The heightened Democratic enthusiasm is particularly notable among liberal Democrats, 53% of whom are more interested in voting this year than usual. The partisan gap in enthusiasm is even visible among independents - those who lean Democratic are considerably more eager to vote than those who lean Republican. Overall, 47% of voters who plan to vote Democratic this fall say they are more enthusiastic about voting than usual, compared with just 30% of voters who plan to vote Republican.

The higher level of enthusiasm among Democratic voters is linked to two underlying attitudes: anger at the president and optimism about Democrats chances in the fall. Nearly two-thirds (64%) of those who plan to vote for the Democratic candidate in their district think of their vote this fall as a vote against George W. Bush. These anti-Bush voters are significantly more motivated to vote - 52% say they are more eager to vote this year than usual, compared with 39% among those who say Bush is not a factor in their vote.

There's tons of juicy data and analysis to pore over in both the Gallup and Pew studies. But I'm going to leave the rest up to you night owls.

Posted at 01:51 AM in 2006 Elections - House, 2006 Elections - Senate, Georgia, Massachusetts, Virginia | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Thursday, February 16, 2006

MA-Gov: Reilly and Patrick Tied

Posted by DavidNYC

From UMass Lowell (likely voters, Sept. in parens):

Patrick: 40 (18)
Reilly: 40 (49)
Undecided: 20
(MoE: ±5%)

Lotta movement for Patrick over the past half-year. But can you believe that Mass. hasn't had a Dem governor since - wait for it - Michael Dukakis? I sure as hell hope that changes this year, but unfortunately, this poll also shows a much tighter general election race - much tighter than other polls, that is. Reily beats Kerry Healy just 43-42, and Patrick is at 40-38. A Suffolk Univ. poll from just a couple weeks ago gave Reilly a 15-point lead over Healy (and Patrick a seven-point margin). What gives?

Posted at 12:46 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (9) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

MA-Gov: Reilly Has Lead Over Patrick

Posted by DavidNYC

Independent primary polls seem to be all too rare. Fortunately, Suffolk University has given us one for the Dems running for MA-Gov (registered voters, no trendlines):

Tom Reilly: 39
Deval Patrick: 30
Undecided: 31
(MoE: ±4.9%)

Suffolks says that Reilly once had a forty-point lead, but that was a year ago, so I'm not including that as a trendline. Both men beat the likely GOP candidate, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, though Reilly's margin is quite a bit bigger. He wins 47-32, while Patrick wins 39-32.

However, Reilly has much higher name recognition (35-33 favorability, and an additional 25% who've heard of him but have no opinion), while Patrick is at 19-11-33. In other words, only 8% of respondents said they've never heard of Reilly, while 38% said that about Patrick. If Patrick can close that name reco gap, then Reilly is probably in trouble - something which will no doubt delight many netroots activists.

P.S. Props to Suffolk for releasing extensive crosstab info. Also, good work on framing the name rec questions - I like being able to know the split between "no opinion" and "never heard of the guy."

Posted at 10:46 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Monday, November 28, 2005

MA-Gov: Healy (R) Looking Weak

Posted by DavidNYC

Mitt Romney is running for president. He's not running for re-election as governor of Massachusetts. Everyone seems to agree on that.

Here's something you probably didn't realize - or at least, haven't contemplated for a long while: Massachusetts has not had a Democratic governor since Michael Dukakis left office in 1991. Hard to believe for a state where both senators and ten of ten congressmen are Democrats.

But a new poll puts wind in the sails for long-suffer Massachusetts Dems. Romney's likely successor, Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, is getting badly beaten by all comers (registered voters, mid-Sept. in parens):

Reilly: 56 (49)
Healey: 25 (28)

Galvin: 49 (43)
Healey: 28 (32)

Patrick: 44 (31)
Healey: 36 (32)
(MoE: ±5.1%)

The Dems are Mass AG Tom Reilly; Mass Secretary of the Commonwealth (aka Secretary of State) Bill Galvin; and Deval Patrick, former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Clinton. And just also be aware of the fairly high margin of error.

Healey's approval is 32-33, with 37% saying they don't know who she is. Unfortunately, State House did not ask for approval ratings (or plain name reco) for the Dems, but I'm gonna guess that they aren't any higher than Healey's - if anything, they may be lower (especially Patrick's). You can't get cocky here, of course - I though Bob Reich would beat Romney three years ago, simply because of how Democratic the state is. But at least in the early going, Mass Dems might have a legit chance to retake a statehouse that has been out of our grasp for almost fifteen years.

Posted at 11:56 AM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Comments (11) | TrackBack (0) | Technorati

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Nuclear Option: Senator Ted Kennedy

Posted by Bob Brigham

Senator Kennedy rocks, check out STOP IT NOW:

Senator Frist and the Republican Party believe they have absolute power to change our system of checks and balances and challenge our independent judiciary.

Their drastic and destructive path has only one destination: the Supreme Court.

Tell Senator Frist to stop it now before it reaches the pinacle of our independent judiciary:

I signed. Crystal Patterson, the Senator's Online Director, has an important diary on Daily Kos: ALERT: Senator Kennedy To Speak on the Floor at 2:45.

Posted at 03:22 PM in Activism, Massachusetts, Nuclear Option | Comments (1) | Technorati

Monday, May 09, 2005

MA-Gov: Open Seat of Governor in 2006

Posted by Bob Brigham

Via Kos, when Novak gets the leak, I pay attention:

Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in a recent secret Washington meeting with national political operatives signaled he probably will forgo seeking re-election in 2006 in order to pursue the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

Open seat in 2006?

Romney did not flatly reveal his future intentions, according to sources who were present. But he did say a presidential race would be difficult if he were concentrating on a 2006 campaign for governor and were still in that office in 2007-08.

The early evening meeting was held at the Caucus Room, a Washington restaurant popular with politicians and lobbyists. It was put together by Ron Kaufman, longtime Massachusetts member of the Republican National Committee and an intimate adviser of the senior George Bush.

Kos says:

This would be ideal. An open governor's race that Democrats should finally be able to take, and a primary bid doomed from the outset. As if Republicans will nominate a governor of Massachusetts.

Indeed. Demcratic candidates for Governor include Ex-U.S. Attorney Deval Patrick, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, and 2002 candidate/ex-state Senator Warren Tolman.

Posted at 12:41 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts, Open Seats | Comments (1) | Technorati

Friday, April 15, 2005

MA-Gov: Deval Patrick First Democrat for Governor

Posted by Bob Brigham


BOSTON - The top civil rights enforcer in the Clinton administration announced Thursday he will seek the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts governor in 2006. Deval Patrick cited what he said were weaknesses in the economy, business development, public education and health care.

"We don't suffer from a lack of ideas, but from a failure of leadership," Patrick said in a statement. "Not only are we losing jobs and population, but we are losing faith in ourselves."

Good quote, but the one people will be talking about was in the Globe

Patrick, 48, the first African-American candidate for governor in the state's history, also took a swipe at his probable Democratic primary opponent, Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly, who he said represents the old politics and has a record of caution and an insider focus.

That earned him a headline with the word, "outsider" -- but it was clear it was his word not the Globes.

Here is the early contrast:

On education, he said he wanted a public system, from kindergarten to college, second to none. He said he wants smaller classes, after-school programs, to ensure school safety, and to ''honor teachers as professionals."

He said he views charter schools as a fine idea, but only as laboratories for innovation that can be transferred to public classrooms. He said he supports the MCAS test, but said it should be only one part of a more complete evaluation of students.

On social issues, Patrick said he opposes the death penalty and strongly supports same-sex marriage, positions likely to appeal to the state's liberal Democrats. Reilly supports the death penalty and, while he at first opposed same-sex marriage, has recently supported it. They both oppose Governor Mitt Romney's initiative to roll back the state income tax.

Patrick stopped short of saying he would sign a tax bill to pay for initiatives. Instead, he said he wanted to challenge voters to decide how to pay for programs and other increases they want: either with new taxes or cuts in other areas of the state budget.

Secretary of State William Galvin is also considering a bid.

The AP say's Patrick has already donated $100,000 and the Globe cites unnamed sources saying he could go as high as $500K.

My early view is that he has a good thing going every time people use his name and Obama's in the same sentence.

But one factor with even more potential is that he had a glowing diary from Fredrick Clarkson on Daily Kos. If Patrick can ignite the netroots, this will get interesting.

WEBSITE: Deval Patrick

Posted at 09:06 AM in Massachusetts | Comments (1) | Technorati

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

MA Dems look outside of city limits

Posted by Bob Brigham

Michael Kunzelman reports for the Metrowest Daily News:

Democrats must win over unenrolled, suburban voters if they hope to regain control of the governor's office in 2006, a panel of party leaders concludes in a report unveiled last night at a Democratic State Committee meeting in Marlborough. [...] Jane Lane, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Democratic Party, said Democrats already have borrowed a page from Romney and the Republicans' 2002 playbook. For November's legislative races, the Democrats concentrated on wooing unenrolled voters in the suburbs. And the result, Lane said, is that none of the Legislature's incumbent Democrats who ran for re-election lost their seats. "It was a ground game, a grassroots effort, on our part," she said.

The Massachusetts Governors race is going to get interesting, fast.

Posted at 02:51 PM in 2006 Elections - State, Massachusetts | Technorati

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