Mihos-Patrick Matchup likely 2010 according to Recent Polls
A newly releasedpoll (marginal’s here) by Suffolk University is accompanied by the headline: “Patrick Leads Opponents Despite Negative Ratings”, however, the conclusion is a bit premature given the early nature of the race (primary is not set until Tuesday, September 14th, 2010), and the overall disapproval of the Governor’s job performance to date in that same poll.
In reviewing the marginals, the University, once again, polls 8% on campus, with the balance of the geographic areas of Massachusetts being either over represented or underrepresented (county by county census data) The sample of registered voters, once again, under represents the “unenrolled” – an ever growing portion of the electorate – currently approximately at 51% (based on Massachusetts Secretary of State Voter Registration as of 2008). Therefore, the poll, for all intents and purposes, is more entertainment at this juncture.
The Govenor, who only 29% of those polled believe should retain his seat, appears to have unusually high favorability ratings – 42% favorable/45% unfavorable and 11% undecided (1% never heard of him). Tim Cahill, Democrat turned Independent, 35% favorable, 12% unfavorable, 25% Undecided, 18% never heard of him. Republican, Charlie Baker, and fares poorly overall, 45% never heard of Baker, of those who have, 15% favorable, 11% unfavorable and 30% are undecided. The one populist candidate, running as a Republican, is Christy Mihos, 27% favorable, 23% unfavorable, 29% undecided, and 22% of those polled never heard of him.
Given this scenario and the fact that independents vote in the Massachusetts Primary (given enough interest in a given race, and one must understand that there is a great interest in the race), even among non-political junkies: Mihos would trounce Baker in the primary, leaving a three way race between Cahill, Mihos and the Incumbent, Patrick. Historically, the independent candidate does not fare well in Massachusetts, Mihos understands this quite well, running in 2006 in a three way match-up between Patrick and Kerry Healy, Mihos took 3% of the vote – Healy, weakened by the Republican brand, negative campaign ads, and lack of grassroots support, lost by over 21% To those in the state that blame Mihos for Healy’s loss, a basic math review may be in order.
Therefore, a race between Mihos and Patrick is likely – with Patrick most definitely (according to this poll) taking a loss. This is based on the pivotal question and result: Does Patrick deserve to be re-elected: a measly 29% of those polled (included 8% of university students/professors) believe that he does.
One has to understand that some polls are designed and commissioned in order to achieve results, which may be given to the press, which then broadcasts the “approved results”; never bothering to investigate the marginal’s where the real story lays. One of the most amusing aspects of this poll is a question: “Do you favor the Commonwealth of Massachusetts adding a recall vote where
citizens could remove an elected official when he or she is underperforming?” – the results: 54% yes, 38% no (the percentage of Democrats polled), with only 8% undecided on this issue. If that were, in fact, available to the state’s electorate, one would bet the house that many of those sitting on Beacon Hill would find themselves out on the street.
However, caution is in order, as again, it is still early in the season, with a primary almost a year away – but one can predict, given previous polls by Suffolk (marginals here) that the scenario of a Patrick /Mihos matchup would result.