Friday, March 12, 2010

Rasmussen – Massachusetts Ramps Up Independence – Trouble for Patrick as well as Congressional Incumbents

Pollsters - Massachsuetts 2010 and 2012? image: blog optimism for America

A new poll released by Rasmussen on March 8th, reveals that the Commonwealth has no longer is blindly following a liberal bent; rather, the independent streak appears to be growing stronger. In this particular poll the crosstabs are revealing - the Gubernatorial Election is tight, with Patrick leading with 35%, GOP Frontrunner, Charlie Baker with 32% and Democrat turned Independent Cahill down to 19% - the kicker: 14% of those polled are currently undecided. The undecided’s, incidentally, are often aligned with name recognition and or a favorable rating, which in Baker’s case, a startling 28% of those polled have no opinion (meaning they have not heard of or have sufficient knowledge of Charlie Baker). In a match-up with Patrick, only 13% view him very favorably, while Cahill comes in at 10% and Baker at 17%. The Governors current overall approval (includes strongly and somewhat approves) is at 33%. With independent candidates coming out strong “out-of-the-gate” and normally finishing in the 6 percentile, the 3 point gap that Separate Baker and Patrick should close quickly over the summer and into the fall, as long as Baker’s staff makes sure that his name becomes “household” across the Commonwealth. That 28% could conceivably push Baker ahead of Patrick in double digits.

Political campaigns are all about branding – 1 the brand of the Candidate and, fortunately for Baker, the brand of the Political Party in general. If Baker introduces himself to the Commonwealth, remains upbeat in any advertising, he will minimize the threat from Cahill, and Patrick will be, as they say, history.

The Kennedy state no more – 58% of those polled feel that the Kennedy dynasty is over, and the health care issue is still a driving force in the Bay State, with 31% strongly approving and 40% strongly opposing, on this issue Bay Stater’s know where they stand, only 2% were “unsure” (refused). When adding in those on the “somewhat fence”, the support Obama’s Health Care plan jumps to 46% and those that oppose to 52%. What one must keep in mind – this is Massachusetts. The Presidents Handling of Health Care Reform: 19% believe he’s done an excellent job, while 44% believe he has done poorly. That is stunning. Additionally, Massachusetts voters believe that the Insurance Companies would do a better job that the Federal Government, 50% to 42%.

Obama’s overall approval rating in the Commonwealth (includes the somewhats), is at 44%! With a disapproval rating of 46%, which tells us that Massachusetts has joined the rest of the nation (Gallop latest Obama approval: 46%).

All that aside, those who are considering a Congressional run, or are now invested in a run against a current Congressional representative, get a serious boost – 38% of those polled feel that the current representative in Congress deserves to be reelected – 38% feel that they do not. This particular question has those undecided’s in-line with Baker’s numbers: 24% are unsure. (Branding). When asked if the nation would be better off if the incumbent were to be defeated – 53% of Bay Stater’s believe that the entire Massachusetts Democrat Controlled congressional legislation should be sent packing, while 25% support keeping them in office, and 22% remain sitting on the fence. In reviewing the data on both previous poll questions, the percentage of those sitting on the fence is a 2 point difference. This means that those Republicans or Independents running in each district better start knocking on doors and introducing themselves; to everyone in the district. Instead of holding barbeque's and cocktail parties, it would behoove those that want a clear shot at making history, to get in the trenches and get to know their future constituents.

Almost every single congressional district in Massachusetts is in play, and two in particular, the 2nd Hampden and the 4th, are going to be the districts to watch. Those candidates that have an independent streak, will perform the best in these two districts, right now, that’s Jay Fleitman in the Hampden 2nd, and Earl Sholley in the 4th (excellent review here: at Massachusetts Election 2010.

In conclusion, Massachusetts which has always been dubbed “Safe Democrat” and the “Bluest State” is changing. That change comes from the growing number of independents, or registered unenrolleds, who will vote for the person, not the party – it does not matter that Democrats currently outnumber Republican’s, it matters which candidate (or incumbent) is able to convince the majority of voters that they deserve the nod. In 2010, Massachusetts, against all odds (referring to the media’s take) may indeed shock the nation once again.

1 comment:

Chuck said...

I think an incumbent being only 2 points ahead in March is a bad sign. This means that they are in danger of losing before their opponent has even begun campaigning against them.

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