Boston Globe: Healey Down By 25 Points
According To The Globe, Patrick's Already Won
According to today's Boston Globe, Democrat Deval Patrick is 25 points ahead of Republican Lt Gov Kerry Healey. So is the race already over?
Not even close, for three big reasons:
--- The poll was taken just after Patrick's huge Democrat primary victory and before any real examination of his record had occurred.
--- Keep in mind, this is a Boston Globe / WBZ - TV survey, so take with a grain of salt any such effort that comes from two of the area's most liberal news outlets. The Globe has been an enthusiastic supporter of Patrick to date.
--- And, as even the article admits, Patrick's extreme- left views are at odds with a majority of Bay State voters.
From the piece:
Democrat Deval L. Patrick holds a commanding lead over Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey in the race for governor, even though a majority of voters oppose his positions on immigration, income taxes, and crime, a new Boston Globe/CBS4 poll indicates.
Fifty-five percent of voters surveyed supported Patrick, while Healey, the Republican nominee, was backed by 30 percent. Independent Christy Mihos received 7 percent, and Green-Rainbow Party candidate Grace Ross got 1 percent. Six percent said they were undecided.
Healey's battle to close the gap between her and Patrick will be made difficult by her low personal popularity with the voters. Forty-two percent of those surveyed had an unfavorable opinion, while 40 percent viewed her favorably . By comparison, Patrick, fresh off his huge primary win on Sept. 19, received a rating of 63 percent favorable, 16 percent unfavorable .
Governor Mitt Romney, whose voter appeal has eroded significantly in the last year, also seems to be a drag on Healey's candidacy. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said Healey's role as Romney's lieutenant governor would make them less likely to vote for her, while 25 percent said they would be more likely to support her, and 24 percent said it made no difference.
Romney was viewed favorably by 40 percent of those surveyed and unfavorably by 48 percent, the worst rating since he took office in early 2003. In March, 49 percent of voters surveyed by the Globe's pollster gave Romney a favorable rating, and 41 percent viewed him unfavorably.
Asked about the direction of the state, 57 percent of the voters surveyed said they believe Massachusetts is seriously off-track, and 34 percent feel the state is headed in the right direction. In March 2005, a Globe poll suggested that 47 percent said the state was on the right track and that 40 percent thought things were headed in the wrong direction.
Andrew E. Smith, the director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, which conducted the poll, said Healey's best hope of overtaking Patrick is to describe him as an ultra liberal out of touch with voters' concerns. But he said that may difficult because the electorate views him as a positive, optimistic person.
Smith is wrong here: most of the electorate hasn't much of an impression at all of Patrick, an unknown in Massachusetts before a year or so ago. And it's hard to believe that terribly rigid opinions of Healey have yet formed, either.
Next, the Globe spells out where Patrick's extreme views are decidedly out of touch with Massachusetts voters:
Healey, while facing an uphill climb to catch Patrick, can find some good news in the poll, which suggested that voters agree with her on several of the hot-button issues she has highlighted as she tries to draw distinctions with Patrick.
For example, she has criticized Patrick for supporting a proposal to grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants and for backing in-state tuition rates at public colleges for undocumented immigrants.
The poll suggests that voters oppose the tuition break for undocumented immigrants by a margin of 59 percent to 30 percent. Sixty-three percent opposed giving undocumented immigrants driver's licenses, and 29 percent supported the idea.
Healey also is in line with voter sentiment on another issue aimed at non citizens: requiring people to provide photo identification in order to vote. Sixty-eight percent supported the idea, and 24 percent opposed it.
Voters also sided with Healey on proposals to limit employers' access to criminal background information that is now available under the Criminal Offender Record Information law. Patrick has said he would support efforts to limit access, siding with the advocates for ``CORI reform," who argue that a criminal record unfairly haunts people who want to make a clean start.
Patrick's position -- which Healey said is proof he is ``soft on crime" -- got scant support from voters. Twenty-three percent backed the call to limit access to criminal records, while 64 percent agreed with Healey that the records should be available.
Healey had a narrower advantage on the issue of taxes. Asked whether they support a rollback of the state income tax rate, which was approved by voters in 2000, 50 percent of those surveyed said they favored the rollback and 40 percent opposed it. Support for the rollback is widespread across the category of voters. Republicans and Healey's voters are the strongest backers.
The result: this race is still up for grabs. It's up to Healey to get a lot more aggressive, very, very quickly.
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Patrick image: Boston Herald