Hardly discussed, but still one of the most closely watched, the Massachusetts Governor’s race continues to heat up as incumbent Governor Deval Patrick (D), currently the only African American state executive, maintains a slim lead over Republican challenger Charles Baker, 43% to 39%. Both independents and third party candidates, Timothy Cahill (I) and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein, absorb 10% of the electorate.
The latest poll was conducted by The Boston Globe, which showed Patrick ahead by only one point a month ago. This is an improvement for the embattled, very pro-President Obama Governor campaigning in an anti-incumbent environment. And the GOP candidate is dealing with high unfavorable ratings. Reports Frank Phillips in The Boston Globe:
Patrick’s standing among voters, which had dropped dramatically over the last couple years, has recovered, with the poll indicating for the first time since December 2008 that more people view him favorably than unfavorably. Forty-nine percent of respondents said they viewed him positively, with 43 percent expressing a negative opinion.
By contrast, Baker’s unfavorable rating has increased sharply, from 25 percent to 40 percent, since last month, while his favorable standing went from 31 percent to 38 percent.
The poll is the first since Baker entered the race last year in which more respondents said they viewed him unfavorably than favorably.
RealClearPolitics has Patrick with an average 6 point lead as of October 22nd. A recent Western New England College poll had Patrick ahead by 8 points.
[Baker’s] down in every reliable poll – even the Globe, which had the race tied a month ago, now shows Patrick with a modest lead. His message is not resonating, and he has voluntarily tied the anvil that is [controversial Congressional candidate] Jeff Perry around his own neck as he tries to swim toward Election Day. But there was always [the upcoming] televised debate – his last, best chance to get Deval Patrick to lose his cool, or commit a gaffe, or do something that would shake up the race.