Poll suggests Baker-Patrick gap narrows

By Brian Mooney
Globe Staff / June 24, 2010

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A new poll shows Republican challenger Charles D. Baker closing the gap on Deval Patrick, the incumbent Democrat, in the race for Massachusetts governor.

In the Rasmussen Reports survey released yesterday, Patrick logged 41 percent, Baker was at 34 percent, and Treasurer Timothy P. Cahill, an independent, was third at 16 percent.

A Rasmussen poll a month ago had Patrick ahead by 14 points, leading Baker 45 percent to 31 percent, with Cahill third at 14 percent.

The polls did not include a fourth candidate, challenger Jill Stein of the Green-Rainbow Party.

The latest survey of 500 likely voters was conducted Monday and has a margin of error of plus- or minus 4.5 percent.

Nine percent of those surveyed were undecided.

It was the first Rasmussen poll in which Baker was the choice of more than 30 percent of those surveyed.

Since the last Rasmussen poll, Baker has benefited from a television advertisement paid for by the Massachusetts Republican Party, and the poll showed Baker to be the choice of 42 percent, a plurality, of unenrolled, or independent, voters, who constitute more than half the electorate in the state.

Asked to rate Patrick’s job performance, 48 percent approved, the same as a month ago, and 50 percent disapproved.

A Suffolk University Political Research Center poll released about a month ago had Patrick leading Baker, 42 percent to 29 percent, with Cahill at 14 percent, Stein at 8 percent, and 7 percent undecided.

The May surveys by Rasmussen and Suffolk were conducted after the Republican Governors Association aired a flurry of television ads attacking Cahill and his poll numbers dropped.

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