Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick still holds a modest lead in his bid for reelection in Massachusetts’ three-way race for governor.
Patrick has 41 percent support, while Republican Charlie Baker picks up 34 percent of the vote, his best showing in the contest to date, according to a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of likely voters in Massachusetts.
Democrat-turned-independent Tim Cahill continues to run third with 16 percent, while 9 percent remain undecided in the June 21 survey of 500 likely voters.
A month ago, Patrick outdistanced Baker 45 percent to 31 percent, with State Treasurer Cahill getting 14 percent support. That marked the first time Patrick had broken out of the 30s.
Baker’s support ran as high as 39 percent against Patrick in a two-way match before Cahill’s entry into the race in October.
Cahill was elected treasurer as a Democrat but quit the party last summer. Before a drop in support last month, he had earned from 19 percent to 25 percent of the vote in previous surveys.
The candidates participated in the first debate of their hotly contested race last week.
Forty-eight percent (48 percent) now approve of Patrick’s performance as governor, unchanged from the previous survey, while 50 percent disapprove.
Cahill has failed to make inroads among members of his former party. Just 42 percent of unaffiliateds prefer the Republican.
Although most voters nationally favor repeal of the new healthcare law, Massachusetts voters are evenly divided: 48 percent favor repeal, and 48 percent are opposed. This includes 36 percent who strongly favor repeal and 35 percent who strongly oppose it.
Both nationally and in Massachusetts, support for repeal of the health care law has shifted little since the bill was passed in March.
Almost two-thirds of those who strongly favor repeal support Baker, while 75 percent of the strongly opposed back Patrick.
About 45 percent of all voters in the state favor passage of an immigration law like Arizona’s in Massachusetts, compared with 55 percent nationally. Almost 40 percent oppose such a law, and 17 percent are undecided.
Baker earns 57 percent support from those who favor a law like Arizona’s. Patrick picks up 68 percent of the vote from those who oppose a law like that in the Bay State.
Fifteen percent of Massachusetts voters say they consider themselves members of the tea party movement, while 69 percent do not. This is nearly identical to findings nationwide.
Just over 70 percent of tea party members favor Baker, while 51 percent of non members support Patrick.
Just 13 percent of Massachusetts voters have a very favorable opinion of the current governor, while 24 percent view him very unfavorably. Meanwhile, 13 percent view Baker very favorably, with 12 percent, very unfavorably.
At this stage of the campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the very favorable and very unfavorable figures more significant than the overall favorability totals.
Just 48 percent of voters in the state now support offshore oil drilling, down from 62 percent in April before the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
Two-thirds oppose such drilling, and 20 percent are not sure.
Just over 55 percent of Massachusetts voters approve of how President Obama is doing his job, down seven points from a month ago. And 43 percent disapprove. This is considerably higher approval than Obama earns nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
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