Poll Shows Patrick Leading Gubernatorial Opponents, Despite Negative Ratings

Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:00pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Voters in Suffolk University/7News Survey Approve Legalizing Medical Marijuana
BOSTON--(Business Wire)--
Voters giving Gov. Deval Patrick negative marks (45 percent) have overtaken
those viewing him favorably (42 percent), yet in head-to-head matchups with
declared gubernatorial candidates, he comes out on top, according to a poll
released today by Suffolk University/7NEWS. 

Fifty-six percent of voters surveyed said that "someone else" deserves to be
elected, while 29 percent said Patrick deserves to be re-elected. 

Yet in a matchup with Republican Charlie Baker, CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health
Care, and state Treasurer Tim Cahill, who has declared as an independent, the
Suffolk University/7News poll shows Patrick on top with 36 percent of the vote,
compared to Cahill's 23 percent and Baker's 14 percent. Twenty-six percent were

When Republican Christy Mihos is substituted for Baker, Patrick's share of
voters remains the same, while Cahill takes 24 percent and Mihos, a Republican
businessman launching his second gubernatorial campaign, is preferred by 17
percent of voters. 

In a Republican primary pitting Baker against Mihos, Baker comes out on top with
43 percent of GOP voters polled, with Mihos taking 19 percent, and 38 percent

The majority of voters -- 54 percent -- said they do not think the state would
be better off with a Republican governor. 

The poll looked at their second-choice candidates, and regardless of whether
voters' first choice was Patrick, Mihos or Baker, a strong majority chose Cahill
as a second choice. Cahill voters would choose Baker as their backup. 

"If all three candidates stay strong, Patrick gets another term," said David
Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "This
may be the first time in Massachusetts history that a candidate for governor is
actually rooting for both opponents to remain strong and equal." 

Favorable ratings outweighed unfavorable for the Patrick challengers, yet name
recognition was relatively low. While 35 percent of voters view Cahill
favorably, 18 percent had not heard of him. Mihos had a 27 percent favorable
rating; 22 percent did not know him. Baker, a first-time candidate, was
unfamiliar to 45 percent of voters, with 15 percent viewing him favorably. 

The poll also looked at proposed ballot questions, with the following results:

* 81 percent approve of allowing medical marijuana sales and usage, with 17
percent opposed. 
* 59 percent favor repealing the sales tax hike, with 36 percent opposed. 
* 35 percent favor eliminating all tolls, with 60 percent opposed.

Voters also favor recognition of legal marriage between same-sex couples (52
percent). Twenty-eight percent prefer a civil union option, while 13 percent say
that same-sex unions should be prohibited. 

The statewide survey of 500 Massachusetts registered voters was conducted Sept.
12-15, 2009. Of those polled, 39 percent were registered Democrats, 15 percent
Republicans, and 44 percent independent. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent
at a 95 percent level of confidence. Marginals and 170 pages of cross-tabulation
data will be posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center Web site
- www.suffolk.edu/college/1450.html - at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 23. For more
information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310. 

Suffolk University, located on Boston`s historic Beacon Hill, with international
campuses in Madrid and Dakar, Senegal, is a comprehensive global institution
distinguished by the teaching and the intellectual contributions of its faculty.
Suffolk University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in
more than 90 areas of study. Its mission is to provide access to excellence in
higher education to students of all ages and backgrounds, with strong emphasis
on diversity. Learn more at www.suffolk.edu.

Suffolk University
Greg Gatlin, 617-573-8428
Mariellen Norris, 617-573-8450

Copyright Business Wire 2009

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