Massachusetts Governor: Patrick (D) 45%, Baker (R) 42%, Cahill (I) 5%

Rasmussen Report

Incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick remains slightly ahead of his Republican challenger Charlie Baker in the race for governor of Massachusetts.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Bay State finds Patrick earning 45% support, while Baker picks up 42% of the vote when leaners are included. Democrat-turned-Independent candidate Tim Cahill runs a distant third with five percent (5%), and five percent (5%)more favor some other candidate in the race. Two percent (2%) are undecided.

This race now moves from Leans Democrat to a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard.

Two weeks ago, when leaners were included, it was Patrick 44%, Baker 42% and Cahill eight percent (8%).  Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. The approach anticipates the fact that support for third party candidates typically declines as Election Day nears and voters begin to gravitate toward one of the major party nominees.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Patrick’s voters say they are already certain how they will vote in November, as do 64% of Baker supporters and 54% of those who favor Cahill.

If leaners are not included, Patrick captures 42% of the vote, while Baker earns 38% and Cahill 11%. In the previous survey, when leaners were excluded, Patrick led with 39% to Baker’s 34% and Cahill’s 18%.

Patrick, who is seeking a second four-year-term, has held a consistent lead in the race in surveys since March, but Baker has narrowed the gap in recent weeks.

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The survey of 500 Likely Voters in Massachusetts was conducted on September 15, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of Massachusetts voters currently approve of the job Patrick is doing as governor, while 50% disapprove.

Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters in the state hold a favorable opinion of Patrick, including 20% Very Favorable. Forty-six percent (46%) regard him unfavorably, with 29% Very Unfavorable. Only two percent (2%) have no opinion of the current governor.

Baker, a former health care executive and high-level state official, earns favorables of 50% and unfavorables of 34%, with Very Favorables of 13% and Very Unfavorables of 12%. But 16% don’t know enough about the GOP candidate to venture any opinion of him.

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