Monday, March 07, 2005

State House Poll Internals

I finally got a chance to look at the internals (reg req) for the State House News poll I mentioned last week. What was missing from the discussion then were the numbers for Bill Galvin and Deval Patrick in head-to-head matchups with Romney. The news is even worse for the Governor as Galvin seems to have a slight edge (though well within the 4.8% MOE) and Patrick still holds him under 50% despite having only slightly better statewide name-recognition than yours truly. Here are the raw percentages:

If the candidates in next year's general election for governor were Mitt Romney and [CHALLENGER] and the election were being held tomorrow, for whom would you vote?
ChallengerRomneyDon't KnowNeither
Bill Galvin44.1%41.2%12.5%2.0%
Deval Patrick32.9%45.5%14.5%6.8%
Tom Reilly49.1%39.6%8.7%2.4%
Of course, maybe this poll is skewed toward Democrats. There was a lot of discussion last year about national polls that oversampled Republicans; maybe this poll has similar problems in reverse:
PartyPollAll MA
Other Party2.6%0.8%
The state party registration percentages are current up to October, 2004 (PDF). Unfortunately, I couldn't find any exit poll numbers from 2002 to determine what percentage of each party actually voted then, but the registration numbers do show that this poll is pretty much dead-on in terms of partisan demographics.

Also included in the poll was a question on the 2006 Democratic Primary:
Among the expected candidates for governor in next year's Democratic primary will be ... If the Democratic primary for governor were being held tomorrow, for whom would you vote?
Tom Reilly41.5%
Bill Galvin10.5%
Chris Gabrieli5.1%
Deval Patrick3.2%
Don't Know36.4%
Reilly beats all candidates in all regions of the state, but does best in the Northeast (Middlesex and Essex). Galvin, for some reason, does best in Worcester & Western Mass, despite being from Brighton. Patrick has his best showing in Norfolk County, where he has his home in Milton. Of course, polls this early are mostly a reflection of name-recognition -- a question which was not asked of the potential Democratic gubernatorial candidates. The 36% undecided means that there's still a ton of room for Galvin and Patrick (and Gabrieli if he's interested) to improve. Clearly, though, Reilly has the momentum right now, as well as the support of a plurality of Massachusetts Democrats. As the primary gets closer and more polls showing Reilly beating Romney come out, we may see a snowball effect as Democrats get in line behind the guy they think can win.