Friday, July 29, 2005

State House News Poll: Now With Charts!

The July numbers for the bi-monthly State House News Poll are out and they're quite interesting. The big story is that Governor Romney really is out of step with the majority of Massachusetts residents on stem cell research and emergency contraception. In addition, Romney's favorability ratings continue to outpace support for re-election. That is, his favorability rating stands at 55%, but the highest he polls against any challenger is 49.9% (against Deval Patrick).

Here are the head-to-head poll results, with the May results in parentheses.

If the candidates in next year's general election for governor were Mitt Romney / [CHALLENGER] and the election were being held tomorrow, for whom would you vote??
ChallengerRomneyDon't KnowNeither
Bill Galvin40.2%(41.91%)48.8%(40.7%)7.3%%(11.2%)3.4%(6.2%)
Deval Patrick35.1%(33.6%)49.9%(45.8%)9.5%(12.9%)5.4%(7.6%)
Tom Reilly47.1%(48.3%)44.0%(37.8%)6.2%(7.7%)2.7%(6.3%)
The bad news is that Mitt Romney's numbers have gone up across the board while the Democratic challengers' numbers have stayed roughly the same. Tom Reilly is still ahead, but his lead is now within the margin of error. Bill Galvin doesn't do quite as well as Reilly, and where he was beating, or at least tied with Romney, he now does measurably worse. Deval Patrick's own numbers remain roughly the same as in past polls, but here Romney gets his highest percentage of any of the head-to-head matchups. Here's a graph of how the Democrats have been doing against Romney:
I'm not sure why Reilly's numbers would have gone down in May. It might just be a blip or it might have been because that was around the time that he was getting a lot of criticism for his odd stance on Mitt's death penalty bill (I'm against it but I'd sign it). In any case, If his July numbers are accurate, it looks like he's recovered from this.

The most troubling thing that I see in this poll is the Democratic poll numbers for Deval Patrick, Mike Capuano and even Bill Galvin. Here's the breakdown of the percentage of Democrats voting for the candidate:
Tom Reilly76.2%
Bill Galvin61.4%
Deval Patrick55.4%
Mike Capuano54.5%
I have to imagine that a lot of this is a function of name recognition at this point, but if the Democratic candidate can't convince more than three out of four Democrats to vote for him, we may as well hand over the keys to the corner office right now and save ourselves a lot of time and money.

Of course, the above numbers may become meaningless if, as looks likely, Governor Romney declines to run in 2006. So, here are the poll results for the Democratic primary, along with the time series results for March and May:
Tom Reilly43.8%32.6%41.5%
Deval Patrick10.2%5.8%3.2%
Bill Galvin8.1%7.0%10.5%
Mike Capuano5.5%NANA
Chris GabrieliNA5.8%5.1%
Don't Know30.2%44.2%36.4%
Some of the names have changed, but here's a chart with the three expected candidates:
These numbers still look relatively flat, although if the trends continue with a few more data points it will be bad news for Galvin and good news for Patrick. That being said, this continues to be Tom Reilly's race to lose and, as he is quick to remind us, he hasn't lost one yet.