Tuesday, March 07, 2006

New Poll Shows Mihos Competitive

There's a new CBS4/SurveyUSA poll on the governor's race out (via CBS4's brand new Keller@Large blog). There are a whole lot of interesting issues with it, but the most striking one is how high independent-turned-Republican Christy Mihos polls. Here are the high-level results:

Kerry Healey35%
Deval Patrick30%
Christy Mihos20%

Tom Reilly36%
Kerry Healey31%
Christy Mihos22%

I don't really have enough time to dig deep into the results, but here are a couple of quick things about the poll. First of all, according the blurb, "when Reilly is the Democrat, Reilly leads among women by 15 points. When Patrick is the Democrat, Patrick trails among women by 1 point, a 16-point difference." I'm not sure that this gender gap is something that we'll see on election day, after everything plays out, but it's not great news for Deval Patrick. That said, you have to remember that this poll is of all registered voters, and not of likely voters. Figuring out who is likely to vote is, of course, as much art as science, but this early out, it's hard to predict what will happen on election day when you include people who are less likely to be paying attention to the race. That is, name recognition plays a much larger role now before the campaigning has begun in earnest. That Mihos was able to make such a strong showing even under these conditions is very interesting.

The experts remain to be convinced of Mihos' chances, however. Even some of his own friends have doubts, according to the Herald:
"We want our independent candidates to be mavericks, but not too maverick," said political consultant and Mihos friend Scott Ferson. "Ross Perot was a breath of fresh air - until he was crazy."