Tuesday, April 11, 2006

SUSA Trends Bad News for Reilly

Jon Keller points to the internals for a new CBS4/SurveyUSA poll showing Deval Patrick slightly ahead in a three-way gubernatorial primary between him, Attorney General Tom Reilly, and newly minted candidate Chris Gabrieli. This is the first time that I can recall where Patrick leads in a field of three candidates. Here are the overall numbers:

Deval Patrick36%
Tom Reilly33%
Chris Gabrieli19%

I did a crude analysis of the results, and just subtracted the current numbers from the March poll and the news is even worse for the Attorney General. Despite the entry of Chris Gabrieli, Deval Patrick made statistically significant gains among 18 to 34 year olds (14 point swing), blacks (10 point swing), and those earning less than $80,000 per year (8 points for <$40K, 9 for $40-$80K). Tom Reilly polled the same or worse than March in across almost every demographic or ideological group. To be fair, Reilly did make gains among hispanics, but only six hispanics were counted in the poll, so that result is mostly meaningless. The only conclusion you can draw from this poll is that Gabrieli is taking more votes from Reilly than Patrick. This confirms what I've pretty much though all along. After all, the reason that Gabrieli entered the race in the first place was because a group of people were convinced that Reilly had damaged himself so much in January and early February that they needed to find someone else they thought had a chance to win. Now that Gabrieli is officially running, those people who were nervous about Reilly seemed to have jumped ship for the time being.

The trends are bad for Reilly. He was consistently leading the three-man race last year when Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin was still in the running and Patrick was struggling in the single digits. What was a sure thing as recently as late January (before the St. Fleurasco) has now become a wide open race.