Thursday, August 03, 2006

SUSA Poll Trend Lines

Blue Mass. Group points to the August SUSA poll, the first one of its kind since the tragic ceiling collapse in the I-90 tunnel. Deval Patrick still leads with 35%, followed by Chris Gabrieli with 30% and Tom Reilly with 27%. The race appears to be tightening slightly from last month. Here are the trendlines:

One interesting thing to note about the SUSA poll: aside for the month of May, shortly after Gabrieli went on the air, Deval Patrick has stayed at almost the same level of support since March -- between 35 and 37 percent. That is not completely surprising to me, but you would think after all this time there would be some movement in one direction or the other. As for the other candidates, Chris Gabrieli has to be happy with his continued upward trend, and Attorney General Tom Reilly's downward slide seems to have leveled off for the time being.

By the way, CBS4's Jon Keller makes the following statement on his blog:
In the last few days, I've had the chance to discuss the Democratic gubernatorial primary with two experienced political operatives, one a liberal Democrat, the other a conservative Republican, whose opinions I respect. Both have said the same thing -- they think Deval Patrick may already have the votes in hand to win this race. Even a math idiot such as yours truly can do the arithmetic -- in a three-way race, 33% plus one vote wins. Today's CBS4 Fast Track is just the latest in a series of polls to show Patrick at or over the 33% mark, and the man has yet to spend a dime on TV ads.
It's not quite that simple; just getting a third of the vote does not guarantee a win. No matter how big the field is, the only way to be absolutely certain of victory is with 50% + 1. For example, let's say that Patrick gets his 33.4% of the vote, the remaining 66.6% need not be distributed equally -- Gabrieli might get 35.3% with Reilly getting 31.3%. In a race this tight, those numbers are not far fetched, either.

Put another way, the general is going to be a three way race. Does anyone really think that the winner in November will only need 33% of the vote?