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 A new WBUR Poll finds Democrat Martha Coakley continuing to hold her position as the frontrunner in the race for Massachusetts governor. She leads in the primary election by a 45 to 14 margin over fellow Democrat Steve Grossman, with the remaining Democratic candidates trailing in the single digits. For the 2014 Massachusetts general election, Coakley leads over Republican front-runner Charlie Baker, 41 to 26. Baker, however, leads over all other Democratic contenders.

“The key to success for Coakley continues to be women voters, who give her a 24 point margin,” said Steve Koczela, president of The MassINC Polling Group which was commissioned by WBUR to conduct the poll. “It’s notable that this is the same margin to which Baker lost women in his 2010 gubernatorial bid against Deval Patrick.”

Both Coakley (2010 Senate) and Baker (2010 Governor) have previously been their party’s nominee for statewide office. Similar to a WBUR Poll released in January, Coakley ranks as the best known candidate overall. She garnered broad favorables and high name recognition, with 49% of the survey participants holding a favorable view of her versus 26% unfavorable. Voters are looking upon Baker favorably as well, after several years out of the spotlight in the private sector. Of the survey respondents, 31% expressed a favorable view of Baker compared to only 13% with an unfavorable view.

Among the other candidates, Democrat Steve Grossman garnered a 23% favorable viewpoint, while all others declared in the race at this point have relatively low name recognition although starting inch up into the higher single-digits.

The poll also explored opinions surrounding several senate races. The junior United States Senator from Massachusetts, Ed Markey, appears to have a strong re-election bid. He looks well positioned against all potential Republican challengers at this point. Survey participants did not recognize the names of his Republican challengers. Markey leads a “generic Republican party candidate” by a comfortable 50 to 29 margin, with a respectable 44 to 25 favorable to unfavorable ratio.

In New Hampshire, reception for a Scott Brown senate run is lukewarm. He has his lowest favorability on record, with 45 favorable compared to a significant 35 unfavorable. Voters are narrowly in favor of his run (40 for compared to 31 against). Even among Republicans, just 56% think it’s a good idea.

“It is still net positive, but a far cry from the heady days with percent favorables in the 50’s and 60’s for Brown,” said Koczela. “A large two-thirds (67%) say he is more closely associated with Massachusetts than New Hampshire, which isn’t helping matters.”

For the WBUR story on the poll, visit the website:

 About the WBUR Poll:

  • 90.9 WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station, commissioned the non-partisan MassINC Polling Group to survey 500 likely voters in the 2014 general election. Polling was conducted March 14-16, 2014.
  • Live telephone interviews were conducted via both landline and cell phone using conventional registration based sampling procedures.
  • The margin of sampling error for the full sample is +/- 4.4 percent with a 95 percent level of confidence.
  • For the complete WBUR Poll report, visit
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