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Gov's Race, Ballot Qs: A Mass. Poll Roundup

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Looking at the dashboard above, you'll see that we've been tracking the trends and several key stats from our own WBUR Tracking Poll: the governor's race, Democrat Martha Coakley and Republican Charlie Baker's favorable ratings, and the casino repeal ballot measure. But what are our fellow high-quality pollsters in Massachusetts finding about these and other races?

Below is the Huffington Post's aggregation chart for the Massachusetts governor's race. HuffPo's estimate, based on a weighting of the various polls of the race, gives Coakley a 61.8 percent chance of winning. Those figures will likely change when the new Western New England University poll (see below) is factored in.

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Apart from WBUR, there have been three other polls by Massachusetts pollsters released in the past week:

The Boston Globe (SocialSphere): The Globe's most recent weekly poll (topline), released Friday, found Baker with a 2-point lead over Coakley, 40-38. The previous week, the poll had Coakley up over Baker, 39-36. Baker appears to have been buoyed by an increase in his favorable rating; 51 percent of voters now have a favorable opinion of him, compared to 44 percent the week before. Coakley's favorable numbers stayed mostly flat over the two weeks.

The Globe also showed a sharp shift in opinion on the casino repeal ballot question. The prior week's voters favored keeping the law in place by a comfortable margin, 55-36. This week, more want to repeal the law, 48-44.

Since the primary, the Globe shifted from a rolling tracker, in which the current week's 300 interviews were averaged with the previous week's 300 interviews. Now, they are conducting a standalone poll of approximately 400 interviews each week. This allows for more “real time” feedback, since all of interviews in each week’s release were conducted that same week.

Boston Herald (Suffolk University): The Herald and the Globe may agree on very little, but their polls both show a tight race for governor. The Herald poll (topline), out just this morning, has Martha Coakley (44 percent) and Charlie Baker (43 percent) neck and neck. The poll found 8.5 percent of voters remain undecided. The Herald had not polled the general election match-up since early June, too long ago to allow for meaningful comparison.

On the casino repeal, the Herald found the "No" vote (to keep the current law) leading "Yes," 53-38, a similar to margin to our recent WBUR poll. They also polled the earned sick time ballot measure and found the "Yes" vote leading, 47-35. That's a much tighter margin than the 56-25 in favor of the measure that we found last week.

On the repeal of the gas tax indexing, the Herald found the No leading by 15 points, 36-51, a larger margin than the 39-45 we found 2 weeks ago. The Herald also polled the other statewide offices and found wide leads for the Democratic candidates across the board.

Western New England University: Also released today, WNEU found Baker leading Coakley 44-43, including undecided voters who were asked which way they were leaning. Both candidates have the strong backing of voters in their respective parties, but Baker enjoys a 24-point lead among unenrolled voters. Coakley leads with female voters by 11 points but trails with men by 16. The poll also asked about the race for U.S. Senate and found sitting Sen. Ed Markey leading his Republican challenger Brian Herr 56-34.

Note: National pollster Rasmussen also polled the governor's race last week and found Baker and Coakley tied at 42 percent each. Rasmussmen makes their topline and crosstabs available only to paid subscribers, so we do have not any information about their poll other than reported head to head result.

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