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A poll released Sunday on the Boston mayoral race shows incumbent Thomas Menino with a commanding lead over his challenger, City Councilor Michael Flaherty.
The survey found Menino with a 52 percent to 32 percent advantage with just 16 days to go before the election.
The poll was conducted by the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire for The Boston Globe.
A sample of 553 Boston residents was selected at random between Oct. 10 and Oct. 15. Of the respondents, 438 said they were likely voters. The poll has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.
The center's director, Andrew Smith, said despite a small drop in support over the past six months, Menino's approval rating remains strong.
"I was surprised at how high Menino's numbers have remained in the face of a much more contested election than you have seen in the past." Smith said. "People still think the city is doing well and Menino is governing well in the light of the economic decline."
The poll does show Menino has been hurt by the investigation into e-mails deleted by one of his top advisers. Thirty-four percent of the survey's respondents said they are less likely to vote for Menino because of the e-mail controversy.
Flaherty has 65 percent support among residents who voted for Councilor-at-Large Sam Yoon in the preliminary election. Flaherty leads Menino in only one city neighborhood: South Boston, where he holds a 50 to 37 percent lead.
Overall, Smith calls Menino's lead significant at this point in the campaign. "Any time an incumbent has more than 50 percent coming into the final weeks of an election, they're in good shape for re-election."
This program aired on October 18, 2009. The audio for this program is not available.
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