The latest on the presidential horse race.

Shock Poll: Republican Charlie Baker Takes Lead Over Martha Coakley in Deep Blue Massachusetts

Boston Globe, 9/21-9/23
Massachusetts Governor

  • Baker (R): 40
  • Coakley (D): 38

Though traditionally known as a blue state, four of the Massachusetts’ last five governors were Republican and current outgoing Governor Deval Patrick is the first Democrat to head the state since Michael Dukakis retired in 1991.

A new surprising Boston Globe poll suggests that the next governor may just be a Republican as well, with Charlie Baker taking a lead over Democratic opponent Martha Coakley.

The poll, conducted between September 21 and September 23, sampling 400 likely voters, found that Baker leads Coakley by 2 percent after trailing her for the vast majority of the campaign.

While it’s a surprise to see Baker atop the poll because Coakley has led all but one poll going all the way back to last year, the poll trends have shown this race tightening for a while.

Up until July, Coakley saw almost nothing but double-digit leads. Earlier this month, the Boston Globe showed Coakley up by just 3 percent while a Rasmussen poll released several days later had the race tied, 42-42.

Coakley remains the slight favorite based on past polling trends, and RealClearPolitics now has her polling an average of 3 percent ahead of Baker, but the Republican certainly has plenty of time to solidify a lead.

This is an interesting race because while other Democrats around the country are increasingly dragged down by President Obama’s approval ratings, the President is fairly popular in Massachusetts. Of the poll respondents, 47 percent approve of the job he’s done on the economy and healthcare, compared to 45 and 46 percent who disapprove, respectively.

On the other hand, just 15 percent of respondents said they approve of the job Republicans in Congress are doing.

Perhaps this has nothing to do with Democrats and Republicans. Perhaps Martha Coakley is just a terrible candidate. She’s already proven as much by losing Ted Kennedy’s vacant Senate seat to Republican Scott Brown in 2010 and the voters clearly didn’t want Brown who was easily unseated by Elizabeth Warren just two years later.