Granted, the poll is within the margin of error, but Deval Patrick is looking really good at this point. As someone who has worked extensively with election polls in the past, I find SurveyUSA to be just about as good as any other polling company. I studied the 2004 Florida Senate race extensively as a case study and routinely used SurveyUSA polls, as well as Zogby and others. Generally, the only ones you really have to worry about are partisan organizations like Rasmussan and even then they're generally within 3-4% of the truth. All other polls will typically be within the margin of error.
SurveyUSA asked 426 likely Democratic voters, "If the Democratic Primary for Governor of Massachusetts were today, and you were standing in the voting booth right now, who would you vote for?"
36% said Patrick.
33% said Reilly.
19% said Gabrieli.
11% are undecided.
There are a few things we can quickly learn from this poll:
1. There's only 11% of the electorate who describe themselves as "undecided." That doesn't mean that the other 89% of the population won't change their mind, but it does mean that it will be at least a little harder to get them to do so.
2. This race is very, very close. The debates will be very meaningful.
3. While Gabrielli surely has stolen votes from Deval Patrick, he's taken far more away from Reilly. I've said this once and I'll say it again, Reilly's support is hollow. Gabrielli ran, in part, because of that - and I think Gabrielli is running with support of some key insider Democrats who were not pleased with Reilly's really bad week.
He was supposed to run for Governor; he was one of the few democrats in this state to be elected in a state-wide position and Attorney General is a legit stepping ground to Governor. However, just because it was his time, doesn't mean he should be the next democratic nomination.
Enough commentary. Here's SurveyUSA's full breakdown.
It's interesting to note that people with a college education or post-grad education support Patrick in higher numbers, as do people from Greater Boston and urban areas. I'm actually surprised that Reilly doesn't poll higher among Bostonians. While some would probably tell Deval to stick to the Greater Boston area, I think it's important that he branch out to Western Mass too, where he's down around 7%. Wait, didn't I say enough commentary?
In any event, keep up the good fight fellow Deval Patrick supporters. As promised, I'll post my full breakdown of yesterday's speech at UMASS Dartmouth later today, so everyone should check back in a few hours .