Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Deval Patrick's amazing rise

If there was a 'comeback player of the year' award in American politics it would be hard to give it to anyone other than Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. In January of 2010 we found him with a 22% approval rating and 59% of voters disapproving. Our newest poll in the state finds those numbers almost completely reversed with 54% of voters now saying he's doing a good job to 36% who dissent. That's a 55 point climb in Patrick's net approval over the last 17 months and he's the only politician who's ever seen that kind of resurrection in his image during the time we've been polling on a national basis.

Patrick won reelection by 6 points in November despite his putrid approval numbers earlier in the year and he's just continuing to get stronger. Voters say that if they went to the polls now 54% of their votes would go to Patrick compared to only 32% for GOP nominee Charlie Baker and 9% for independent Tim Cahill. Those numbers represent a 16 point climb from his actual margin of victory.

2 big takeaways from Patrick's numbers:

-It really would be in the best interest of Democrats if he rethought his decision not to run for the Senate next year. With the Democratic field so unsettled and no field clearing candidates in the race or likely to join it any time soon, Patrick really has months to change his mind and run a perfectly viable campaign. We didn't test him head to head against Scott Brown on this poll, but his approval numbers are better than Brown's and although my guess is that the incumbent would still lead in a head to head I think it would be pretty close.

-North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue's people should be talking to Patrick's people to figure out what the heck he did to turn his numbers around so dramatically. Obviously Massachusetts and North Carolina are very different states and it's going to be easier for a Dem to get things turned around in the Bay State. But there have to be lessons in Patrick's amazing turnaround that Perdue could apply as she deals with chronically poor approval numbers heading into a tough fight for reelection.

Full results here


Tim said...

Interesting. I hope another polling firm does a poll re: Deval patrick vs Scott Brown.

This should be a strong case for Dems to retain senate majority. DSCC should be hitting up the phone to Patrick's office.

Anonymous said...

It's TIM Cahill, of course. And Brown IS vulnerable- but Gov. Patrick is an executive kind of guy who would not be happy in a legislative role: he'd be making an extreme personal sacrifice to embrace even the possibility of going to the Senate at this stage in his career.

Anonymous said...

I think this poll was taken at a bad time in terms of getting an accurate read on DP's overall approval. If I'm reading the dates correctly, this poll was taken the weekend after the Tornadoes. So the approval numbers here may just reflect people's good opinion of Patrick's handling of the Tornado rather than his overall job performance; a "disaster bounce" if you will. So I think this one should go on the fast-track for a re-poll in a few weeks.

I Am Iron Man said...

Retaining control of the Senate is absolutely essential for the Democrats and Scott Brown's seat seems like an important part of that equation... they should definitely be going after it.

Anonymous said...

Wow....good poll numbers for a Democrat in Massachusetts

This is unbelievable in a state where they re-elect Congressman who have affairs with male pages, let a Congressman get away with saying that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are solvent two weeks before they implode and continued to re-elect a Senator kicked out of college for cheating and left a girl to die when driving drunk..

Patrick even tried to give a good lady friend of his a $175,000 a year job that had been vacant for 12 years.

Let's face it Massachusetts voters are mostly cops, fireman, teachers and other public servants who get paid off via jobs to vote Democratic.

All this and you think it's time to unseat Scott Brown...most of you need to go to confession next week for lying.

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