With just a day to go before the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial election, Republican Charlie Baker led Democrat Martha Coakley in two Massachusetts bellwether areas, although the margins are very close in both, according to Suffolk University/Boston Herald bellwether polls taken in Waltham and Gloucester over the weekend.
In New Hampshire, two Suffolk University/Boston Herald bellwether surveys found incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, leading former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, a Republican, in the midterm election for Senate.
In Waltham, businessman Baker led Coakley, the attorney general, 46 percent to 42 percent, with United Independent Party candidate Evan Falchuk (3 percent) and independent Jeffrey McCormick (1 percent) trailing. Five percent were undecided and 3 percent refused a response.
In Gloucester, Baker led Coakley 45 percent to 44 percent; Falchuk received 5 percent; and McCormick and independent Scott Lively each were at 1 percent, with 4 percent undecided.
“Charlie Baker is leading, but it is very close,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. "The race comes down to voting booth decisions by undecided voters on Tuesday and Falchuk voters who are fighting to establish the United Independent Party in Massachusetts with three percent of the statewide vote. For Coakley, urban turnout in areas like Boston and Springfield is critical."
Both Waltham and Gloucester have correctly predicted the last three winners in governor’s races--in 2010, 2006 and 2002. The cities’ tallies have closely mirrored the statewide vote, coming within 3 percentage points of what each candidate received in those three elections.
New Hampshire races
In Manchester, N.H., Shaheen led Brown 47 percent to 40 percent, with 12 percent undecided and 1 percent refused. In Epping, Shaheen led Brown 44 percent to 41 percent, with 14 percent undecided and 1 percent refusing a response.
“Scott Brown must win big in both Hillsborough and Rockingham counties to prevail statewide,” said Paleologos. “Manchester, which is in Hillsborough County, and Epping, which is in Rockingham, are two small indicators suggesting that Shaheen is not only holding her own, but she could also win some of these towns.”
Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, also was leading her Republican opponent Walt Havenstein by 12- and 10-point margins in Manchester and Epping, respectively.
Both New Hampshire towns have correctly predicted the winners and have been within 3 percentage points of the statewide vote in the 2010 statewide elections for U.S. Senate and governor as well as the 2006 and 2002 elections for governor.
The Manchester and Epping bellwether IDs each included 300 likely voters randomly selected from a list of voters who indicated that they were very likely to vote or had already voted. The New Hampshire field was conducted Thursday, Oct. 30, through Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014. The Waltham and Gloucester bellwether IDs each included 300 likely voters randomly selected from a list of voters who indicated that they were very likely to vote or had already voted. The Massachusetts field was conducted Saturday, Nov.1, through Sunday, Nov.2, 2014. The margin of error for each of the four bellwethers is +/- 5.65 percent at a 95 percent level of confidence. Bellwethers are designed to predict outcomes, not margins. Results will be posted at noon Monday, Nov. 3, on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310.