Globe Twist

The Boston Globe is doing its best to distort the meaning of a new Suffolk University poll on the Governor's race.

A new poll indicates that Governor Deval Patrick is widening his lead over his Republican opponent, Charles D. Baker, in the gubernatorial contest.

While the poll does show Deval with a bigger lead than last week's Rasmussen poll, the two polls are not comparable.

The 7NEWS Suffolk University poll of 500 registered voters has Patrick leading Baker 41 to 34 percent, with independent candidate Timothy P. Cahill, the state treasurer, at 14 percent, and Green-Rainbow candidate Jill Stein, with 4 percent, WHDH Channel 7 News reported last night. Six percent of voters were undecided.

The Rasmussen survey showed a tighter race between Deval and Charlie, with Tim having drifted down into low single digits.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Bay State finds Patrick earning 45% support, while Baker picks up 42% of the vote when leaners are included. Democrat-turned-Independent candidate Tim Cahill runs a distant third with five percent (5%), and five percent (5%)more favor some other candidate in the race.

So - Suffolk sees a 7 point race with the independent candidate at 14%, and the Rasmussen poll shows a 3 point race with Tim at 5%. Why the difference?

According to data compiled by the Gallup Poll, in 13 midterm elections between 1950 and 2006 for which relevant data were available, the average gap between the preferences of registered and likely voters was 5 points. Only once, in 2002, did the gap reach double digits. In that year Democrats had a 5 point lead among registered voters but Republicans led by 6 points among likely voters.

There is a potential hazard in depending on polls that filter out unlikely voters - get out the vote efforts often deliver people to the polls who don't appear likely to vote, which can distort the poll. But in a low turnout, mid-term election, roughly half of registered voters are not going to be taking part in the election, which means half of those surveryed in the new Suffolk poll are potentially distorting the results.

A majority of respondents said Patrick will do the best job of improving the economy and creating jobs, but most also said he is the candidate most likely to raise taxes, according to WHDH Channel 7 News.

The poll also indicates that if Cahill were not in the race, Baker would get 45 percent of Cahill’s votes and Patrick would get 34 percent.

What is the Globe failing to point out? Some very bad structural signs for Deval.

Do you believe that Deval Patrick deserves to be reelected, or is it time to give someone else a chance?

Reelected - 39%    Someone Else - 52%

Do you approve or disapprove of the job Deval Patrick is doing as Governor?

Approve - 44%   Disapprove - 46%

And which candidate is most likely to raise taxes?

Deval Patrick - 48%    Charlie Baker - 7%  Tim Cahill - 5%

There are a number of statewide ballot questions this fall. One such
 question would reduce the state sales tax from six and one quarter percent to
 three percent. At this point, do you support or oppose the proposal to cut the
 tax?
  Support - 51%   Oppose 42%

There's also some stuff in the poll that's favorable for Deval in the poll, and Charlie still has some work to do, but 42% of those polled say they don't know enough about Charlie to decide in his favor. Amongst voters who do know Charlie well enough to have an opinion, the Republican wins.

Last year congress passed the American Recovery Act also known as the
 stimulus bill to jumpstart the economy. Has the American Recovery Act been
 good for the country?
  Yes - 45%  No - 42%

The paper tried to trick voters into thinking that Scott Brown wasn't going to win last January when a Rasmussen poll showed him within 9 points of Marsha Coakley, which did her no good. It's not likely to work in this case, either.

As you may know, Massachusetts law now permits marriages between two
 individuals of the same sex. Do you personally know anyone who has entered
 into a same-sex marriage?
  Yes - 49%  No - 49%

The Globe is being misleading when it says that Deval is widening his lead.