New Mass Poll

There's a new poll out in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race. Deval is up 3 points, with a 4.5% margin of error.

Incumbent Democrat Deval Patrick remains slightly ahead of his Republican challenger Charlie Baker in the race for governor of Massachusetts.

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. Two percent (2%) are undecided.

But these aren't the important numbers.

This race now moves from Leans Democrat to a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Gubernatorial Scorecard

Two weeks ago, when leaners were included, it was Patrick 44%, Baker 42% and Cahill eight percent (8%).  Leaners are those who initially indicate no preference for either of the candidates but answer a follow-up question and say they are leaning towards a particular candidate. The approach anticipates the fact that support for third party candidates typically declines as Election Day nears and voters begin to gravitate toward one of the major party nominees.

Here are the important numbers. First, 16% of voters say they don't have an opinion yet, favorable or otherwise, of Charlie Baker. Second, 21% of those who say they're voting for Deval are not certain that's how they'll vote. As Tim Cahill fades and Charlie emerges, the race is just starting to take shape.

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Patrick’s voters say they are already certain how they will vote in November, as do 64% of Baker supporters and 54% of those who favor Cahill.

Missing from the poll is another major key - Republican voters, nationally, are dramatically more motivated to go to the polls than Democrats.