Polls, polls, polls:
Interesting numbers streaming in from all directions. The ones that hit Hub Blog right come from the Herald, which this morning is reporting that Shannon O’Brien is slowly opening a gap
between herself and Mitt Romney. Shannon leads 44-38 margin, with an 8-point margin of error, according to the Herald. But a poll taken by Harvard's Institute of Politics and New England Cable News over the weekend shows the race a virtual dead heat, with O'Brien getting 41 percent and Romney 39. Split the difference, and you still have a close race, with Shannon clinging in front. The Herald says 12 percent of the electorate is still undecided.
But what really interested Hub Blog were the numbers for the third-party (and fourth-party and no-party) candidates. In particular, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate who many (including Hub Blog) have predicted could be a spoiler in the race, is pulling in 4 to 5 percent in both polls. Those aren’t impressive numbers. And they’re positively disappointing for Mitt because the Herald gives a few extra details to Stein’s numbers: 5 percent of Democrats supported Stein, 4 percent Republican and 3 percent independents. Four percent of GOP voters are backing Stein? Upon reflection, it makes sense, since Massachusetts’ Republicans are among the most liberal Republicans in the nation. Unless the numbers are wrong or unless Stein picks up some of the undecided votes, her candidacy will be a wash. Hub Blog still suspects a lot of levers will be pulled in her favor come next Tuesday, but numbers are numbers.
Other poll numbers
: Question 1, the anti-income tax measure, is getting trounced, 27-59 percent, according to the Herald. About 14 percent are still undecided. Hub Blog thinks the measure will pull in around 35 percent. Question 2, the anti-bilingual education measure, is sailing toward victory, with 63 percent in favor and 28 percent against. Another example of the allegedly hyper-liberal Massachusetts electorate throwing a curve ball at national conventional wisdom.
Reader No. 1 responds to Jill Stein observations
: While driving to work this morning the thought crossed that Jill Stein might pull as many Romney votes as from O'Brien, and I wish I had thought of it sooner. My perspective is less the Rockefeller Republican phenomenon and draws more on the analysis of "Ideopolis" (Judis/Texeria) and "Bourgeois Bohemians" (David Brooks). Dr. Stein is not just a liberal, she's an educated professional
. So is Mitt... that's one source of his (limited) appeal.