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LOWELL ߝ Attorney General Thomas Reilly is the frontrunner in the gubernatorial race, according to a new poll released today by the University of Massachusetts Lowell.
Of the 400 voters asked, 53 percent said they would vote for Democrat Reilly, while 38 percent would vote for Republican Gov. Mitt Romney and 9 percent were undecided. In the June UMass Lowell poll, 47 percent supported Reilly, 39 percent were for Romney and 14 percent were undecided.
In the poll conducted over the last week, Reilly also had more support than other prospective Democratic and Republican opponents, receiving a “very favorable” or “somewhat favorable” rating from 56 percent of those surveyed and beating current known Republican and Democratic candidates in head-to-head competitions.
When asked whether Romney deserves to be reelected governor, 55 percent said it was “time for a change.” However, 42 percent said Massachusetts is heading in the right direction ߝ a 9 percent increase from those surveyed three months ago.
“The increase in the number of respondents who say that the state is moving in the right direction combined with the governor’s drop in favorability and the increased share of the vote that Reilly receives is a clear warning sign for Romney. Although the governor still has a 50 percent positive rating, he also has a 47 percent negative, a 1-to-1 ratio, which is also a sign of trouble,” said Lou DiNatale, director of the center for economic and civic opinion at UMassLowell, which conducted the poll.
While the majority of the results released focused on Massachusetts politics, one question showed that 56 percent were unlikely to support a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Fifty-four percent also supported the governor taking steps within his power to immediately withdraw all Massachusetts National Guard troops from Iraq.
For the complete survey, visit http://www.uml.edu/umasspoll.
The University of Massachusetts Poll, based at UMass Lowell, has been conducting quarterly surveys of Massachusetts registered voters since 1996. The surveys are designed to regularly provide policy makers, the media and the general public with voter opinion on public policy and leadership. Previous polls this year have focused on issues such as politics, the selection of a new Pope, the Big Dig, the economy and health care.
The data in this report were gathered from telephone interviews with 400 Massachusetts voters that were conducted from Sept. 19 to 27. The margin of error is +/- 5 percent.
UMass Lowell, a comprehensive university with special expertise in applied science and technology, is committed to educating students for lifelong success and conducting research and outreach activities that sustain the economic, environmental and social health of the region. UML offers its 11,000 undergraduate and graduate students more than 80 degree programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management, and the School of Health and Environment and the Graduate School of Education. Visit the website at www.uml.edu.