Governor Deval Patrick has seen a 10-point increase in his support in the past month and has taken a substantial lead in the three-way race between him, Republican Charlie Baker, and independent Tim Cahill, according to a new poll.
Only a month ago, the same pollsters found that Patrick would win 35 percent of the vote, while Baker and Cahill would receive 27 percent and 23 percent, respectively.
Paul Watanabe, a professor of political science at University of Massachusetts Boston, said the reasons for the increased support for Patrick could include recent good news about the national and state economies, the "heated sniping" between Baker and Cahill, and Patrick's handling of the major flooding in March and the recent drinking water crisis.
"He hasn't had any major missteps," said Watanabe.
Watanabe also said Patrick has been acting more like a candidate and his supporters have become engaged after the surprise victory by Republican US Senator Scott Brown in the Jan. 19 special election.
The drop of nine percentage points in support for Cahill comes as the Republican Governors Association launched negative ads against Cahill two weeks ago, in a clear indication that the Republican party sees him as a major impediment to Baker.
Democrats are convinced that Patrick's reelection campaign has come to life after a dormant period, the Globe reported last month.
The automated telephone survey of 500 likely voters was conducted on Monday. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.
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