SHNS Campaign Notebook — Tuesday, August 26, 2014

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State House News Service  

While more than half of those polled recently believed Democratic candidate for governor Martha Coakley was “just about right” when asked if she was too liberal, too moderate, or too conservative, the Suffolk University-Boston Herald poll released Monday also included some results that show Coakley is not the most highly regarded statewide candidate. Asked if Coakley were a better or worse statewide candidate than Gov. Deval Patrick or U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, only 24 percent said she was better than Patrick and just 16 percent said she was better than Warren, with the remaining respondents concluding she is either worse, the same, or being undecided. The poll also showed 43 percent of respondents believed her campaign operation to date was fair or poor, while just over 39 percent said it was good or excellent. Pollsters surveyed 400 likely Democratic voters. Coakley, who lost a U.S. Senate bid in 2010 to Scott Brown, has consistently led rivals Steven Grossman and Don Berwick in Democratic primary polls. Democrats are trying to hold on to the governor’s office as Patrick finishes his second term. Republican Charlie Baker, who Patrick beat four years ago, hopes to emerge from the Sept. 9 GOP primary to see how he fares against a different Democrat. – M. Norton/SHNS

On the heels of a new poll showing three Democrats running for lieutenant governor knotted in a dead heat with two weeks until the primary, one of the candidates is emphasizing his hope to turn the office into the role of the state’s chief operating officer. “We must continue to move Massachusetts forward and build on the progress Governor Patrick has made, but we should not ignore the controversies and scandals of the past seven years,” Cambridge City Councilor Leland Cheung said in a statement Monday afternoon. “The missteps of the Patrick Administration have had little to do with a lack of progressive vision or a failure of big-picture ideas and everything to do with a lack of attention to the detail in administering the Executive Branch of our state government.” Patrick’s team has come under criticism in recent years for its oversight of the drug compounding industry and state drug testing facilities, its medical marijuana licensing process and its oversight of public assistance programs. The poll showed a whopping 70 percent of likely Democratic primary voters are undecided when asked to choose among Cheung, Mike Lake and Steve Kerrigan. Cheung said the poll, which showed each of the three candidates with about 9 percent support, is evidence that the race is “wide open.” – M. Norton/SHNS

Independent Jeff McCormick has officially qualified to appear on the Nov. 4 ballot as one of three independent candidates running for governor. An aide to Secretary of State William Galvin, the state’s top elections official, told the News Service Tuesday that McCormick’s campaign had submitted a receipt from the State Ethics Commission confirming his filing of statements of financial interest. Tuesday was the deadline for all necessary materials to be filed. Independents Evan Falchuk and Scott Lively have already qualified for the ballot and will appear in November against McCormick and the winners of the Sept. 9 Democratic and Republican primaries. Trailing in the polls but aided in his campaign by his own personal wealth, McCormick on Tuesday zinged Attorney General Martha Coakley, one of three Democrats running for governor, releasing a web video that excerpts media bits and criticizes Coakley for being an “insider.” – M. Norton/SHNS

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