Hiller Instinct: Losing ground
The Hiller Instinct: Hiller Instinct: Losing ground
This has always been Tom Riley's race to lose, and if he keeps doing what's he's been doing, he will lose; either in the September primary or in November. But he hasn't blown it yet...
"Let me introduce to you my candidate, my teammate, my partner, the next Lt. Gov. of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Marie St Fleur." Tom Reilly (d) said last Tuesday.
"I am withdrawing from the race for Lt. Gov." St. Fleur said last Wednesday.
If Reilly even hoped voters wouldn't know he picked a running mate with a history of not paying her tax bills and student loans, he can forget it. They do know, and they don't like it.
Our 7News-Suffolk University poll finds picking St. Fleur makes 44 percent of Democratic primary voters less likely to vote for him with 39 percent undecided and 17 percent more likely.
"The number is even higher among independents. Over half of independents say they're less likely to vote for Tom Reilly, and Tom Reilly cannot afford to lose independents," Suffolk University pollster Prof. David Paleologos said.
"We're gonna go after this and we're gonna go after it hard, and we're gonna win this, we're gonna win this," Reilly said.
Our poll shows Reilly would still win: He's beating Deval Patrick now by nine percentage points.
But last February, Reilly was beating Patrick by 38 points, so he's dropped 27 points, turning a runaway into a race.
"This is like a stock crash, this deficit. More importantly: where he's giving up ground is among registered Democrats, the core of a Democratic primary," Prof. Paleologos said
Our poll says that if the election were today, whoever wins the Democratic primary will be the next governor: Reilly beats Kerry Healey by 15 points, Patrick takes her by 7, while she gets the same support against both.
Healey has been smart not to say much about Reilly's running mate mistake: there's no reason to get on the stage when your opponent's falling off it. But Healey wouldn't be smart to stay silent. To win, she must find her voice.
Right now, all she is is a suit: a designer suit, but still just a suit.
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