Mayoral hopeful John R. Connolly holds an 8 percentage point lead over state Representative Martin J. Walsh in a new Globe poll, which found a well of strong support for the councilor among newcomers to Boston even as the race remains deeply in flux.
The poll found that most voters are only now focusing on the campaign to succeed Mayor Thomas M. Menino and that both candidates are held in high regard, suggesting fortunes could shift swiftly with less than two week before the election.
Connolly led Walsh 44 percent to 36 percent in the survey, with the bloc of undecided voters still significant, at 19 percent. The results differed from other recent polls, which have shown Connolly’s lead shrinking as Walsh gained momentum in the glow thrown off by a sweep of endorsements.
In last month’s 12-candidate preliminary election, Walsh outperformed polls and finished first with 18 percent, powered to the top by a massive get-out-the-vote effort. Connolly led every public poll before the preliminary election but finished second, with 17 percent. Both advanced to the Nov. 5 final.
The Globe poll, by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, was conducted over six days and detected a subtle swing toward Connolly earlier this week. Pollster Andrew E. Smith cautioned that interest in the mayoral race remains low and that a survey this far ahead of Election Day was better at highlighting trends than predicting a winner.
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