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WBUR poll shows Coakley leading Baker in governor’s race

Gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley.

AP/Josh Reynolds

Gubernatorial candidate Martha Coakley.

In a hypothetical general election matchup for governor, Democrat Martha Coakley topped Republican Charlie Baker by 10 points, according to a new poll released today.

More than nine months before voters choose Governor Deval Patrick’s successor, a new survey, conducted for WBUR by The MassINC Polling Group, gives a very early look at how the field of gubernatorial hopefuls is shaping up.

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Despite Coakley’s lead over Baker, 39 percent to 29 percent, the poll also found Baker, his party’s 2010 nominee for governor, leading the four other declared Democrats in hypothetical November matchups.

He led Treasurer Steven Grossman 33 percent to 23 percent; topped former state and federal homeland security official Juliette Kayyem 37 percent to 15 percent; and was ahead of both former Obama administration health care official Don Berwick and bio-pharmaceutical research firm executive Joe Avellone 36 percent to 13 percent.

Results from a poll taken so far away from the election often hinge on how well voters recognize the names of the candidates.

And indeed, Coakley had, by far, the highest name recognition of any candidate — only 3 percent of the registered Massachusetts voters polled had never heard of her.

Fifty-three percent had a favorable opinion of Coakley while 28 percent had an unfavorable view of her.

A quarter of those surveyed had not heard of Baker. Thirty-two percent had a favorable view of him, while 14 percent had an unfavorable view of him.

Twenty-two percent had a favorable view of Grossman, while ten percent had an unfavorable view of him. Forty-three percent had never heard of the treasurer.

The other Democratic candidates were widely unknown, with more than 70 percent of those surveyed never having heard of them. The other Republican running for governor, tea-party aligned Shrewsbury resident Mark R. Fisher, was also widely unknown.

There are also two independent candidates vying for the Corner Office: Evan Falchuk, an attorney and former business executive, and evangelical Christian pastor Scott Lively. The survey found that Falchuk was essentially unknown in the state and did not ask about Lively. Venture capital investor Jeffrey S. McCormick, an independent, is seriously considering a run as well and was included on the survey. He, too, was not very well known.

Despite some recent controversies, Patrick was seen favorably by the majority of those polled. Fifty-two percent had a favorable view of him, while 38 percent had an unfavorable view of the governor, who has pledged not to run for a third term.

The survey, conducted by live telephone interviews of 504 registered Massachusetts voters on landlines and cell phones between January 13 and 19, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com
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