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The Boston Globe

Metro

New poll finds Martha Coakley with huge lead

Gubernatorial hopeful Martha Coakley holds a significant lead over her Democratic rivals, according to a new poll released a week before the Sept. 9 state primary.

A UMass Lowell/7News poll found the attorney general leading Treasurer Steve Grossman by more than 30 percentage points among likely Democratic voters. The poll found her taking 52 percent to Grossman’s 20 percent and former Medicare and Medicaid chief Don Berwick’s 9 percent, including voters who lean one way or the other. Nineteen percent were undecided or did not know.

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“What this shows is that Coakley has a commanding lead,” said pollster Joshua J. Dyck, a UMass Lowell political science professor. “This shows to me that Grossman has just not been able to make the case that he’s a viable alternative.”

The new poll shows Coakley with a lot more breathing room than other recent surveys, which have found Coakley leading the Democratic field, but by smaller margins. A Boston Globe poll released Thursday night found Coakley leading Grossman by 22 points, with Berwick in third. A Suffolk University/Boston Herald poll released early last week found the attorney general leading Grossman by 12 points, with Berwick trailing.

The new poll found Coakley leading Republican frontrunner Charlie Baker in a hypothetical general election matchup. Among registered voters, Coakley took 41 percent to Baker’s 32 percent, with two independent candidates together garnering a combined 8 percent. Seventeen percent were undecided or did not know.

The ballot effort to repeal the state’s casino gaming law faces an uphill battle, the poll also found. Just 36 percent of registered voters said they would vote to repeal the law, while 59 percent said they would vote to keep the current statute on the books and let casino development continue.

The survey also polled likely Democratic voters on some downballot races. In the contest for the nomination for lieutenant governor, it found Steve Kerrigan leading rivals Leland Cheung and Mike Lake. Kerrigan took 24 percent, Cheung and Lake took 10 percent each, while 57 percent of respondents were undecided.

In the Democratic race to succeed Coakley as attorney general, the poll found former state senator Warren Tolman leading former state assistant attorney general Maura Healey, 39 percent to 34 percent. Twenty-seven percent of respondents were undecided or didn’t know.

The poll surveyed 1,624 Massachusetts registered voters, including 685 likely Democratic primary voters, by landline and cell phone from Aug. 25-31. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.94 percentage points among registered voters and plus or minus 4.55 percentage points among likely Democratic voters.

Baker faces Mark Fisher in the Republican primary. Independent candidates Evan Falchuk, Jeff McCormick, and Scott Lively are also running for governor.

Joshua Miller can be reached at joshua.miller@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jm_bos.
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