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At beginning of gubernatorial campaign, Healey leads Mass. Democratic primary field, new poll finds

Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced her bid for Massachusetts governor on Jan. 20, over a month and a half after Governor Charlie Baker said he would not be seeking reelection.Lane Turner/Globe Staff

At the onset of her campaign for governor, Attorney General Maura Healey holds a commanding 36-point lead among likely primary voters in the three-way Democratic race, according to a newly released poll.

Among those surveyed, 48 percent said they would vote for the South End Democrat in the September primary, putting Healey far ahead of state Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, who earned 12 percent of support, and Harvard professor Danielle Allen, who got 3 percent, according to the poll.

The survey of 310 likely Democratic primary voters was conducted by the MassINC Polling Group and sponsored by the policy arm of Priorities for Progress, a center-left Democratic political action committee. Thirty percent of those surveyed either refused to say or didn’t know who their preferred choice was.


The poll was conducted between Jan. 18 and Jan. 20, the day Healey launched her campaign.

The survey also tested the appetite for voters in other races. Among a potential field for attorney general, former Boston city councilor Andrea Campbell would lead with 31 percent of support, while labor attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan and Quentin Palfrey, a former lieutenant governor nominee, got 3 percent and 2 percent, respectively. More than half of those surveyed did not say who they’d choose.

Liss-Riordan is the only announced candidate among the three, though Campbell has said she is seriously considering and Palfrey has indicated he’s planning to run.

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll held a small lead in a heavily divided field for lieutenant governor, with 10 percent of support. State senators Adam Hinds and Eric Lesser and state Representative Tami Gouveia each got 5 percent. The poll did not include Bret Bero, a Boston businessman and Babson College lecturer who announced his run for the seat last year, as an option in the question.

Likely Democratic voters also appear split in their choice for state auditor, a lesser-known constitutional office that opened when three-term incumbent Suzanne Bump said she would not seek reelection. State Senator Diana DiZoglio and Chris Dempsey, a transportation advocate and former MassDOT assistant secretary, earned 13 percent and 12 percent, respectively, with nearly two-thirds of voters saying they did not know who they would choose.


The poll of Democratic primary voters had a margin of error of roughly 5.6 points.

Matt Stout can be reached at matt.stout@globe.com. Follow him @mattpstout.