Healey leads in primary poll, “anybody’s game” down ballot

BOSTON — With more than four months to go until Bay Staters cast ballots, Attorney General Maura Healey has far more support among likely Democratic primary voters than Sen. Sonia Chang-Díaz, while large swaths of voters remain undecided in races for the other open constitutional offices, according to a new UMass Lowell poll.

survey of 800 Massachusetts residents likely to cast votes in the Sept. 6 Democratic primary found 62 percent support Healey and 17 percent support Chang-Díaz, a 45-point difference. The poll ran from April 2 to April 11 with a margin of error of 3.9 percent.

Pollsters found that Healey had stronger backing among every age, gender, and ideological subgroup. Voters surveyed rated the sitting attorney general as better suited to handle the economy, the COVID-19 pandemic, and health care, and they were more likely to see Chang-Díaz as better equipped to handle race relations.

Twenty-four percent of respondents said they view Chang-Díaz as “more of a true progressive,” while 23 percent gave that designation to Healey and 18 percent said the two Democrats are “about even.”

Slightly further down the ballot, voter unfamiliarity about the candidates leave other statewide Democratic nomination contests “anybody’s game,” said UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion Associate Director John Cluverius.

In the lieutenant governor’s race, pollsters found 22 percent support for Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll, 10 percent support for Sen. Eric Lesser, 9 percent support for Rep. Tami Gouveia and 7 percent support for Sen. Adam Hinds with 49 percent of likely voters undecided.

Former Boston City Council President Andrea Campbell has a lead in the attorney general’s field with 30 percent support, followed by attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan with 11 percent and attorney Quentin Palfrey with 6 percent, though 52 percent of likely voters have not yet chosen.

And in the auditor’s race, UMass Lowell’s poll found a tight race between transportation advocate Chris Dempsey with 23 percent support, Sen. Diana DiZoglio with 21 percent support and 54 percent of likely voters undecided.

“Less than a quarter of likely voters know enough about the candidates for lieutenant governor, attorney general or state auditor to form an opinion about them,” Cluverius said.

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