The governor’s race in the commonwealth is entering its final stretch.
As it stands, Republican Charlie Baker holds a +4.2, outside-the-margin-of-error lead over Democrat Martha Coakley heading into Election Day -- and if he can maintain that momentum, he stands a solid chance of succeeding Democrat Deval Patrick as the state’s next governor.
Unlike in 2010, however, he has been bolstered by his opponent’s enduring unpopularity and head-scratching responses during public debates.
Take, for instance, this clip from the Republican Governors Association entitled “Martha Coakley Stumbles To The Finish Line”:
It’s never a good idea for an indecisive candidate to ask an opponent during a live television debate his position on raising fees -- and then when he pledges not to raise them -- to turn around and profess “I’m not going to raise [them] either.” This is the very definition of “leading from behind.” And it doesn't poll well.
At any rate, two freshly-released polls show Baker with an edge. He hasn’t crossed the finish line yet, but he’s nearly there. He leads by three percentage points in the new Suffolk/Boston Herald poll and seven percentage points in the Boston Globe survey.
Those are comfortable if imperfect margins. But if he can hold on a little bit longer, the keys to the castle are his.