Deval Patrick ran for governor of Massachusetts on a touchy-feely, together we can, kumbaya platform . Sound familiar? Among his campaign promises were lowering property taxes and adding 1,000 police officers to the streets of our cities and towns. Neither has materialized. In fact, property taxes have increased every year since Patrick took office and police officers are being laid off across the state. Last month he signed a budget which includes a 25% sales tax increase, while proposing $70 million to preserve dental care for immigrants. But these aren’t the only reasons that Patrick is viewed with such disdain. Who can forget the Cadillac? Or the drapes? How about the absurd comments on the sixth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks? I could go on and on, but the most egregious and outrageous move by Patrick – hands-down – is his appointment of early supporter and Queen of the Mass Hacks, Marianne Walsh, to a position at the Massachusetts Health and Education Facilities Authority to the tune of $175,000 per year. This position was of such vital importance to the Commonwealth that it had been vacant for 12 years. She eventually withdrew her nomination, but not after Patrick called the outrage over the affair “trivial.”
And that is what leads us to today’s poll numbers:
Governor Deval Patrick, fresh off signing a major tax increase and still battling through a historic budget crisis, has seen a huge drop in his standing among Massachusetts voters and faces a tough road to a second term, according to a new Boston Globe poll.
The survey, taken 16 months before the election, shows that the public has lost faith in Patrick’s ability to handle the state’s fiscal problems or bring reform to Beacon Hill, as he had promised. He is either losing or running neck-and-neck in matchups with prospective rivals, according to the poll, conducted for the Globe by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Patrick’s favorability rating has dropped sharply over the past seven months, with just 36 percent of respondents holding a favorable opinion of him, and 52 percent viewing him unfavorably. As recently as December, 64 percent of voters viewed him favorably.
The governor’s job-approval rating, sampled after Patrick scored several major legislative victories but also approved $1 billion in new taxes, is even worse, with just 35 percent of respondents approving and 56 per cent disapproving of his performance. Just as ominously, 61 percent said the state is on the wrong track, compared with 31 percent who said it was headed in the right direction, down from 44 percent in December – numbers reminiscent of voters’ mood before Patrick captured the corner office from Republicans in 2006.
One can’t help but to see the parallels here. Deval’s good buddy, Barry O. isn’t feeling the love these days either. Same kind of campaign of fluff and catch phrases, same inexperience, same dismal performance and same voter pushback as a result.