Geoff Diehl’s campaign is disputing the results of new poll that shows the Republican is far behind Maura Healey in the gubernatorial race.
The UMass/WCVB poll released Friday shows Attorney General Healey with a 59-32% lead over the Trump-backed former state representative, with about a week to go before the election.
“Today’s poll released by UMass/WCVB is without merit and completely flawed in its modeling of the electorate,” said Diehl Campaign Manager Amanda Orlando in a statement.
Orlando said the poll “dramatically undersampled” unenrolled voters, who she said make up a larger majority of the voting population than was represented, and oversampled Democrats by a “two-to-one” margin.
“This attempt by a state-funded institution to suppress the vote for the Diehl campaign by fraudulently running this type of poll is truly sad and does a great disservice to the voters,” Orlando said.
Seven hundred likely voters, including 415 Democrats, 162 Republicans and 123 Independents, were surveyed from Oct. 20-26.
Diehl and Healey, a Democrat, are vying to replace Republican Gov. Charlie Baker, who chose not to run for a third term.
The poll shows surveyed voters have more confidence in Healey’s ability to handle key issues facing the state, including the economy, health care, taxes, education, crime, transportation, abortion, and the opioid crisis.
Healey’s lead in each category ranged from 21-38%. Voters overwhelmingly preferred her to handle abortion, health care, and housing policies in the state.
The gap was more narrow for the economy, a top priority listed among Republican respondents. But Healey still held a 21-point lead in that category, in terms of voter confidence.
Most respondents, or 33%, said their vote was most driven by the economy, but results were largely based on the 62% of Republicans and 45% of Independents who chose that option. Only 16% of Democrats did.
The “health of our democracy” and abortion were what Democrats said they were most considering ahead of the election, at 45% and 21%, respectively.
Results were similar for a question asking voters what issue they would prefer to see the new governor prioritize in their first 100 days in office.
Republicans and Independents both cited inflation, at 42% and 26%, respectively. Democrats were more focused on the housing shortage and affordability, at 22%, but inflation was a close second, at 19%.
Among individual voting groups, Healey held the largest leads among women (66-29%), 30-54-year-olds (73-21%), those with a college degree (64-29%) or with a postgraduate degree (68-31%), and people of color (74-15%).
Diehl polled better among the 55-and-older crowd and white voters, where Healey’s lead was lower at 13 and 22 points, respectively.
The majority of Democrats (94%) polled in favor of Healey, and the majority of Republicans (91%) and Independents (43%) polled said they plan to vote for Diehl.
While Diehl’s campaign took issue with most of the poll, it did seem to think his eight-point lead among Independent voters was accurate.
“These are ultimately the voters who will determine the outcome of this November’s election,” Orlando said.