Boston Herald

Diehl outpacing Baker in latest poll

- By erin Tiernan

Geoff Diehl is the Republican frontrunne­r in next year’s governor’s race, according to a recent poll that has him leading incumbent Gov. Charlie Baker by as many as 20 points in a GOP primary.

“This poll confirms what we already knew when we entered this race,” Diehl said. “Our current Governor seems to be out of touch with the needs of the people of Massachuse­tts and, for some reason, is also unable or unwilling to support members of his own party who want provide people with greater economic freedom and more control over the health care and education choices for their families.

The poll numbers, which were first reported by Politico on Wednesday, from the Public Policy Polling survey of likely 2022 Republican primary voters found 30% view the Republican governor favorably compared to Diehl who polled between 29% and 50%.

Of those surveyed, 21% were still undecided, according to a press release.

Of those same voters, 54% said they had an unfavorabl­e opinion of Baker.

But the Public Policy Polling survey that ran the numbers on the hypothetic­al primary is a Democrat-leaning firm for hire. Baker has yet to say whether he’ll seek a third term as Massachuse­tts governor.

Baker’s typically high approval numbers slipped to 56% among likely Boston voters in last week’s poll from MassINC Polling Group — a signal the ongoing coronaviru­s pandemic and tensions within the state Republican Party could be chipping away at Baker’s support.

The governor gained new critics this week when a coronaviru­s mandate went into effect for the roughly 42,000 executiveb­ranch employees that serve under him. Approval ratings for his handling of the coronaviru­s response have plummeted from nearly 80% in April into the mid-60s.

MassGOP infighting has grabbed headlines in recent months as those peddling the conservati­ve Trump-brand of Republican­ism — like Diehl — find themselves at odds with the more moderate Baker Republican­s.

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