The Campaign Spot

Two Key Massachusetts Republicans Trail, but . . .

The Boston Globe surveys two House districts in Massachusetts:

US Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Newton, leads his Republican challenger, Sean Bielat, by 13 percentage points among likely voters in the Fourth Congressional District. In the race for the open seat in the neighboring 10th District, Norfolk District Attorney William R. Keating leads state Representative Jeffrey D. Perry by 4 percentage points, within that survey’s margin of error.

In both races, however, supporters of the Republican nominees say they are more excited about the election, which often correlates to higher turnout on Election Day, said Andrew E. Smith, the director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The center conducted the polls for the Globe.

Among those who say they are excited about Nov. 2, Bielat and Perry have double-digit leads, the polls indicate.

“There’s more enthusiasm on the part of all Republican voters,’’ Smith said. A Globe poll on the gubernatorial race released yesterday found a similar enthusiasm gap between Republicans and Democrats.

Among likely voters in their districts, Frank leads Bielat, 46 percent to 33 percent, while Keating leads Perry, 37 percent to 33 percent, the polls found. The surveys, of 385 likely voters in the Fourth District and 349 voters in the 10th, had margins of error of 5 percent and 5.2 percent, respectively. Both were taken from Oct. 17-22.

Barney Frank coming in at 46 percent is interesting. You figure a high-profile 15-term incumbent has something close to 100 percent name recognition, so there are a majority of voters in that district who just aren’t that enthused about Frank. (Another 10 percent are voting for “other,” which seems a little odd.) Whether enough of them can overcome their habits to the point where they actually vote for Bielat is the key.

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