BOSTON, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Massachusetts Attorney General and Democratic nominee for governor Martha Coakley currently trails Republican challenger Charlie Baker by 9 points, setting up a difficult closing stretch in what's typically a deep blue state.
A new survey of 500 likely voters by the Boston Globe has Baker leading 45 percent to 36 for Coakley, just a week after polling showed the race in a dead heat.
"There is just positive movement in every single metric we can ask around Baker," John Della Volpe, the executive pollster who compiled the data, told the Globe.
"What we've seen from mid-September through today is that Baker has either extended his lead or closed a gap in which he was deficient. Based on that, I'm not surprised that he was able to ... create a lead, and some distance for the first time."
According to the Globe's analysis of the poll, it "depicts an electorate highly susceptible to the recent barrage of political advertising on television," and illustrates Baker's increased and increasingly positive interactions with voters.
"The more voters have gotten to know him, the stronger he performs," Volpe explained.
"Baker has picked up momentum with an across-the-board improvement on questions where voters were asked which candidate would do a better job handling certain broad policy areas," echoed the Globe's own analysis.
"For instance, in mid-September, the poll gave him a 15-point lead over Coakley on creating jobs. In this week's poll, he is ahead by 24 points."
Coakley and the national Democratic party are by no means treating the race as a wash, with potential 2016 presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Sen. Elizabeth Warren both scheduled to appear in support of Coakley on Friday.