Any hopes of making early predictions on the outcome of the Democratic gubernatorial race are over.
With the Democratic state convention less than two weeks away, a recent poll shows that the race has dramatically tightened, with the three major contenders closing to within a few points of one another.
The poll, which appeared in yesterday's Boston Globe, shows former Attorney General Francis X. Bellotti recieving 24 percent of the vote from Democrats and independents who say they plan to vote in the September primary. Boston University President John R. Silber received 21 percent and Lt. Gov. Evelyn F. Murphy was a close third with 20 percent.
This represents a dramatic drop for Bellotti who, up until recently, had been seen as the party's frontrunner going into the September primary. Bellotti dropped from 38 percent of the vote in a similar Globe poll conducted in January, while Murphy held steady at 20 percent, and Silber increased his share from 16 percent.
According to Martin A. Linsky, a lecturer of public policy at the Kennedy School of Government, these polls are not relevant to the current political scene because they focus on the primary campaign which is many months away, instead of on the upcoming convention.
Though no official counts of delegate support have yet been released, analysts estimate that the convention will be a close race between Bellotti and Murphy. It is still unclear whether or not Silber will get support from 15 percent of the delegates, which he needs in order to continue the race.
State Rep. John H. Flood (D--Canton) has less than one percent of voter support in the polls, and many said it is highly unlikely that he will be able to amass the required 15 percent without intervention on the part of other candidates.