BOSTON (CBS) — City Councilor John Connolly and State Representative Marty Walsh have now met in two televised debates, with Connolly aggressively touting his education-reform credentials and criticizing Walsh too closely aligned with labor unions.

But the latest polls show Walsh has erased an early Connolly lead and raises questions about that strategy.

At Tuesday night’s WGBH Mayoral Debate, Connolly once again flogged his key campaign theme – that Walsh is too tight with organized labor.

“They mayor has got to watch out for all of the people of Boston, not just some of the people of Boston,” Connolly said.

But after two debates pressing that line of attack, the polls show Walsh with all the momentum.

The latest poll from WBUR and the Mass. Inc Polling Group suggests Walsh’s union ties aren’t all that toxic for him.

Thirty-four percent of voters think labor would have too much influence on a mayor Walsh and most of them back Connolly.

But 38-percent say they’re fine with that influence and they break even more heavily for Walsh.

“The police officers in the City of Boston have gone 4-and-a-half-years without a contract,” Walsh said.

That new poll also shows that while Connolly is viewed more favorably than Walsh by voters who cite education as their main issue, Walsh has far better favorables than Connolly among those citing crime as a top concern.

With the heroism of the Boston Police last spring still fresh in voters’ minds, that may be yet another reason why Walsh has apparently erased a significant Connolly lead.



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