Mike Dukakis Polled Better in a 2016 Survey than Someone Who Is Actually Running

Still, the former governor has no interest in running for president again.

Mike Dukakis on his morning walk to work. Photo by Garrett Quinn

Mike Dukakis on his morning walk to work. Photo by Garrett Quinn

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mike Dukakis has made it very clear that he is not interested in running for president but that has not deterred pollsters from including his name as a possible candidate in surveys.

The 1988 Democratic presidential nominee polled ahead of former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, an actual candidate for president, in a recent Public Policy Polling national survey of possible Democratic primary voters.

PPP, as the liberal polling firm is commonly known, placed Dukakis in a “fantasy field” that included Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, Secretary of State John Kerry, and former Vice President Al Gore along with the rest of the current Democratic field.

Clinton led the field with 37 percent while undeclared candidate Vice President Joe Biden edged out Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for second place with 20 percent to his 19 percent.

Warren was the highest vote getter with Massachusetts roots, placing fourth in the imaginary field with 11 percent, ahead of Dukakis and Kerry who tied for second to last place with just two percent of the vote, respectively. Gore, another imaginary candidate, placed ahead of Dukakis and Kerry with five percent vote

Actual candidate O’Malley was dead last in the poll with just one percent of the vote. O’Malley has struggled to make waves in a Democratic primary field currently dominated by the large personalities of Clinton and Sanders.

Dukakis has laughed off his inclusion in 2016 talk. In a recent interview, Dukakis, 81, made it very clear he is backing Clinton in the Democratic primary.

“I am absolutely not a candidate for the presidency,” said Dukakis in an interview with the Globe. 

The inclusion of Dukakis, Kerry, and Warren in the poll is a testament to the Bay State’s oversized importance in national politics. Massachusetts has had a strong contender in nearly every presidential election campaign since 1992 and advanced more major party presidential nominees to the general election than any state since 1954.

Since losing the 1988 presidential election, Dukakis has worked as an urban studies professor at Northeastern and UCLA. He still walks to work everyday from his Brookline home.