Hope springs eternal for Patriots Nation

Bay Staters may already be looking for Ed Markey's replacement, but they still have faith in Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. According to our quarterly poll, 43 percent think that the Patriots will make it to the Super Bowl next year; 35 percent think they will win the big game. About a quarter (27 percent) think they will lose in the playoffs, and 12 percent don't think they will make the playoffs at all.

As in all things these days, there is a party split. Democrats (48 percent)  are most confident that the Pats will compete for the Lombardi trophy next year; while only 35 percent of Republicans think so. Pats diehards are more clustered in Boston and its suburbs, are more likely to be non-white than white. And women, perhaps channeling their inner Giselles, are a few points more likely than men to think the Pats will go all the way next year.

So while Mayor Walsh may look like this now...

... if Patriots Nation is right, he'll be leading a duck boat parade in February 2015.

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