Poll: Markey Leading Gomez In Massachusetts Senate Poll

With just under three weeks left to go in the campaign, a new poll shows Congressman Ed Markey leading Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez in the race to fill John Kerry’s old Senate seat:

(CNN) - A day ahead of the first debate between U.S. Senate candidates in Massachusetts, a new survey shows Democratic Rep. Ed Markey leading rival Gabriel Gomez by double digits.

The poll, released Tuesday by New England College, showed 52% of registered voters in the Bay State support Markey, who’s serving his twentieth term in the U.S. House as the representative of Massachusetts’ 5th Congressional District.

Gomez, a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL, was at 40% in the survey. Another 8% said they were still unsure of who they’ll support in the June 25th special election.

While both candidates enjoyed similar levels of support among their parties – Markey was at 75% among Democrats, and Gomez at 76% among Republicans – the higher number of Democrats in Massachusetts gave Markey his edge.

“The overwhelming Democratic registration edge and Markey’s strong support among Democrats mean that Gomez has a big hill to climb to be competitive in this race,” said Ben Tafoya, the director of the New England College Polling Center.

Of course, as Massachusetts Democrats learned in January 2010, that advantage doesn’t necessarily guarantee victory. In that race, thanks in no small part to badly run campaign by Martha Coakley, Democratic turnout was depressed while Scott Brown was able to draw in enough Independents to give him a victory. This time around, Markey has been criticized for what some have called a lackluster campaign, but he has nonetheless consistently led in the polls. Additionally, national and state Democrats seem determined this time around to avoid a repeat of the Brown-Coakley race. For example, President Obama is scheduled to campaign for Markey next week, obviously part of an effort to ensure that voter turnout on June 25th is at the levels Markey needs to pull off a win.

Is it possible that Gomez can pull off a win here? I suppose so. He is very much in the moderate Republican mold of Scott Brown, which is what Republicans need to succeed in Massachusetts. However, this is Massachusetts in the end and lightening rarely strikes twice in the same place.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.