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In the last couple of days I've been wondering why we haven't had a poll in the Massachusetts special election race for U.S. Senate - the only U.S. Senate race going on right now. In the last three weeks there has been only one poll, an Emerson College survey showing Markey up by 12 points (45-33), which was in the field May 20-22.

Yesterday I noted that the lack of polling largely was responsible for the Cook Report's recent decision to reclassify the race from "Lean D" to "Toss-up." In their explanation, Cook stressed that they don't think Gomez has a very good chance of winning, but that Markey hadn't "pulled away" in the polling. It's hard to "pull away" when no polls are being released.

Finally there is a new poll, from New England College. Like that Emerson poll from two weeks ago, it has Markey up by 12. But there are far fewer undecided voters in this poll and, importantly, Markey passed the 50 percent threshold, leading 52-40. The only other poll in which Markey's score surpassed 50 percent was Suffolk's poll, nearly a month ago, putting him up 52-35. That poll seemed, at the time, like an outlier. But now the trend clearly is toward a Markey lead in the low double-digits, welcome news indeed.

Read on for more poll details.

Key takeaways:

-- Gomez's lead among independents (voters not enrolled in either party make up about half the Massachusetts electorate) has fallen from about 20 points in the days after his April 30 primary win to a tiny 47-44 in this poll. Scott Brown, who won by just under 5 points in January 2010, won independents by more than 30 points. Brown won among independents even in a losing effort in 2012. For Gomez to be running barely better than even in that group is not good for him.

--About 19% of Democratic respondents say they are voting for, or leaning toward Gomez. Again, that's below Scott Brown's performance among Democrats. In a sign that divisions with the GOP from the primary may not have healed, or that some people are not impressed by Gomez, Markey is pulling 18% of Republican respondents. Generally, in Massachusetts, more registered Democrats are willing to vote Republican than Republicans willing to vote for a liberal Democrat. Given the 3-1 Democratic advantage in registration here, equal scores within their respective parties would favor Markey.

--22% of respondents still don't have an opinion on Gomez, but over 60% of that group say they plan to vote for Markey. Gomez may not earn for himself their antipathy during this campaign, but it's not likely he'll earn their votes either.

-- Markey leads 56-38 among women, and is tied at 48 among men. Again, Scott Brown did much better among men than this.

-- Markey's support is more solid. His 52 percent in the poll is 45 "strongly" for Markey, 7 "somewhat" for Markey. It's 48-8 among women and 42-6 among men. Gomez is at 29% "strong" support, 12% "somewhat," with 34-14 among men and 26-10 among women. So Gomez is more likely to see his support fade than to win over more voters.

-- Respondents in Massachusetts resoundingly give President Obama (+17), Gov. Patrick (+25), and Senator Elizabeth Warren (+18) favorable job ratings.

-- The most important issue, according to respondents, is reducing unemployment. Among that group (about 1/3 of all respondents) Markey leads 72-24. Next came  "reducing the deficit." Among those who think reducing the deficit's most important, Gomez leads 67-26. Where were all these Republican deficit hawks in the 1980s and from 2001-2008?

-- Among those who rated "environmental protection" most important (about 8% of the total), the great environmental champion Ed Markey is up 90-5.

-- Markey similarly leads 87-8 among those who said "Women's Rights" are the most important issue we face. Might explain that gender gap.

-- Despite the attack at the Boston Marathon in April, under 5% of respondents (32 people) said terrorism is our number one issue right now. Markey has a slight lead among that group (15-13 with 4 undecided). So much for Gomez's 9/11 demagoguery.

The first debate is tomorrow, with others to follow on the next two Tuesdays, June 11 and June 18. The Tuesday after that is the June 25 election.

All in all, good news in this poll for Team Markey. But we're still expecting a low-turnout affair and we'll be out there hitting doors as much as possible to bring this home on June 25. If you're in Massachusetts or nearby, we'd love to have you join us. If not, a small donation now (before the final decisions on ad buys) can go a long way.

Originally posted to fenway49 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:19 PM PDT.

Also republished by Massachusetts Kosmopolitans.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (12+ / 0-)

    "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

    by fenway49 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:19:07 PM PDT

  •  Bye bye Gabriel Gomez! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, fenway49

    Nice knowing ya!

  •  In his ironic commentary on this poll (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WarrenS, fenway49, elwior

    and the recent Cook report rating, Josh Marshall pointed to his Poll Tracker average, which shows a remarkably stable race since May 6.  Markey's lead remains at about 10 points throughout.

    Of course as you point out, that average is based on a very small number of polls...

    When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

    by litho on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:36:38 PM PDT

    •  Right (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      litho, killjoy

      As I've posted elsewhere, Cook was going out of their way to say they don't actually think Gomez has much chance to win. But there's TPM and the RCP average, before this poll, was +10.3. So I don't know how they got their "single-digit" idea anyway. Maybe now they'll move it back to "Lean D." Either way, I don't care. We'll just do the work and win.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:47:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't give a damn... (8+ / 0-)

    ...about the polls.  I'm going out canvassing for Ed on the 15th of June...and I'd do it even if he was 50 points ahead.  I would like to see Gomez utterly humiliated in this election.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:39:25 PM PDT

    •  Agreed (5+ / 0-)

      A blowout will send a message. A close win will fuel the nonsense narrative about GOP momentum.

      Big thanks to you and everyone else taking the time to make this happen. I've been out there every weekend for two months and I'm only going to increase my efforts in these last three weeks.

      BUT, since Cook moved the race to tossup because Markey hadn't "moved in the polls" and there had not BEEN a poll for several weeks, I thought this relevant. It does NOT mean anyone should let up now.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 02:45:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've always been told, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fenway49, WarrenS

      and I think it's good advice, that in any campaign you always act as though your candidate is ten points behind.  

      •  Right (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        WarrenS

        I prefer (because people get frantic when they think their candidate is ten points behind) the NBA expression: play the game, not the score. You can't coast on a lead.

        "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

        by fenway49 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:39:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Scott Brown masqueraded as a moderate (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, WarrenS, pademocrat

    especially during his first campaign, so not surprisingly he attracted some independent voters who believed the hype. Gomez isn't even trying to hide the right-wing crazy, so he won't get those. And while there are some Tea Party-type Republicans in Massachusetts, there aren't enough of them to win with.

    •  Gomez is more like Romney 2012 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS

      He's doing all he can to avoid giving specifics on anything. But he's definitely less artful than Brown at hiding right-wing positions.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:47:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Markey must nail debates (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, WarrenS, pademocrat

    This all sounds good. However, Markey must nail Gomez in tomorrow's debate and the next one. He can not play "prevent defense" as Obama did in his disastrous first debate against Mittens. Markey must keep his "Big Mo" going. And, of course, it's always the "T-word," turnout, stupid. Many students from Haa-vad, MIT and other schools will have left for the summer. For more on the Markey-Gomez race and other political happenings, read

      this  

    •  He'll do fine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      WarrenS, davehouck, pademocrat

      The issues all favor him with a Massachusetts electorate. Gomez, during the primary debates, was not all that impressive. The NRSC has basically admitted that Gomez's best chance is to evade all specifics on issues. I think the debates will make that very hard to do. My understanding is that, at some point in the debates, candidates will ask each other questions. Markey's people will be ready for that.

      As for college students, where I live we have a lot who go to school out of state. They're away in November and home now. The Markey campaign has had a huge infusion of energy from college student interns with school out. Our local office had one full-time field organizer. Now there are five or six students making calls, etc., in there at all times.

      "I am not for a return to that definition of Liberty under which for many years a free people were being gradually regimented into the service of the privileged few." Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1934

      by fenway49 on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:44:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gomez the Galloping GOoPer (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fenway49, WarrenS

    The more you get to know him, the less you like him.  Isn't  that always the case?

    Everyone is crying out for peace; no one's crying out for justice...

    by mojave mike on Tue Jun 04, 2013 at 04:32:19 PM PDT

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