Massachusetts US Senate Race between Markey (D) and Gomez (R) Called a ‘Toss Up’ … Could the GOP Win Another Special Election in the Bay State?
Could Republicans win another Senate special election in Massachusetts?
The Cook Political Report has announced that nit is changing its prediction for the Massachusetts US Senate special election between Democrat Rep. Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez from “leans Democrat” to “toss up”. How is it possible that Secretary of State John Kerry’s former Senate seat could be in trouble in the dark blue state of Massachusetts? Ed Markey is an 18 term Democrat Congressman and registered Democrats outnumber their GOP counterparts in Massachusetts by a margin of 3 to 1 margin. Yet, the Cook Political report has this race as a toss up. Could the GOP pull off another special US Senate election win like they did in 2010 when Scott Brown won?
The 2013 United States Senate special election in Massachusetts will be held on June 25, 2013, to fill the Massachusetts Class II United States Senate seat formerly held by John Kerry for the remainder of the term ending January 3, 2015
The Cook report announced Thursday that it was shifting its prediction for the race from “leaning Democrat” to “toss up,” although the group acknowledged it still had its “thumb on the scale” for Democrat Edward Markey, an 18-term congressman who has consistently polled ahead of his Republican rival, businessman Gabriel Gomez.
“In truth, we have had a difficult time accepting the idea that this race might get close,” wrote Cook’s Jennifer Duffy. “At the same time, Democrats nominated a long-serving member of Congress at a time when Congress is an almost universally unpopular institution. It doesn’t help that Markey has not had a competitive race in decades.”
More from the Cook Political Report.
PPP’s first poll of the general election in the Massachusetts Senate special finds a close race, with Ed Markey leading Gabriel Gomez by a 44-40 margin.
Gomez is starting out as a pretty popular candidate, with 41% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with an unfavorable opinion. Beyond having good numbers with Republicans he’s at 42/24 with independents, and actually seen narrowly positively even by Democrats at 33/32. Voters meanwhile are more divided on Markey, with 44% holding a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. He’s at 31/50 with independents.
For a Republican to be competitive in Massachusetts they need to win independents by a hefty margin and get a fair amount of crossover support from Democrats, and right now Gomez is doing both of those things. He’s up 47/31 with independents and winning over 21% of Democratic voters. Both those numbers suggest that some folks who supported Stephen Lynch in the primary are being a little reticent about supporting Markey in the general.