Polls Show Markey In The Lead In Massachusetts Senate Race

Mar 8, 2013

Polls show Democratic  Congressman Ed Markey is the frontrunner in the special election for US Senate in Massachusetts.   His primary opponent, Congressman Stephen Lynch is trying to shore up support among key Democratic constituencies. 

   The dean of the Massachusetts delegation, Ed Markey has a huge lead of 29 points over his Democratic primary opponent, fellow Congressman Stephen Lynch, in a poll released this week by the Boston Herald and  UMass Lowell. Markey leads Lynch, 50 percent to 21 percent among likely primary voters.

   Mike Shea, a Democratic political analyst, said the poll is not surprising.

   Those problems include Lynch’s votes for the war in Iraq and against the Affordable Care Act.

   Several earlier polls put Markey in the lead, but not by such a wide margin, as the one from UMass Lowell.  The poll , however, also found the race, at this early stage is volatile, with 23 percent of the people surveyed saying they are undecided.  And, the candidates are not well known. Half the people polled said they had no opinion of Markey, or never heard of him.

   In a low turnout special election, a get out the vote effort will be critical.  Organized labor can deliver such a ground game. Lynch is a former iron worker and has the support of trades unions.  John Rowley is business manager for IBEW local 2324 in Springfield, which is backing Lynch.

   But, last weekend, the Massachusetts AFL-CIO  declined to endorse a candidate, which was  a victory for Markey, according to Mike Shea.

   Lynch is also struggling to win support from women.  He opposes abortion, but said this week in a video posted on his campaign website, that he would not vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee who would overturn Roe vs. Wade.

   Planned Parenthood is expected to make an endorsement in the Massachusetts Senate Race,shortly, according to  Tricia Wajda, a spokesperson for  the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts.

   By walking the fence on the abortion issue, Lynch runs the risk of  losing conservative independents, according to political analyst Shea.

   There is a three way Republican primary with former US Attorney Michael Sullivan, private equity advisor Gabriel Gomez and State Representative Dan Winslow.   The UMass Lowell poll showed the two Democrats with large leads over all three Republicans.  

   The primaries will be on April 30th. The special election on June 25