After two polls showed a tight race in the U.S. Senate special election in Massachusetts, a new survey released late Wednesday showed Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) with a commanding lead over Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez.
The latest Suffolk University/7News poll showed Markey picking up the support of 52 percent of likely Bay State voters, while Gomez trailed with 35 percent support.
Markey, the 18-term congressman, also enjoys higher name recognition and stronger personal popularity than his GOP opponent.
Fifty-two percent of voters said they have a favorable opinion of Markey compared with 30 percent who said they have an unfavorable opinion of him. Gomez, meanwhile, notched a favorability rating of 38 percent, while 23 percent said they viewed him unfavorably. But 32 percent said they had heard of Gomez but had not made up their minds.
Suffolk’s findings are quite different than the results of a pair of surveys released last week. A poll from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed Markey holding only a 4-point edge, while a survey from Emerson College had the the Democrat up by 6.
David Paleologos, the pollster for Suffolk, acknowledged that the race could get tighter before the June 25 special election, but maintained that Markey is starting with the upper-hand.
“I’m not saying the race won’t be close or it won’t get closer, or that Markey or somebody won’t gaffe,” Paleologos told the Boston Globe. “But in terms of the starting point, this isn’t a handful-of-points race.”
The PollTracker Average currently shows Markey in a solid starting point as well.