The anticipated matchup in the Massachusetts special election to fill the Senate seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry would start out as a toss up, according to the latest findings from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released Wednesday.
In a hypothetical matchup tested by PPP, former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) held a narrow edge over the Democratic frontrunner, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), 48 percent to 45 percent. Brown, who is expected to announce his intention to run next week, claimed only 9-point advantage over the longshot Democratic candidate in the race, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA). The poll showed that Bay State Democrats, like the state and national party establishment, overwhelmingly prefer Markey to be the nominee in the special election over Lynch. Fifty-two percent said they will vote for Markey in the Democratic primary, while 19 percent said they will support Lynch.
The results of PPP's poll are much different than the findings of a survey released last week from MassINC Polling Group, which showed the former Brown trouncing Markey in a hypothetical matchup.
PPP conducted its poll Jan. 29-30 using automated phone interviews with 763 Massachusetts voters and 404 Democratic primary voters. The margin of error for the overall sample is +/-3.6 percent and +/-4.9 percent for the Democratic sample.