Only two days into the general election to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s Massachusetts Senate seat, the race between longtime Democratic Rep. Ed Markey and Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez is fairly close.
According to an Emerson College poll released Thursday, Gomez trails Markey by just six points in the blue state, 36 percent to 42 percent.
Both candidates are popular, with Markey boasting a 48 percent favorability rating and Gomez 45 percent. But Markey has higher unfavorables, at 37 percent, than Gomez, who is viewed unfavorably by only 25 percent of people. Still, those numbers show Gomez to be a much less-well known quantity, meaning they could shift as voters get to know him.
Plenty of reasons to be skeptical of a Republican candidate who backed Barack Obama in 2008, but I like to see Democrats have to work for it, even in Massachusetts, and I can’t help but like a SEAL.
A little taste of Gomez on Greta Van Susteren’s show, with a harrowing story about his Boston Marathon experience and a jab at Markey’s career as a politician:
Dave Freddoso notes that PPP announced it has the race in single digits, too, making the Emerson College poll more newsworthy. What does it mean for Gomez?
But here’s the other thing that makes me wonder:
The close dynamic of this race is in stark contrast to the Special 2010 Election where Republican Scott Brown trailed Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) 58% to 27% (Suffolk University Poll 11/8/2009).
This is a double-edged observation. On the one hand, it could mean Gomez is already in far better shape than Brown was. On the other hand, it could mean he’s popped up too soon and lost the element of surprise. One thing Brown had going for him in his January 2010 election was that nobody saw him coming until it was too late. That probably isn’t going to happen here.
Meanwhile in a mirror special election in South Carolina’s very Republican 1st Congressional District, the powers that be seem to be setting low expectations for Colbert Busch.