May 9 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, leads his Republican opponent by 17 percentage points in the race to succeed John Kerry in the Senate, a Suffolk University/7News poll shows.
“Markey is in a pretty good spot,” David Paleologos, the director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said yesterday. “It is not a close race.”
The 66-year-old congressman who represents Boston suburbs led 47-year-old Gabriel Gomez 52 percent to 35 percent among 500 likely voters, the poll released yesterday shows. The June 25 special-election winner will fill the remainder of Kerry’s term, which ends in early 2015. Kerry gave up the seat Feb. 1 to become secretary of state. Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, named William “Mo” Cowan to the post on an interim basis.
Earlier voter surveys suggested a much closer race between Gomez, a political newcomer, and Markey, who has served in Congress since 1977. Paleologos said one key difference from those polls is that he removes respondents who don’t know the general time frame for the final vote.
“If they say it is going to be in September or November, they are not really tuned in,” he said. His survey showed that 11 percent were undecided.
The poll also said 63 percent approved of President Barack Obama’s job performance to 32 percent who disapproved, and most, 58 percent, believe Markey would toe the Democratic party line in the Senate. In campaigning, Markey has said he would back Obama and that Gomez would fight the president’s agenda.
Markey has trumpeted his support for the “People’s Pledge” to limit outside campaign spending, and asked Gomez to agree. The poll showed the issue was very or somewhat important to 71 percent of voters. Gomez has refused to take the pledge.
Democrats outnumber Republicans by more than 3-to-1 among the 4.1 million registered Massachusetts voters. More than 2.1 million, or 52 percent, are independents, state figures show.
The telephone poll May 4-7 has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
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