Although some conservative websites have touted some polls released by Republicans showing a fairly close race to fill the U.S. Senate seat vacated by now Secretary of State John Kerry, other polls show U.S. Rep. Edward Markey comfortably ahead of businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez — and if the latest one is correct it’s going to be a blowout. Most telling part of this new poll: Gomez is trailing badly among women voters. This underscores the GOP’s continuing problems with women voters — which aren’t helped by the litany of Twilight Zone-ish comments coming from GOPers almost weekly. The latest polls doesn’t come from a political camp:
As voters get ready to head to the polls Tuesday to choose Massachusetts’ next U.S. senator, a new UMass Lowell-Boston Herald poll shows U.S. Rep. Edward Markey has a double-digit lead over businessman and former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez.
Markey, a Democrat, leads Republican Gomez 56 to 36 percent among likely voters (7 percent undecided) and 53 to 32 percent among registered voters in the race to fill the seat vacated by John Kerry, who resigned earlier this year to become U.S. secretary of state. Of voters who said they plan to vote for Markey, 76 percent said this is a firm choice compared to 67 percent of voters who said they will vote for Gomez.
The independent, nonpartisan poll was conducted on behalf of the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion and the Boston Herald and surveyed 608 Massachusetts registered voters between Saturday, June 15 and Wednesday, June 19. The margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for registered voters and plus or minus 5.6 percentage points for likely voters.
Most likely, Gomez’s supporters will now talk about the methodology of the poll being bad because partisans (on both sides) tout polls that show their person ahead and question the methodology of polls they don’t like. During the 2012 Presidential election many Fox News viewers trusted the methodology of Dick Morris (was it an itch on his backside?) and later came to regret it. The more you read this poll, the worse the numbers look not just for Gomez but for Republicans — but that must be tempered by the fact this is from (usually) Democratic Massachusetts:
Markey’s favorability rating has increased to 48 percentage points – up from 31 percentage points in March when the last UMass Lowell-Boston Herald poll on the Senate race was released – and his unfavorable rating has remains steady, going from 20 to 22 percent among registered voters. In March, 53.4 percent of those polled had never heard of Gomez (compared to 32 percent who had never heard of Markey) and his favorability rating was 9 percent. The new poll indicates that 93 percent of voters have heard of Gomez, who is viewed favorably by 34 percent and unfavorably by 33 percent of registered voters. Thirty-three percent of registered voters and 26 percent of independents considered Gomez “too conservative” while 24 percent of registered voters and 38 percent of independents indicated Markey is “too liberal.”
“Markey’s wide lead is likely explained by the fact that that there are many more Democrats than Republicans in Massachusetts and this race has not garnered the type of national attention that the 2010 special election between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley did.
And money talks:
Additionally, Gomez’s unfavorables have gone up sharply, likely because he is being outspent by Markey. For voters who are not paying much attention, all that they are likely to know about Gomez is that he is a Republican and whatever else may have been gleaned from negative campaign ads. Absent significant outside investment from Republican donors and interest groups to match Markey’s campaign advertisements, Gomez’s chances of turning this election around in the last week are not good,” said Joshua Dyck, Ph.D., co-director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion and associate professor of political science.
But here is the kicker:
The poll also found that Markey leads Gomez in all gender, age, education, income and ethnic categories.
“Markey’s lead is bolstered by a sizeable gender gap. He leads Gomez among men by 12 percentage points, but among women, he leads by 29 percentage points,” said Dyck, who noted that while some interviews for the poll were conducted following the June 18 debate between Gomez and Markey, there was no statistically significant change. Among those surveyed on June 19, there was a small decrease in Markey’s lead and a small increase in undecided voters.
Nationally, the GOP will have a hard time winning elections if it loses women voters by a huge margin (it already is) and loses Hispanic voters (the Republican House is working hard on that as you read this).