Poll: Brown Leads Markey by 20 Points

Perhaps the most startling thing in this story: "Markey actually does worse than a generic Democrat." Why? Because nobody knows who the hell Markey is. And why is that? Well, this and this, for starters. Oh, and here's David Bernstein at the Phoenix: "Lynch is going to outwork Markey as a retail candidate -- he's a terrific, hard-working, disciplined candidate with a smart team who will make sure his time is used wisely. If -- and I'm just saying IF -- Markey takes a lazy approach to the primary campaign, Lynch is going to implicitly make him look like an elitist, out-of-touch, stuck-in-the-beltway, party favorite expecting to buy your vote. (BTW, it's been four weeks since he said he's running, has Markey made an appearance outside his district yet? Been seen shaking any hands? Anyone?) That's bad, not just for the primary but then in carrying that public perception into the general election." - promoted by david

From Politico:

 Former Sen. Scott Brown has a 20-point lead over the DSCC’s preferred candidate in a special election to replace likely incoming Secretary of State John Kerry, according to a poll released Friday.

Brown draws 53 percent of the vote to 31 percent for veteran Rep. Ed Markey, according to the poll from MassINC. Kerry and the DSCC have endorsed Markey for the Senate seat. Markey actually does worse than a generic Democrat, who would draw 36 percent of the vote to Brown’s 44 percent….

While the establishment is lining up behind Markey, a favorite of environmentalists and liberals, Democrats want to see him face a primary against Lynch, an abortion-rights opponent and former union steelworker. Only 16 percent of Democratic primary voters said party leaders should encourage other candidates to drop out of the race and back Markey. A whopping 71 percent preferred a competitive primary.

Lots of work ahead.

Recommended by kbusch, hlpeary, trickle-up, mark-bail.


24 Comments . Leave a comment below.
  1. When I read poll numbers like that, I'm all like


  2. A guy who hasn't

    declared his candidacy vs. a guy who hasn’t started his campaign. What do you think the chance are that this poll means anything?

    Or to quote the esteemed Stomv: bqhatevwr!

  3. Markey is shaking hands outside his district

    I saw him today at the MA Municipal Association conference in Boston. His website still sucks, but he IS actually campaigning.

  4. People want a primary election.

    In this poll, Brown 71% say that they want a primary election.

  5. Patience!

    No election has yet been called for a seat that is not yet vacant.

  6. My point is...

    …there continues to be needless anxiety attacks on the part of Democrats, and it is still very early. Without an official race nomination papers haven’t been released yet and we’re still in the exploratory stage. People got the jitters because Warren didn’t do this or that early enough for their liking either and she won. Ditto for Deval Patrick in 2006, and Coakley’s loss wasn’t a function of her not starting early enough. Deep breaths, people!

    • We'd be better off

      worrying about Mike Napoli at first base.

    • It would be hugely embarrassing to officially campaign for a seat

      That turns out not to be open. While the expectation is clear sailing for Kerry’s confirmation, is anything a guarantee these days in Congress, even if it makes sense? In addition, I suspect many Senators would not look kindly upon their votes being assumed. As much as we are all chomping at the bit to get things started – special election cycle is short enough – it makes sense for anyone who want to join the Senate to wait until the seat is actually open before going too far down the road of officially campaigning.

      This is why it makes sense to me there’s been little public talk on the Republican sided about who might run for the seat. I’m not sure any Republican, even in Mass., wants to be open about assuming Republican Senators are happily going along with President Obama on anything. Even if that’s going to happen, I’m not sure it wins you friends in your own party.

      Once the seat’s open, though, I very much want to see a robust Markey Web site, volunteer organizing effort, etc.

      • "wait until the seat is actually open before going too far down the road of officially campaigning"

        I guess I don’t understand this point of view. If Markey were holding off from campaigning out of some sort of respect for protocol, or not taking confirmation for granted, or whatever, he surely would not have released lists of elected officials who have endorsed him for Senate, right? And yet we’ve recently heard that Bob DeLeo and a raft of other folks who happen to reside in Markey’s congressional district have endorsed him for Senate, and then that Attorney General Martha Coakley and Treasurer Steve Grossman have done the same. Do you think those endorsements just fell from the sky? I don’t. I think Markey actively sought them out. In other words, Markey is actively campaigning. He’s just doing it the old-fashioned way: lining up a bunch of establishment types like elected officials to endorse him and assume that the voters will dutifully fall in line.

        Maybe Markey will luck out: maybe Lynch will forego a primary, and maybe Brown will sit out the general, so that all Markey has to do is beat a past-his-sell-by-date pol like Bill Weld. Or maybe not.

        • We'll see in the next week or two

          I will be both disappointed and surprised if Markey plans to run a campaign based largely on endorsements. It makes much more sense to me that the early endorsement strategy is aimed at potential primary opponents and not at the electorate.

          We should see in the next couple of weeks whether he runs a modern or old-school Democratic campaign.

        • That's the assumption

          Markey was only going to gun for this if he didn’t have to work for it and that seems to be his assumption here. Part if me hopes he gets primaried by Lynch so he can beat up on him, end Lynchies career, and be prepared for Brown or whomever he has to run against. Even if its a has been like Weld e should be more visible and available, particularly to the grassroots. He has not even posted here yet! I share Christopher’s notion that its too early to hit the panic button, but totally disagree with him that its conversely too early for Markey to start working.

      • The risks of belated campaigning

        Right now Markey appears to me as an Issue Checkbox Candidate who has a job in Washington that he is performing excellently.

        What does that do? That leaves him very open to the charge of being a “Washington insider” with no competing narrative. Mr Brown has been itching to run as the unpolitician and Markey’s resume screams politician.

        The Markey Campaign needs to establish a narrative — and soon — about who Mr Markey is, why he personally wants to be Senator, and how we can think of him in addition to his being a politician and legislator.

        I may vote on issues. You Oceandreams and Christopher probably do too. But a lot of people vote on character — and only understand issues through the lens of character.

        Getting Massachusetts to know Ed Markey, getting a narrative out about who he is and what his motivation is for being Senator is going to take some time. Scott Brown already has it. If you don’t remember it, let me review it: Scott Brown who is just like a good guy neighbor eschews Washington as it is. His goal is to go to Washington to get things done. That means being bipartisan and reaching across the aisle as so-and-so many organizations have said he does so well. You will like Scott Brown and you will like what he accomplishes in DC.

        Me? I don’t believe that narrative, but Markey, right now, has nothing, zero, nada to counter it. Shaking hands in public places, having an empty website, and lacking anything resembling a media presence do nothing whatever to supply and spread that counter-narrative.

        He keeps that up and he’ll lose.

        It won’t even be close.

        • I have to disagree that Markey has no counter to Scott Brown's narrative.

          Markey has been one of the leading experts in Congress on energy issues, particularly on climate change, and has been a longtime critic of the NRC’s lax oversight of the nuclear power industry.

          He was also out front in his knowledgeable criticism of BP re the oil spill. As is the case with Elizabeth Warren, Markey has shown that there is a place and a need for thoughtful adovcates of government regulation of industry. Those should be viable issues on which he can build a narrative for a Senate campaign.

          • Banks and Oil: Warren and Markey

            Warren takes on big banks, and Markey takes on big oil! Great narrative for this state…

          • Uh

            That’s not a narrative — and it has as much appeal to low information voters as a box of thumb tacks.

            When I say, “through the lens of character”, I’m quite serious. Focus groups conducted before the last election just did not believe Republicans were pushing the policies on Medicare that they in fact pushed. They found those facts inconsistent with their understanding of Republican office holders and so they didn’t believe the facts. To convince people that Republicans wanted to voucherize Medicare, you can’t just talk about what happens in Congress.

            And yes, this is a sad commentary about the age in which we live, but it’s the age in which we live.

    • I'm NOT worried about the poll numbers

      20% is not bad, actually, given the circumstances.

      I AM worried about how long it is taking my guy, Ed Markey, to get into campaign mode. He is extraordinarily vulnerable until he defines himself, and he needs to get into fighting trim quickly.

      He’s got a campaign war chest and could have a beefed-up web presence in a few days. It can be generic at this point while he formulates themes for the campaign.

      Similarly a listening tour is something he can do while the other stuff comes together.

      The beauty of the listening tour is, he does not have to hold forth. There, silence = humility and openness. “I’m just here to hear what the people of Hampden County have to say. Why don’t you ask them that question?”

      So if he is going to be be silent (and I understand why he would not want to go off half cocked in advance of a campaign message and strategy), he can still do so in a positive way.

      • Great idea

        Great idea, allows him to increase visibility west of 495 and learn how to campaign and be approachable while also respecting the process.

  7. If there is another strong candidate out there

    He or she should run.

    Markey has a strong environmental record, but is not well known across the state.
    Lynch’s vote against the Affordable Care Act was ridiculous: a lot of Democrats (outside his district) would actively root against him.

    Popular Scott meanwhile is itching for the chance to win reelection so he can blow off anyone who is not already a member of his personality cult.

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Tue 28 Mar 11:51 AM