The latest poll from WBUR-MassInc, released earlier today (toplines here, crosstabs here), shows Ed Markey up 35-24 (+11) on Steve Lynch among likely Democratic primary voters, with a plurality of 41 percent still undecided. Markey led 38-31 in WBUR’s February 15 poll.
Markey’s favorables are at 32-23 (+9) and Lynch’s at 37-12 (+25) (note to self: do more to get the word out about Lynch being…(censored)). But, as reflected in the high rate of undecided voters, many people don’t know much about the candidates. 31% say they’ve heard of Markey but haven’t formed an opinion. Another 12% haven’t heard of him. As for Lynch, 30% are undecided and 19% have never heard of him.
Some interesting tidbits in the crosstabs:
- Not much spread between Markey’s lead among registered Dems (36-24) and unenrolleds who intend to vote in the Democratic primary (33-25).
- Men favor Markey 42-27 with 32% undecided. Women favor Markey only 30-23 with 47% undecided. That’s lot of undecided women. If I’m the Markey campaign, I’m planning to get the word out on Lynch’s anti-choice positions.
- A propos, Lynch largely getting a pass on social issues. Favorability rating of 36-13 among “pro-choice” respondents; 36-15 among “pro-life” respondents. Astounding.
- Huge age split among men: Lynch up 38-19 among men ages 18-49, Markey up 62-16 among men 50+.
- Significant gender gap among those 18-49. Lynch up 38-19 among men, Markey up 27-16 among women with 56% undecided.
- Lynch leading 24-5 with a whopping 70% undecided among voters 18-29. Time for Markey to step up the outreach to the youth vote.
- Markey comfortably ahead among older voters: 47-23 among those 60+, 41-22 among those 45-59. These groups are less likely to be undecided. If the younger voters stay home, it might well benefit Markey.
On the Republican side, Michael Sullivan appears to have a large lead: Sullivan 28%, Winslow 10%, Gomez 8%. But a full 46% of likely Republican primary voters are undecided. No Republican candidate has yet made an impression on even 30% of the GOP electorate:
- Sullivan: 17% favorable, 10% unfavorable, 36% undecided, 35% never heard of
- Winslow: 5% favorable, 5% unfavorable, 29% undecided, 57% never heard of
- Gomez: 10% favorable, 10% unfavorable, 30% undecided, 46% never heard of.
Both Democratic candidates have sizable leads on any of the GOP candidates in hypothetical general election match-ups. But to me the main takeaways are that:
- We are five weeks from the primaries and the public seems very little engaged in this race.
- Steve Lynch is doing well among groups of voters who, based on the issues, would be expected to favor Markey (e.g. younger voters, especially younger women).