Over the past week we’ve understandably been focused on the horrific bombing on Boylston Street and its dramatic aftermath. We are, however, only eight days away from the primaries in our special election for the U.S. Senate, and I thought it might be useful to review recent developments in the race.
Some good news for Ed Markey in the last few days. On Saturday, he was endorsed by the Boston Globe. The Globe based its decision on Markey’s history of getting key legislation passed:
…Lynch  casts Markey as a creature of Washington, beholden to its ways. It’s an understandable argument for Lynch, since many voters are frustrated with the paralysis in the capital, and looking for ways to register their disapproval.
But it’s hard to see what Ed Markey has to do with the partisanship and discord that have turned people against Congress. He’s a happy warrior, eager to join with Republicans on matters of national importance. To reject Markey simply because he knows how to get things done wouldn’t be a blow against congressional dysfunction; it would further it.
Like Markey, Lynch is also a long-serving congressman, albeit for 12 years. But he is, for better or worse, an antiestablishment figure. He doesn’t seek to be part of the congressional leadership, and tends to go his own way on major votes. Like former Senator Scott Brown, Lynch sometimes seems to believe the job of legislator is to wait until others have shown their cards — until all the hard work of drafting bills is done — and then vote thumbs up or thumbs down.
The Globe continued:
In some areas…Lynch has been a diligent House member. But he’s chosen, in this campaign, to present himself as a principled outsider taking on the ultimate company man. The alleged company man, however, has delivered more for the people of Massachusetts; the achievement gap between Markey and Lynch is vast.
As this recent post noted, the latest poll (Mass Inc.) has Markey leading Lynch 44-34, with 21 percent undecided. Although I’d be skeptical of that poll because the sample size is too small (only 270 people surveyed for the Democratic primary) and the poll’s structure a bit strange in my view, Markey nonetheless has led Lynch by double digits in every single poll since they entered the race.
The Globe further reports that Markey has far more cash on hand than any of the other candidates. Markey started with $3 million in his campaign account and has raised $4.8 million in donations since launching his campaign, for a total of $7.8 million. Through April 10 the Markey campaign had spent $3.2 million, leaving $4.6 million
Lynch started out with $745,000 and has raised $1.5 million. He has spent just over $1.7 million, leaving him with $514,000 as of April 10. That’s only 1/9 of what Markey had available.
Approximate fundraising positions of the three Republican candidates (the Globe endorsed Winslow, though I imagine many GOP primary voters won’t see that as a good thing):
- Gomez: $1.2 million raised (half from his own funds), $500K left as of April 10.
- Winslow: $395K raised ($158,550 from his own funds), $142K left.
- Sullivan: $175K raised, $96K left.
Gomez’s personal money and hedge fund connections are reflected in these numbers. Sullivan, in particular, has been at a real financial disadvantage. Though I take the Mass Inc. poll with a grain of salt (GOP sample size of only 128), Gomez’s 10-to-1 fundraising advantage may explain, in part, why he does so much better in that poll than in earlier ones.
Markey and Lynch also debated tonight (more on that later) and will debate again tomorrow, in the obligatory Western Mass. debate, which was originally scheduled for Patriots Day but postponed in light of the bomb attack.