It’s tied. Or, if you prefer, it’s a blowout. You get to believe whatever you like. Either, as Emerson College/7 News measures, Joe Kennedy III has a 16-point lead over incumbent Ed Markey; or, as UMass Lowell/YouGov measures, it’s basically tied at 44% Kennedy/42% Markey.
I am not smart enough to be able to tell which was a better quality poll. Emerson polled 620 likely D primary voters; UMass Lowell polled 531. Those seem … comparable? And I’m under the impression that both firms are reputable. The Emerson poll jumps out because it seems to be a return to a big lead for JKIII even as other polls since last fall had indicated a closer race … like the UML/YouGov poll.
Even Emerson reports a very fluid race:
While the lead is significant, 60% of voters said they might change their mind before September.http://emersonpolling.com/2020/05/07/massachusetts-2020-kennedy-leading-markey-by-16-points-in-us-senate-race/
(And Bill Galvin take note:)
Additionally, with safety concerns due to the coronavirus, a majority (61%) of voters said they would rather vote by mail, while 39% said they still prefer an in-person option to vote.
Well, as everyone here knows, I’m a honk for Ed Markey. (Have you seen his cool t-shirt?) There’s been a narrative that Markey was old school, boring, and faceless. This was never true; he’s always been one of the most interesting, progressive, and effective legislators — ironically, in the Ted Kennedy mold. (Markey was friends with the Kennedy clan, which makes this whole race that much more poignant.) It is probably the case that, having come into office via a special election, he’s not well-known outside of MA-5, his old district.
In any event, there are a lot of people — many of them young, charming, persuasive, and whom I hope show up at the polls in great numbers — who really really like Markey. And they’re going to tell their story between now and 9/1.