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PPP Poll: Markey 44, Gomez 40

1:17 PM, May 3, 2013 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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The special election campaign for Senate in Massachusetts is only a few days old, but it's already looking close. A new PPP poll shows Democrat Ed Markey leading his Republican opponent, Gabriel Gomez, by only four points. Here's more from PPP:

PPP's first poll of the general election in the Massachusetts Senate special finds a close race, with Ed Markey leading Gabriel Gomez by a 44-40 margin.

Gomez is starting out as a pretty popular candidate, with 41% of voters rating him favorably to 27% with an unfavorable opinion. Beyond having good numbers with Republicans he's at 42/24 with independents, and actually seen narrowly positively even by Democrats at 33/32. Voters meanwhile are more divided on Markey, with 44% holding a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. He's at 31/50 with independents.

For a Republican to be competitive in Massachusetts they need to win independents by a hefty margin and get a fair amount of crossover support from Democrats, and right now Gomez is doing both of those things. He's up 47/31 with independents and winning over 21% of Democratic voters. Both those numbers suggest that some folks who supported Stephen Lynch in the primary are being a little reticent about supporting Markey in the general.

Another poll released this week from Emerson College also showed Markey with just a single-digit lead over Gomez.

The Markey campaign, meanwhile, has started the campaign off with a web ad calls Gomez "just another Republican." The ad knocks Gomez, a retired Navy SEAL, for his involvement in a political group of former military special operations officers that criticized what the group called President Obama's used of classified intelligence information for political purposes. The Markey ad shows a still photo of Gomez next to several seconds of video featuring al Qaeda mastermind Osama bin Laden. Watch the video below:

Gomez campaign spokesman Will Ritter responded to the ad in an emailed statement. "Ed Markey launched his mudslinging campaign with negative political attacks," Ritter said. "He will do and say anything to avoid talking about what matters most – out of control spending in Washington and putting people back to work."

The special election to fill the seat once occupied by Secretary of State John Kerry is on June 25.

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