A Republican polling firm has found that the Massachusetts special election for the U.S. Senate is in a dead heat. Democrat Ed Markey, the longtime congressman, leads Republican and first-time candidate Gabriel Gomez by just a point. According to McLaughlin and Associates, a firm that often works for Republican candidates, 45 percent of likely voters in Massachusetts support Markey, while 44 percent support Gomez and 11 percent remain undecided. The election is on June 25.
Markey has long led Gomez in the polls, which is no surprise considering Massachusetts leans heavily Democratic. According to the Real Clear Politics average, which doesn't include the McLaughlin poll, Markey's lead over Gomez is about 10 points. But Republicans hoping to pull off an upset may find solace in Markey's high unfavorability ratings, which McLaughlin found to be 42 percent, equal to his favorability. Gomez, on the other hand, has a 48 percent favorability rating compared to a 27 percent unfavorability.
Gomez, a lifelong Republican, has taken great aims to distance himself from the national party, including voicing his support for comprehensive immigration reform, tougher gun control laws, and maintaining the current legality of abortion. His positioning as a moderate Republican could boost him in a low-turnout special election.