The Washington Times - June 21, 2013, 11:03AM

Just days before the Massachusetts special election for the Senate seat of now-Secretary of State John Kerry, Democratic Rep. Ed Markey has a 20-point lead over Republican former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez, according to a new UMass Lowell-Boston Herald poll.

Mr. Markey leads Mr. Gomez 56 percent to 36 percent among likely voters in a poll that seemingly indicates the race is essentially over.


“Markey’s wide lead is likely explained by the fact that that there are many more Democrats than Republicans in Massachusetts and this race has not garnered the type of national attention that the 2010 special election between Scott Brown and Martha Coakley did,” said Joshua Dyck, co-director of UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion.

“Absent significant outside investment from Republican donors and interest groups to match Markey’s campaign advertisements, Gomez’s chances of turning this election around in the last week are not good.”

Among registered voters, the margin is essentially the same, with Mr. Markey leading 53 percent to 32 percent.

Still, another poll conducted by GOP pollster John McLaughlin and released Thursday showed Mr. Markey with just a 3 percentage point lead, 47 percent to 44 percent.

But in the latest Real Clear Politics average (from May 30 to June 14), Mr. Markey has a 9.6 percent lead — 50.2 percent to 40.6 percent.

In January, Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Mo Cowan, a Democrat, to temporarily fill the seat after Mr. Kerry resigned.

The UMass Lowell-Boston Herald survey is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 608 Massachusetts registered voters, including 312 likely voters, from June 15-19. The margin of error is 4 percentage points among registered voters and 5.6 percentage points among likely voters.

The margin of error in the McLaughlin poll of 1,100 likely voters, conducted June 17-19, is 3 percentage points.