BOSTON (SHNS) – With the primary election only six days away, two new polls released Wednesday showed U.S. Sen. Ed Markey with an apparent lead over his challenger, Congressman Joe Kennedy III.
A poll of likely Massachusetts Democratic primary voters conducted by the progressive Data for Progress think tank found 46 percent ready to vote for Markey, 38 percent in support of Kennedy, and 16 percent not sure who to back. Among those who are uncertain, Kennedy saw slightly more support at 30 percent to 28 percent.
In a separate survey the UMass Lowell Center for Public Opinion ran of 800 likely Democratic primary voters, 52 percent supported Markey compared to 40 percent who backed Kennedy. The race has reached full speed in recent weeks, with both camps lobbing frequent criticism of one another and debates prompting sharp interactions between the candidates.
Both polls showed Markey earning significantly more support from likely voters with a college education and Kennedy performing better among those without a degree. Markey, a 74-year-old incumbent, is also faring much more strongly with younger voters: he led Kennedy by 26 percentage points among decided voters under 45 in the Data for Progress poll and by 27 points among voters aged 18 to 44 in the UMass Lowell poll.
The UMass Lowell poll also broke down support by race, finding that Markey led Kennedy by 16 percentage points among white likely voters while Kennedy led by one percentage point among non-white likely voters.
The UMass Lowell poll was conducted from Aug. 13 to Aug. 21 and has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points, while the Data for Progress poll was conducted on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 with a margin of error of 4 percentage points.