Polls will open in Massachusetts for the primary vote in the special election to fill Secretary of State John Kerry’s seat on Tuesday. Although the turnout for the primary is expected to be light – it is estimated that fewer than one in 5 registered voters in Massachusetts will cast ballots – candidates are still scouring the state and trying to win over all last-minute votes, while still trying to be respectful to the mourning city of Boston.
On the democratic side, Representative Ed Markey is going head-to-head with Representative Stephen Lynch. According to various polls, Rep. Ed Markey is in the lead, though the size of that lead varies from poll to poll. As per Public Policy Polling, Markey leads Lynch by 14 points, but an internal Lunch poll gives Markey just a 6 point lead.
Moreover, both Caroline Kennedy – daughter of the late President John F. Kennedy, and former Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) have endorsed Markey, as has the Boston Globe, giving him an edge.
Lynch was also forced to cancel most campaign events on Monday, a day before the primary, due to an illness, which could also hurt him when it comes to the polls.
The Republicans, on the other hand, have their work cut out for them in what one of the Republican candidates, Dan Winslow, has called “deep blue Massachusetts.”
Mike Sullivan, one of the Republican candidates, is a former state representative and an attorney. A self-proclaimed “independent Republican,” his social views, especially on marriage equality and abortion rights are largely traditional, making him a Tea Party favorite. He also has led the polls for a significant portion of the campaign.
Winslow, a state representative and lawyer identities himself as a “Lincoln Republican,” on the other hand, holds rather moderate views on social issues. Saying that he is “pro-equality,” Winslow is both pro-choice and believes in marriage equality.
Gabriel Gomez is the third Republican candidate. A business man, former Navy SEAL, and son of Colombian immigrants, Gomez lacks the political experience that his two rivals have, but views that as a positive thing.
“I’m not a career politician and I’m not set in any kind of ideological position that’s going to make me go so far to one side … I’m going to go down there and do what’s right for the people of Massachusetts and I’m going to come back after two terms,” he says.
And although Massachusetts typically votes Democratic, a Republican victory can begin to prove that Scott Brown’s win three years ago wasn’t just an anomaly in Massachusetts, but an indicator of a larger change in the state.
The general election, which will feature the primary winners, is scheduled for June 25.