GOP looks for silver linings in poll showing sizable Markey lead

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But while Republicans may find some solace in those poll numbers, Markey remains the heavy favorite to take the seat vacated by Secretary of State John Kerry. 

Markey held a 50-21 percent advantage over Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) with less than two months before the Democratic primary. And Markey holds significant, double-digit leads over each of his potential Republican opponents.

Moreover, while around half of respondents they didn't know or didn't have an opinion of Markey, at least eight in 10 said the same about each of the Republican alternatives. While that could allow a Republican challenger wide latitude to define themselves before a general election, that will be a tall task in heavily Democratic Massachusetts. 

The Herald poll was conducted with the University of Massachusetts - Lowell and surveyed 589 registered voters.