Poll: Markey up 10 over Gomez on eve of Massachusetts Senate special election

A final Massachusetts Senate campaign poll showed Rep. Edward Markey holding a 10-point lead over Republican Gabriel Gomez on the eve of Tuesday’s election, boosting Democrats’ confidence they’ll hold the seat. 

Suffolk University polled likely voters statewide and found Markey with 52 percent support to Gomez's 42 percent support.

The survey came as Gomez was set to make a final pitch for votes at a Monday night rally headlined by former Sen. Scott Brown (R), whose upset victory in the 2010 Massachusetts special election had fueled GOP hopes of a repeat this year. 

But the help from Brown may be too little, too late. 

Gomez was unable to narrow the poll gap with Markey throughout the campaign, and struggled to overcome a significant financial disadvantage. 

Markey and Democrats have been able to outspend him 3-to-1 on air.

Gomez, a private equity executive, former Navy SEAL and son of Colombian immigrants, embodied the kind of candidate Republican leaders have said they want to recruit following the party’s disappointing losses in 2012.

But some Republicans expressed frustration at what they viewed as a hypocritical lack of support from GOP’s donor class — only one outside conservative group spent on Gomez’s behalf. 

The National Republican Senatorial Committee, however, on Monday touted its own engagement in the race. 

The NRSC spent nearly $1 million on everything from polling to Web ads to transfers to the state GOP — money that was spent on on-air attacks. 

The GOP committee also deployed staff to the state and hosted fundraisers for the candidate.

“We put our money where our mouth is, and our efforts have forced Democrats and liberal interest groups to spend millions upon millions in the bluest of blue states,” Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said in an email to donors.

Moran said it was important for Republicans to see the “bigger picture” in Massachusetts. 

“Democrats have been forced to send Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden (multiple times), Al Gore, Elizabeth Warren, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and many more just to keep Ed Markey afloat,” he wrote.

Democrats suggested Moran’s email indicated the GOP was already writing off Gomez.

“Pretty unseemly for the NRSC to throw the #MASen race overboard a day before the election,” tweeted Guy Cecil, executive director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

NRSC Communications Director Brad Dayspring fired back at Cecil in his own tweet, saying it was “unseemly for you to lie.” 

Suffolk’s poll results echo other recent independent surveys that have shown Markey’s lead growing from single digits in the past week. 

The poll was conducted among 500 likely voters statewide from June 19-22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points overall. 

Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin on Monday predicted record-low turnout for the election, with 1.6 million voters expected to head to the polls — about 600,000 less than voted in the 2010 special election.

This story was originally posted at 11 a.m. and has been updated. 

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