Kennedy leads Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary: polls

Kennedy leads Markey ahead of Massachusetts Senate primary: polls
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Rep. Joe KennedyJoseph (Joe) Patrick KennedyOvernight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Bipartisan group demands House prioritize communities of color in coronavirus relief bill Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues in battle to save seats MORE III (D-Mass.) leads Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyOvernight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues in battle to save seats Senate Dems introduce bill to keep pilots and bus and train operators safe MORE (D-Mass.) in two new polls ahead of Massachusetts's contested Senate primary. 

An Emerson College survey released on Wednesday shows Kennedy with 58 percent support and Markey at 42 percent support. That lead falls well outside the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. 

However, 60 percent of voters in the poll said they "might change their mind" before the September primary.

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“Markey has a lot of work to do this summer, especially in the Boston area where Kennedy holds a 30 point lead," Emerson College polling director Spencer Kimball said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a separate University of Massachusetts-Lowell poll released on Thursday showed a narrower gap between the two, with Kennedy leading by just 2 points, at 44 percent to Markey's 42 percent, well within the margin of error of plus or minus 7.8 percentage points.

The same poll showed that 49 percent of respondents viewed Kennedy favorably and 45 percent viewed Markey favorably.

Kennedy also leads Markey in fundraising with $6.6 million in the bank compared to Markey's $4.4 million cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

The primary has split Democrats as they watch the two progressive leaders prepare to go head-to-head later this year. 

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Kennedy, the grandson of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, has pledged to bring generational change and a fresh perspective on politics to the Senate. In addition to being a part of one of America's famous political dynasties, Kennedy is also seen as a rising star in the Democratic Party and delivered the response to President TrumpDonald John TrumpTwitter CEO: 'Not true' that removing Trump campaign video was illegal, as president has claimed Biden formally clinches Democratic presidential nomination Barr says he didn't give 'tactical' command to clear Lafayette protesters MORE's State of the Union address in 2018.

However, Markey has a long list of progressive accomplishments, most notably teaming up with progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezNRCC turns up heat on vulnerable Democrats over Omar's call to abolish police Overnight Energy: US Park Police say 'tear gas' statements were 'mistake' | Trump to reopen area off New England coast for fishing | Vulnerable Republicans embrace green issues Engel primary challenger hits million in donations MORE (D-N.Y.) to co-author the Green New Deal. The idea has become a major part of the progressive Democratic platform. Additionally, Markey holds the title of the longest-serving member of the Massachusetts congressional delegation. 

The Emerson College poll was conducted May 5-6 among 620 likely Massachusetts Democratic primary voters. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell poll took place on April 27-May 1 among 531 Massachusetts Democratic primary voters.