November 23rd, 2009
11:28 AM ET
4 years ago

Poll: Coakley has the edge in Mass. primary race

(CNN) – With just over two weeks until a special primary election to fill the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat, a new poll indicates that Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has a solid lead in a four-way battle for the Democratic nomination.

But a Boston Globe survey released over the weekend also suggests that nearly three out of four people likely to vote in the primary say they are undecided, or are learning towards a candidate but could change their minds.

According to the poll, 43 percent of people questioned said they would vote for Coakley to succeed temporary Senate replacement Paul Kirk if the primary were held today, with 22 percent backing Rep. Michael Capuano, 15 percent supporting Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca and 6 percent backing City Year co-founder Alan Khazei.

The survey indicates that Coakley has the highest favorability rating among the four candidates, the best known name recognition, the seen as the most qualified and most likely to win.


"Things could change, but it would have to go really sour for her over the next few weeks," Andrew E. Smith, director of the Survey Center at the University of New Hampshire, which conducted the poll, told the Boston Globe.

The primary is scheduled for December 8 and the general election on January 19. State Sen. Scott Brown is considered a leading Republican in the contest. Jack E. Robinson is also in the Republican race.

Long time Kennedy adviser and friend Paul Kirk is serving as an interim replacement in the Senate.

The Boston Globe poll was conducted November 13-18, with 537 likely Democratic primary voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

–CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Massachusetts • special election
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. single mom

    Ah, yes. Massachusetts – where if they don't like the circumstances, they change the law to suit their whims.

    November 23, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  2. a liberal is necessary

    we have seen the chaos a conservative can wreck on the U.S.

    no more GOP

    November 23, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  3. Aunt Bea and Opie

    People who believe in polls have never read the book 1984.hahaha

    November 23, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. All the news that's fit to omit

    Funny, I liver here and she is the most inept AG we have ever had and she got pennies on the dollar for the liberals Big Dig fiasco.

    Scott Bown will be the first Republican Senator from this state since Ed Brooke many yaers ago, yep I have the "audacity" to "hope" for real "change" in this hell hole of a liberaly corrupt state.

    New Orleans and NJ haven't got much on this brutally corrupt and liberal infestation of hacks and slugs.

    Scott Brown for Senate.

    If a DEM has to win, I would take Pags over all of them, he has actually worked for a living and forgot more than the rest of them ESPECIALLY CAPUANO who runs around reciting Kennedy like they were best of buds, what a disgrace.

    November 23, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. Joe

    AG Coakley has an amazing record defending and advocating the Commonwealth's best interest. She's made Massachusetts a better place. With over two decades of proven service, she's worked hard to keep kids safe, advance civil liberties, prosecute insurance companies with abusive practices, and has stood firmly with the likes of Elizabeth Warren for consumer protection. There's no question Coakley is the ideal bearer of the torch Kennedy fought so hard to advance and preserve.

    November 23, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. The Essential Republican

    That's right! Those dirty dems in Massachusetts used a legislative process to change a law they didn't like! Is that the way things are done in this country? Well, is it?

    November 23, 2009 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. SocialismBad

    Capuano is running ads mentioning Cheney and Bush! How pathetic is THAT?! With an idiot like that for an opponent, Coakley will win the nomination. I just hope the Republicans field a decent candidate so the stiring of radical left Massachusetts Senators comes to an end. If a Republican wins, they can STOP this healthcare train wreck now in progress.

    November 23, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  8. southerncousin

    Lets see running for any position in Massacusetts as a democrat, gotta be a corrupt union supporting this woman somewhere. Now it will be interesting in that the liberal democrats have shown nothing but contempt for strong women (Clinton and Palin), but definitely like the thug politics practiced by Obama.

    November 23, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  9. demsrulz

    Republicans are a disaster for this country...

    November 23, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  10. All the news that's fit to omit

    A liberal is necessary, you "people" have been in charge of the purse stings for three years in the Fed level, how's that working out for you?

    I live her and you don't, in fact your tired mantra means you also no nothing ESPECIALLY about this state and the FACT that niwit liberals have run it corruptly into the ground.

    Oprah is on at 04:00, oh goody, I just planned your afternoon for you.

    November 23, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |