(CNN) - Two new polls suggest the Democrats have the lead in the battle for an open U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts up for grabs next month.
According to a 7 News/Suffolk University survey released Wednesday night, Rep. Ed Markey, the Democratic nominee, holds a 52%-35% advantage over GOP nominee Gabriel Gomez among likely voters in the June 25th special election. Just over one-in-ten questioned were undecided.
And a new WBUR survey indicates Markey topping Gomez 46%-38% among likely voters, with 13% unsure.
Markey has represented the state's 5th Congressional District for nearly four decades. Gomez is a private equity investor and former Navy SEAL. The winner will serve the final year and a half of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who stepped down earlier this year to become U.S. secretary of state.
Two surveys out last week suggested a closer contest, with Markey holding single digit advantages over Gomez.
Six in ten questioned in the new poll say Markey is not too liberal to represent Massachusetts, and a plurality say Gomez is not too conservative. When asked if Ed Markey will be an independent voice or toe the Democratic Party line, 58% said he'd toe the party line, with just one-in-ten saying he would be an independent voice.
"Sending a Democrat to the U.S. Senate who will toe the party line is seen as a positive contribution to the conversation in the D.C. legislative agenda. President Obama continues to have coattails in Massachusetts and that is helping Markey," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston.
The winner of the June special election will succeed William "Mo" Cowan. Democratic Gov. Deval Patrick appointed his former chief of staff to serve as interim senator after Kerry stepped down.
The 7 News/Suffolk University poll was conducted May 4-7, with 500 likely voters in Massachusetts questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
The WBUR survey was conducted May 5-6 by the MassInc Polling Group, with 497 likely voters in the Bay State questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.
CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report