Low interest in Massachusetts election
June 24th, 2013
09:25 AM ET
10 months ago

Low interest in Massachusetts election

(CNN) - Less than half of Massachusetts voters say they have a lot of interest in this week's special U.S. Senate election.

According to a survey conducted by the Western New England University Polling Institute, 42% of registered voters in the Bay State say they have a lot of interest in Tuesday's contest between Democratic Rep. Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez, with three-in-ten saying they have some interest in the election, and 28% saying they have little or no interest.

The 42% who say they have a lot of interest is lower than the 58% who said the same thing in advance of the 2010 gubernatorial election in Massachusetts, and the 82% who felt the same way just before last November's presidential election.

Special elections often draw low turnout, and this race does not appear to be an exception. The contest, held to fill the remaining year and a half of the seat of longtime Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who stepped down earlier this year to become U.S. secretary of state, was generating little interest with the public even before it was overshadowed by April's Boston Marathon bombings, which left three people dead and nearly 300 injured.

While the campaign has received plenty of media attention in the past month, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said that he was "extremely concerned" about low turnout, citing requests for absentee ballots.

"With many people focused on the (NHL's Boston) Bruins playing in the Stanley Cup final, the (Whitey) Bulger trial, and the end of the school year, the special election has a lot of competition for attention," Galvin told reporters last week.

According to the secretary of state's office last week, 13,000 fewer absentee ballots had been requested one week before the June 25 election compared to U.S. Senate special election in the commonwealth in January 2010.

The Western New England University survey also indicates Markey with a 49%-41% lead over Gomez, with 9% unsure. Markey had larger double digit leads in surveys released last week by the Boston Globe and the Boston Herald.

Markey's served 20 terms in the House of Representatives. Gomez is a businessman and former Navy SEAL.

The Western New England University survey was conducted June 16-20, with 566 likely voters in Massachusetts questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.

CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: Massachusetts • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Lynda/Minnesota

    "While the campaign has received plenty of media attention in the past month, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said that he was "extremely concerned" about low turnout, citing requests for absentee ballots."

    Politics in American has reached an all time low. I suspect it is the media induced (and bought and paid for) bickering which is turning folks away. There are very few in America who actually enjoy baiting their friends and neighbors in an attempt to make silly fools of themselves. Those that do enjoy the "game" have very shallow lives to begin with. Apparently these folks are in the minority ... thank goodness.

    June 24, 2013 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  2. Data Driven

    Cite the 9-point poll all you like, but all the others show Markey up by an average of 15. In Massachusetts, low turnout equals commanding Democratic victories.

    June 24, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. Fair is Fair

    Good... maybe democrats can steal defeat from the jaws of victory.

    June 24, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  4. Steveo

    @Lynda/Minnesota

    "While the campaign has received plenty of media attention in the past month, Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin said that he was "extremely concerned" about low turnout, citing requests for absentee ballots."

    Politics in American has reached an all time low. I suspect it is the media induced (and bought and paid for) bickering which is turning folks away. There are very few in America who actually enjoy baiting their friends and neighbors in an attempt to make silly fools of themselves. Those that do enjoy the "game" have very shallow lives to begin with. Apparently these folks are in the minority ... thank goodness.
    -------------
    Both sides promise change, all we get is more of the same! Folks are getting tired of getting a whole lot of nothing! We no longer have public servants but we have a heck of a lot of wanna be public masters. Used to be a time when politicians clearly understood they work FOR us! Now they work for their parties and special interests. BOTHs side are guilty! The small few who actually trying to do something and get shouted down! I'll give you an example, Cruz from Texas Although you may not like his ideas. The point is the new guy is challenging "the system" and the old hats (even in the GOP) don't like it. Manchin is the same way! He does not always play "follow the party leader". RINOs and DINOs are tossed to the side like the old Blue Dog Dems were! We keep electing stale politicians with their stale ideas and do we really expect something different?

    June 24, 2013 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  5. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Most likely no matter who is elected the government will be stagnated until the 2016 Presidential Election. Unless the democrats can get veto proof majorities in both houses, isn't going to happen, Maybe the "Inmates" will be stymed in 2016 and the country can get back to sanity. The problems in the country won't improve much the next 2 years.

    June 24, 2013 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    @Steveo

    I have no quarrel with you or your opinion that both sides are quilty of pandering to the lowest common denominator. It is the ideologues which I find to be most troublesome. Cruz included.

    June 24, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  7. Al-NY,NY

    "hi, I'm Gabriel Gomez.......Navy Seal" "hi I'm Rudy Ghouliani....9/11" same thing, different day

    June 24, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  8. Fair is Fair

    Al-NY,NY

    "hi, I'm Gabriel Gomez.......Navy Seal" "hi I'm Rudy Ghouliani....9/11" same thing, different day
    ------
    Hi I'm Ed Markey... I've been in Washington for 37 years and done absolutely nothing. Please send me to the Senate so I can continue my work. I promise not to reform Social Security because, after all, I collect Social Security in addition to my $140,000 annual salary as a US Rep.

    June 24, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. Rudy NYC

    Gomez' biggest problem are his controversial opinions regarding women. He fully supports the war.

    June 24, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  10. Steveo

    @Lynda/Minnesota

    @Steveo

    I have no quarrel with you or your opinion that both sides are quilty of pandering to the lowest common denominator. It is the ideologues which I find to be most troublesome. Cruz included.
    ----------–
    For many the att-iitude is " I like my Idelogues but I don't like yours". Therein lies the problem. All of us are guilty and politicians feed on that because we allow them to.

    June 24, 2013 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  11. Al-NY,NY

    Fair is Fair

    Hi I'm Ed Markey... I've been in Washington for 37 years and done absolutely nothing.
    ----------

    pure GOP propaganda/talking points/baloney. try using some sources that don't say Fox News/Drudge/NewsMax

    June 24, 2013 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    Al-NY,NY

    Fair is Fair

    Hi I'm Ed Markey... I've been in Washington for 37 years and done absolutely nothing.
    ----

    pure GOP propaganda/talking points/baloney. try using some sources that don't say Fox News/Drudge/NewsMax
    -------–
    Typical leftist response... when you've got nothing, you throw out Fox News. Pathetic. But I'll play... name ANY significant legislation authored by Ed Markey in the 37 years he's been in the house. Go ahead... we're waiting. The dude is as worthless as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

    June 24, 2013 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    sorry Fair, but I've already checked and his name is on bills that have become law. What exactly is SIGNIFICANT anyway? Is that the same as "secure the border" which means you would never agree. If you want to see what he's done go check yourself

    June 24, 2013 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  14. Fair is Fair

    Al-NY,NY

    sorry Fair, but I've already checked and his name is on bills that have become law. What exactly is SIGNIFICANT anyway? Is that the same as "secure the border" which means you would never agree. If you want to see what he's done go check yourself
    -----
    Significant is just that – significant... not BS like recognizing some high school soccer team in his district for winning the division 3 state championship. I know what he's done (more accurately, NOT done) – I live in the People's Republic of Massachusetts.

    June 24, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |