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Poll: Markey expands his lead in Mass. Senate race

Poll: Markey expands his lead in Mass. Senate race
Gabriel Gomez For U.S. Senate
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Monday, June 17, 2013 - 9:10am

A new poll indicates Democratic Rep. Ed Markey has slightly widened his advantage over Republican opponent Gabriel Gomez in the campaign for the June 25 special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts.

The longtime congressman leads Gomez by 11 points, 54%-43%, among likely voters who are leaning toward a candidate, according to the new Boston Globe survey, released Sunday.

When voters were asked who would get their vote for if the election were held today, the gap expanded, with Markey still at 54% but Gomez at 41%.

The new results come after two polls last week indicated Gomez, a businessman and political newcomer, was gaining some ground on Markey, standing only 7 percentage points behind the Democrat in the reliably blue state.

A number of top Democrats, including President Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and former President Bill Clinton, have turned out for Markey in the state. Vice President Joe Biden is slated to campaign with him this week.

But the poll indicates that the election, held to fill the seat vacated by Democrat John Kerry earlier this year, hasn't generated high interest in the state. Thirty-four percent of respondents said they knew a lot about Markey - who has been in the House for 37 years - and 13% said they knew a lot about Gomez.

And according to the Globe, poll respondents find Gomez more likable. He also has the edge over Markey among unenrolled or independent voters, a crucial voting bloc in the race.

The two engaged in their second of three debates last week. With less than 10 days to go before Election Day, the next week of campaigning will no doubt be heated, capping a race that has already seen its share of ugly battles.

Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, earlier this year appointed Democrat Mo Cowan as an interim senator until voters make their selection next week.

The survey was conducted by telephone with 508 likely voters from June 11 to June 14, and has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.3 percentage points.

-- CNN's Ashley Killough and Steve Brusk contributed to this report.

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