2013 Massachusetts Special Senatorial (Markey vs. Gomez) - the Polling Wars

Jun 2011
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In two days, on June 25th, 2013, Bay State voters will go to the polls to select a US Senator to fill the vacancy left by now Secretary of State John Kerry.






In presidential politics, Massachusetts is a deep blue state. In local politics, it is also blue, but somewhat less so. Scott Brown (R) proved in the 2010 special Senatorial election that it is indeed possible for a Republican to be elected to the US Senate from this state, but he was the first Republican to hold a Senate seat from the "Old Colony State" since Edward Brooke from 1967-1979, making him the first GOP Senator from MA in 31 years. Here is a complete listing of US Senators from Massachusetts.


One thing is for sure: with the election of Scott Brown (R) in 2010 and his subsequent defeat to Elisabeth Warren (D) in 2012, to John Kerry's selection to become Secretary of State, Massachusetts will now have a completely new and "young" senatorial team after Tuesday's election. Ted Kennedy served as Senior Senator from Massachusetts from November 7th, 1962 until his death on August 25th, 2009 (close to 47 years). John Kerry served as Junior Senator from Massachusetts from January 2, 1985 until February 1, 2013 (a little more than 26 years) which means that for 24 years in a row, Massachusetts had the same two Senators. So, we are looking at a major turnover in this state. And it also means that Elisabeth Warren will become the Senior Senator from Massachusetts, after have served only one-half year thus far.


Ed Markey has served as a US Representative from Massachusetts for 35 and 1/2 years, since November 2, 1976. He was first Rep from MA-07 from 1976 until 2013 and since 2013, from MA-05 (redistricting). A Roman Catholic with Irish roots, Markey also appeared in a cameo role in the 2003 film "Gods and Generals". Rep. Markey will turn 67 on July 11th.


Gabriel Gomez (R) is to my knowledge the first Latino candidate for a high office in Massachusetts. His resume is also unique in that he is a former US Navy Seal, which alone deserves our respect and thankfulness. Mr. Gomez will turn 48 on August 27th.


So, the race is not just between two parties or ideologies, it is also between two generations.


Polling is showing Markey firmly in the lead, but more importantly, we are again seeing a form of polling war going on between established firms and Right-wing leaning firms that are putting out very disparate results, just as we saw in both the 2008 and 2012 general elections. Now, it is likely that two or three more polls will come in between today and Tuesday and if that happens, I will update this blog entry, but to date, I have found data on 19 polls with direct Markey vs. Gomez head-to-head matchups:


Nr.2013 MA SenatorialDateSampleMoEMarkeyGomezUnd/OthMar.
AVERAGE (one week):N/AN/AN/A52,0040,177,8311,83












19Emerson College21.06.131422 RV+/-2.55141810
18New England College21.06.13579 LV+/-4.075636820
17McLaughlin (R)20.06.131100 LV+/-3.0474493
16UMass Lowell/Boston Herald20.06.13312 LV+/-5.65636820
15On Message (Gomez - R)18.06.13600 LV+/-4.04841117
14Boston Globe15.06.13508 LV+/-4.35443311
13WBUR/MassINC10.06.13500 LV+/-4.44639157
12Suffolk University10.06.13500 LV+/-4.44841117
11McLaughlin (R)07.06.13400 LV+/-4.94544111
10UMass/YouGov05.06.12357 LV+/-5.45140911
9New England College02.06.13734 RV+/-3.625240812
8Emerson College23.05.13867 RV+/-3.2645332212
7WBUR/MassINC09.05.13497 LV+/-4.44638168
6Suffolk/7News08.05.13500 LV+/-4.452351317
5PPP (D)03.05.131539 LV+/-2.54440164
4Emerson College02.05.13797 RV+/-3.44236226
3Western NE University20.04.13480 LV+/-4.551361315
2WBUR/MassINC22.03.13610 LV+/-4.144253119
1UMass Lowell/Boston Herald06.03.13589 RV+/-4.047282519

16 of those 19 polls are from firms that have longstanding reputations, but not all of them necessarily positive. 3 of those 19 are right-wing leaning polls, one is even an Gomez internal poll (On Message). It is unusual for a candidate to leak his internal polling, but it is not unheard of. When it does happen, it is usually the underdog who does it.


I want to start with the Gomez internal poll, which shows him down 7 points to Markey, and point out a sentence that is at best very deceptive, but actually, just a huge lie:


"By the way, in 2010 Scott Brown was 9 points behind 10 days before the election."


This is not really true:


The Massachusetts special election that Scott Brown won was on January 19th, 2010. Here are the polls in the days that led up to his election:


Nr.2010 MA SenatorialDateSampleMoEBrownCoakleyUnd/OthMar.
AVERAGE (one week):N/AN/AN/A50,9644,644,806,31












10Rasmussen19.01.101000 LV+/-4.5514724
19Insider Advantage18.01.10804 LV+/-4.3524359
18ARG18.01.10600 LV+/-4.0524537
17Daily Kos / R 2000 (D)18.01.10600 LV
484840
16PPP (D)17.01.101231 LV+/-2.38514635
15Cross Target -Pajamas Media (R)17.01.10574 LV+/-4.0951,942,35,89,6
14Merriman Group (R)17.01.10565 LV
50,841,289,6
13ARG16.01.10600 LV+/-4.0484573
12Suffolk15.01.10500 LV+/-4.4514724
11BMG / Research 200014.01.10500 LV+/-4.0414910-8
10Rasmussen12.01.101000 LV+/-4.547494-2


Only in the BMG R2000 poll was Coakley ahead, but all polls newer than that showed Brown clearly ahead. Not only that, R2000 went bust shortly thereafter due to polling fraud, so relying on their data now would be moot, anyway. Now, compare that with the 2013 polling above, and that should tell you something. It appears that there has been strong and mathematically verifiable movement toward Rep. Markey since the debates in which Gomez did not do as well as he needed to.


And now, to the individual pollsters:


In 2012, Suffolk pretty much ruined it's reputation forever by proudly proclaiming almost ONE MONTH before the General election that it was not going to do any more polling for FL, NC and VA, that is has "already painted those states red. We're not polling any of those states again". As we all know, Obama retained both Florida and Virginia, worth 42 electoral votes, or 8% of the electoral "college".


Suffolk was also pretty atrocious in Massachusetts vis-a-vis the 2012 GE, but in the other direction:


StatePollsterPollster MarginActual MarginBiasBias (simplified)
MassachusettsSuffolkD +32D +23,14D +8,86D +9
MassachusettsExit PollingD +22,1D +23,14R +1,04R +1
MassachusettsUN Mass / Lowell / HeraldD +20D +23,14R +3,14R +3
MassachusettsYouGovD +20D +23,14R +3,14R +3
MassachusettsMassINC / WBURD +20D +23,14R +3,14R +3
MassachusettsRasmussenD +19D +23,14R +4,14R +4
MassachusettsWNEU / Mass LiveD +18D +23,14R +5,14R +5
MassachusettsPPP (D) – FINAL POLLD +15D +23,14R +8,14R +8
MassachusettsBoston Globe / UNHD +14D +23,14R +9,14R +9
MassachusettsKimball Consulting ( R )D +13D +23,14R +10,14R +10


Those are the end polls for this state from November 2012. Then again, they were all off to some extent, EXCEPT the exit polls. Notice that all the pollsters that the Right loves to say are left-wing, like UN Mass / Lowell / Herald or PPP (D) or Boston Globe / UNH - all had a Republican mathematical bias in their polling for Massachusetts in 2012. Only Suffolk, which saw an Obama +32 race, was way off to the Left.


So, it is entirely possible that Ed Markey will do considerably better than the current +11.83% average he is holding.


McLaughlin is a pollster worth noting for it's inaccuracy:


In 2012, McLaughlin was off in the following states:


Colorado, Romney +4 (end result: Obama +5) - McLaughlin was off by 9. But it was not an end poll.
Florida, Romney +3 (end Result: Obama +1) - McLaughlin was off by 4. But it was not an end poll.
Indiana, Romney +19 (end result: Romney +10) - McLaughlin was off by 9. This was an end poll.
Virgina, Romney +7 (end result: Obama +4) - McLaughlin was off by 11. This was not an end poll.


The one poll that McLaughlin got right in 2012 was it's October National poll:


National, Obama +4 (end result: Obama +4) - spot on. The poll was from October 4th, 2012.


It should be noted that the McLaughlin national poll and the Colorado poll were part of the same survey: the Colorado numbers were party of a deliberate oversampling for that state. This is not entirely uncommon and sometimes done to save money, and if the methodology is sound, there is really no reason why not, only it is interesting that the results were so disparate.


The McLaughlin poll is the only recent poll from Massachusetts to have the Democrat under 50%, which is highly unlikely when you look at the rest of this polling.


I am not saying that the McLaughlin poll from 20.06.2013, showing Markey +3, is wrong and that the the New England College AND UMass polls, both of which show Markey +20 and came out within 24 hours on one side or the other of the McLaughlin poll, are absolutely right. But I am saying that it is statistically impossible to have a 17 point disparity in polling with polls that were conducted and published concurrent to each other. When you look at the entire field of polls, McLaughlin is the obvious mathematical "outlier". If I take the four McLaughlin state polls from 2012 and average the number of points that McLaughlin was off, then the average would be +8.25 points to the Right. Assuming that this current McLaughlin poll could also be 8.25 points to the right and that Markey is actually up by +11.25 instead of by just three, please notice that this value is almost identical to Markey's actual polling average. In other words, McLaughlin's record of polling inaccuracy may indeed be showing in this race as well. And after Tuesday, we will all know for sure.


Now, with off-year elections, anything can happen. The weather can turn terrible and then turnout can be very low, which is usually good news for Republicans. But after the very complacent Martha Coakley campaign of 2010 against Scott Brown, I don't think that Democrats are taking anything for granted this time around. John Kerry won re-election for this seat in 2008 with an easy 66% of the vote, but remember, this is after his presidential candidacy of 2004 and virtually 100% name recognition. Neither Ed Markey nor Gabriel Gomez share this kind of name recognition - yet.


On a final but important note: for some reason, RasmussenReports has decided to not poll this important marquee race, at least until now.


After the election is called and the count is finalized, I will be running a comparison between the various pollsters predictions and the actual results.
 
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Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
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30,634
Florida
The Dems in this state were caught sleeping when Ted Kennedy's seat went to Scott Brown in 2010.
That won't happen again.

Advice to all voters:
Vote the party not the man from now on.
(Republicans are required to vote a straight party line.....All other parties let their pols vote their conscience)
 
May 2012
70,060
14,120
By the wall
Lets hope you get another man with the caliber of Ted Kennedy.

After all, nothing like having a Senator that kills a girl and leaves the scene.

His punishment?

A suspended jail sentence.

You must be very proud up there of who you vote into office. lol

But hey, better to have a murderer of innocent women than a republican right?
 
Dec 2006
89,477
68,987
In the Witness Protection Program
Lets hope you get another man with the caliber of Ted Kennedy.

After all, nothing like having a Senator that kills a girl and leaves the scene.

His punishment?

A suspended jail sentence.

You must be very proud up there of who you vote into office. lol

But hey, better to have a murderer of innocent women than a republican right?
He's dead. You can stop kicking him now.
 
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Reactions: 2 people

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
72,637
30,634
Florida
Lets hope you get another man with the caliber of Ted Kennedy.

After all, nothing like having a Senator that kills a girl and leaves the scene.

His punishment?

A suspended jail sentence.

You must be very proud up there of who you vote into office. lol

But hey, better to have a murderer of innocent women than a republican right?
Better than a President who kills thousands in a revenge/oil war in Iraq & turn us into a nation that tortures prisoners.

His punishment: A taxpayer funded pension for the rest of his miserable life & undying loyalty from the intellectually challenged.
 
May 2012
70,060
14,120
By the wall
Better than a President who kills thousands in a revenge/oil war in Iraq & turn us into a nation that tortures prisoners.

His punishment: A taxpayer funded pension for the rest of his miserable life & undying loyalty from the intellectually challenged.
Why do you spin every single thing back onto Bush?

You do realize that democrats voted for all that too don't you?

Why not drop some blame on them also? Seems to me that Hillary was pushing pretty hard for the war....would you like to see some video of it?

And by the way, we tortured and executed prisoners long before Bush was born. Read up on the Civil War a little bit if you want to see some extreme examples of torture. And lets not forget what the southern democrats did to the poor black folk.

That's your party isn't it?
 

Devil505

Former Staff
Jan 2008
72,637
30,634
Florida
Why do you spin every single thing back onto Bush?
Spoken by a man complaining about a half-century old incident involving a dead politician.




You do realize that democrats voted for all that too don't you? Why not drop some blame on them also?
Used car salesman at his fraud trial: "Sure I lied to him about the car's mileage & condition.......but he bought it didn't he?"






Seems to me that Hillary was pushing pretty hard for the war....would you like to see some video of it?
Never been a Hillary supporter for President.
 
May 2012
70,060
14,120
By the wall
Used car salesman at his fraud trial: "Sure I lied to him about the car's mileage & condition.......but he bought it didn't he?"
Actually, every single bit of intelligence that Bush had was given to Congress and nations around the world.

He did not falsify it nor did he hide anything.

Because the CIA and other agencies screwed up in their assessment is not the fault of Bush. He, like the democrats, were going off the information they had.

Democrats are just as much to blame for the war as Bush is.

In October 2002, when the Iraq War authorization was voted on in Congress, there were 221 Republicans in the House and 212 Democrats. That's more than enough to bury the vote in the House and obstruct the rush to war. At the same time, the Democrats controlled the Senate -- 50 seats to the Republicans 49 (1 "Independent").

The Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002 won 297 votes -- 82 of those were Democrats. In the Senate, 29 Democratic senators voted for it (21 against). The Democratic Party spokespeople would claim -- publicly, they didn't try to hide this -- that they had to show support for the war or they'd lose seats in Congress.