Republican newcomer Gabriel Gomez has fought his way to a statistical dead heat in the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race even though Democratic opponent Rep. Ed Markey has out-raised the former Navy SEAL by about $1 million.
Markey, 66, had $4.6 million in his account on April 10, three weeks before winning the April 30 primary, according to Federal Election Commission records disclosed by The Boston Globe
By June 5, Markey took in $2.9 million in contributions, and spent $5.9 million, ending the reporting period with $2.3 million, the Globe reports.
Gomez, 47, had slightly less than $500,000 on hand heading into the GOP primary that same day, and has since collected $1.7 million, including a $300,000 loan from himself.
The GOP challenger spent more than $1.6 million in the intervening period, leaving him with a $997,121 balance on June 5, the Globe reports.
Political action committees contributed nearly $300,000 to Markey’s campaign, versus $170,000 toward the Gomez effort.
Gomez and Markey are vying for the seat left open by Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who was named Secretary of State in January.
Markey’s strong cash position reflects many of the challenges Gomez has faced throughout the campaign, the Globe reports. Democrats heavily outnumber Republicans in Massachusetts — and they turn out to support their candidates.
The financial heft gives Markey many advantages as he moves into the final days of the June 25 election, the Globe reports.
But that has not deterred Gomez, however, from climbing to a statistical dead heat with his Democratic challenger, according to a recent survey by McLaughlin & Associates.
“With less than three weeks to go to Election Day, Gabriel Gomez has the momentum in the race, according to McLaughlin & Associates , which polled 400 likely voters on June 4-5 by telephone. “Gomez's high favorable ratings will be a strong asset over Markey's high unfavorable ratings in this neck-and-neck race.”
The survey shows Gomez “has stolen the momentum in the special election to be held on June 25, with Gomez receiving 44.3 percent support compared to 45.3 percent for Markey. Another 10.5 percent of voters remain undecided, according to McLaughlin & Associates.
Gomez had trailed Markey, who has served 19 terms in Congress, in at least two polls last month — and an averaging of polls by Real Clear Politics
has Markey leading by 9 percentage points.
Still, the Markey camp is taking no chances.
President Barack Obama stumped for the candidate earlier this week, and former President Bill Clinton was expected to speak in Worcester on Saturday.
And both Vice President Joe Biden and former Vice President Al Gore appeared at a Markey fund-raiser last week in Washington, the Globe reports.
“What it says to me is that this is a guy who is worried, and so is the party establishment,” Kathy Kiely, managing editor of the Sunlight Foundation, told the Globe of Markey. The foundation tracks money in politics.
“They’re spending a lot of money to defeat a rookie and keep the guy who’s been in Congress longer than anybody else in New England.”
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