This November, another Kennedy may continue to move up the ranks of political power in the U.S. Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Joe Kennedy III, who is the grandson of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, has enjoyed positive results in a pair of recent polls measuring support in the Democratic Senate primary race that he jumped into, in which he’s squaring off with incumbent Democrat Ed Markey. Just this Wednesday, although the race remains in definite flux ahead of the primary election voting planned for September, an Emerson College poll found Kennedy with 58 percent of the support compared to just 42 percent for Markey. A University of Massachusetts-Lowell poll released on Thursday also had Kennedy in the lead, but by a narrower margin, with 44 percent of the support compared to 42 percent for Markey.
Markey is a prominent progressive, and his recent accomplishments include the introduction of a version of the so-called Green New Deal in the Senate at the same time that House interests including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) introduced a version in the House. The Green New Deal includes bold ambitions to move the U.S. away from greenhouse gas-producing energy sources.
Spencer Kimball, Director of Emerson College Polling, commented:
‘Markey has a lot of work to do this summer, especially in the Boston area where Kennedy holds a 30 point lead. With Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley declining to endorse either candidate, Markey appears limited at this time for a game-changer.’
There is one important caveat in the Emerson College polling: a full 60 percent of respondents said they that may change their preference prior to voting. That obviously gives plenty of room for the race to shift dramatically.
Kennedy has cast himself as a fresh voice for D.C. Recently, he commented:
‘It’s going to take progressive will power to fix the damage done by President Trump during this crisis. We need relief. We need health care for all.’
It’s going to take progressive will power to fix the damage done by President Trump during this crisis. We need relief. We need health care for all.
— Joe Kennedy III (@joekennedy) May 6, 2020
He has focused on spotlighting his perspective on some of the pressing issues of the national political conversation throughout recent weeks. For instance, upon the news of the latest dismal unemployment numbers, he commented:
‘14.7% unemployment only tells half of the story. It doesn’t show those getting less business. Students not able to get summmer jobs. Those not seeking work. We need a real relief package straight into the hands of Americans. Now. Where can we start? By passing a meaningful direct cash payment bill to put money directly into the hands of every single American.’
Where can we start? By passing a meaningful direct cash payment bill to put money directly into the hands of every single American. $1.2k is not nearly enough. We need real relief. https://t.co/zJe2XFIkVg https://t.co/hAhdOy1lll
— Joe Kennedy III (@joekennedy) May 8, 2020
Whoever does end up winning the Massachusetts Senate Democratic primary seems likely to be able to count on victory in November. In the same Emerson College polling data, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden secured a full 60 percent of the support compared to just 30 percent for Trump. The last time that a Republican presidential candidate won the state, it was Ronald Reagan on the ballot.
Across the country, Republican Senate incumbents have their work cut out for them heading into November. At least four are facing races that the Cook Political Report calls toss-ups.