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New Poll Shows Bernie Sanders And Elizabeth Warren Neck And Neck In Massachusetts

Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren take the stage at the beginning of the Democratic Presidential Debate in Detroit, Michigan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren take the stage at the beginning of the Democratic Presidential Debate in Detroit, Michigan. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren virtually tied for the lead in a new poll of Democratic primary voters in Massachusetts. 21% of respondents to the poll said they'd vote for Sanders if the election were held tomorrow, and 20% said they'd vote for Warren. That's well within the poll's 6.1% margin of error.

Pete Buttigieg, Joe Biden and Michael Bloomberg follow the leaders with 15%, 14% and 12% support, respectively, according to the survey, conducted by the UMass Lowell Center For Public Opinion.

Nearly two out of five respondents said they could still change their minds before casting a ballot. Early voting in Massachusetts begins on Feb. 24, leading up to the Super Tuesday primary on March 3.

The poll of 450 respondents coincided with a tough stretch for the Warren campaign. YouGov began surveying on behalf of the Center For Public Opinion on Feb. 12, the morning after Warren's disappointing finish in the New Hampshire primary, which led to a week of tough media coverage. The poll wrapped up on Feb. 19, the night of her much-lauded debate performance in Las Vegas.

Markey-Kennedy Senate Race Tightens

In the race for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts, 35% of likely voters said they support U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy III, while incumbent Sen. Ed Markey has the support of 34% of likely voters.

The virtual tie is welcome news to Markey, who trailed Kennedy by nine percentage points in a Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll from September.

Younger voters have trended toward younger candidates in recent elections, but the inverse seems to be at play for the 73-year-old Markey and 38-year-old Kennedy: 37% of those who said they'd vote for Markey were aged 18-44. Just 25% of those who said they'd vote for 38-year-old Kennedy were under the age of 44.

With more than eight months left in the race, nearly a quarter of respondents (23%) say they're still undecided, while 8% say they'll likely vote for "another candidate."

More Good News For Charlie Baker

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker continues to maintain strong support among Massachusetts Democratic primary voters, which includes voters not enrolled in any party. Of those surveyed, 72% said they approved of Baker's handling of the job. Nearly 9 in 10 of those same respondents (89%) said they disapprove of President Donald Trump's job in office.

Approval (and disapproval) of Baker and Trump performance among Massachusetts Democrats has remained fairly steady over time.

Mass. Voters Don't Love New Hampshire's First-In-The-Nation Status

When asked if New Hampshire should remain the first-in-the-nation primary, just over one quarter (26%) of respondents agreed, while nearly three quarters (74%) said other states should have the chance to go first.

Related:

Wilder Fleming Twitter Political Producer
Wilder Fleming is a political producer at WBUR, focused on the path to November 2020.

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