Spilka Internal Poll Has Women In Charge

The race to succeed Ed Markey in congress is a wide-open, virtual four-way tie, currently led — barely — by the two women in the race, according to a poll conducted for state senator Karen Spilka’s campaign.

The poll has state senator Katherine Clark at 15%; Spilka 14%; Middlesex County Sheriff Peter Koutoujian 12%; state senator Will Brownsberger 11%; and state representative Carl Sciortino 4%.

The lion’s share of respondents, 43%, were undecided.

With a margin of error of +/- 4.9%, the poll essentially suggests a four-way tie early in the special election campaign. The Democratic primary will be held October 15, with the winner likely to become US Representative.

Polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, in a brief polling memo, noted that Brownsberger, Clark, Koutoujian, and Spilka had nearly identical name-identification and favorability ratings in the poll, reflecting their familiarity and support within areas they currently represent. “None of the candidates have yet established a district-wide profile,” the pollsters wrote.

“This is going to be a real race,” says Spilka campaign manager Eric Hyers. He says the campaign is pleased to be near the lead despite being the last of the five to enter the race, but “it’s obviously very fluid.”

The close numbers may point to how important campaign organization will be, in an election that could have low turnout and several candidates fighting for every vote, says Scott Ferson, a spokesperson for Brownsberger’s campaign.

The live-interview telephone survey, conducted July 18 through 23, polled 405  likely Democratic special primary voters. Probably because it screened for likely voters in what is expected to be a low-turnout race, the sample was 56 percent female, and 72 percent age 50 or older.