Massachusetts Democratic Congressman Ed Markey has defeated Republican businessman Gabriel Gomez to replace John Kerry. Markey will be the next US Senator from the Bay State. Markey garnered 55 %, Gomez 45%. Markey, who has served in the House for more than 36 years, stopped at a restaurant in Medford today to thank voters for their support in the election. UMass Amherst Poll director, Brian Schaffner says the election results held few surprises, even with remarkably low voter turnout. Less than 1.2 million people went to the polls, out of 4.3 million eligible voters. Schaffner says according to UMass Poll results from earlier this month, higher turnout may not have made a significant difference.
“When we did our poll in early June, we found that among registered voters, Markey had about the same lead as when we narrowed the poll to just likely voters. So turnout I’m not sure made a big difference, actually,” says Schaffner.
Schaffner says a sharply divided US senate may have drawn some Democrats away from voting for Gomez, despite his stance as a moderate Republican. Markey shifts from representing his congressional district to all of Massachusetts. He says it will require an understanding of every aspect of the state’s economy. Markey says he expects to be sworn in to the Senate sometime after July 4th.