Gabriel Gomez Surges From 1 Point Down to 7 Points Down

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
June 18 2013 4:15 PM

Gabriel Gomez Surges From 1 Point Down to 7 Points Down

This weekend's Boston Globe poll of the Massachusetts Senate race appears to have stamped out the factless "Gabriel Gomez surge!" narrative. You get one poll showing the Republican down by 11, running far behind Scott Brown's campaigns with women and independents, and all of a sudden you have Stu Rothenberg bragging that HE never said the race was a tossup. (Charlie Cook, the other chief election-watcher, had done so.)

The Gomez campaign, facing a final debate with Ed Markey in a few hours, has fired back with a polling memo from On Message Inc.

With one week to go, the score is 47% for Markey, 40% for Gomez. ... Gabriel is the underdog, but he remains in striking distance of pulling off a victory. Candidly, everyone at our firm is stunned by the closeness of this race. With the tonnage of negative advertising that Cong. Markey and all these outside interest groups have poured into Massachusetts, one would think Markey would be running in the clear at this point.
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One would think! But I remember another polling memo from the Gomez-verse. It came out only 11 days ago. What did it say?

Gomez and long time Democratic Congressman Ed Markey are in a statistical dead heat, with Gomez receiving 44.3%, Markey 45.3%, and 10.5% undecided.

Different firms conducted the polls, but this isn't the record you want behind you if you're arguing that "seven points down" is a mere "touchdown." No—it's like being down by a touchdown, then watching the other team run one in but miss a field goal. Try harder, campaign flacks!

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.