Massachusetts Senate Special Election - Before the homestretch
Four days remain until the people of Massachusetts cast their ballots in the 2013 Senate Special election between Democrat Ed Markey and Republican Gabriel Gomez. Today’s post will quickly explore the outside spending disclosures in this race since the start of the primary. We will focus on the expenditure levels over time and leave the analysis of what these outside groups bought until after the election.
So, by how much have the pro-Markey outside money groups outspent the pro-Gomez organizations? Has there been a significant difference in the timing of the expenditures? Is there a correlation between spending levels and polling results over the past seven weeks of the general election? First, let’s take a look at the expenditures targeting Ed Markey.
Until now, groups have disclosed $1.6 million on Markey, over $920,000 supporting and $698,000 opposing the Democratic Party hopeful. Significant supportive spending began in mid-May and opposition expenditures took off in mid-June.
Groups targeting Gomez have disclosed a whopping $3.2 million since the start of May. Three factors to note here:
- Most of the cash (nearly $2.6 million) was spent against Gomez.
- Spending began in late May, trailing the Markey-related expenditures
- Pro-Gomez outside cash has only just entered the race
The chart below is a summary of the previous two. Pro-Markey expenditures include all the cash supporting Markey and opposing Gomez. The pro-Gomez category includes the cash supporting Gomez and opposing Markey.
Pro-Markey groups have dominated the outside spending picture during the entire general election. Shockingly, pro-Gomez groups did not register an expenditure until after June 12th, when their pro-Markey rivals already had an advantage of over $2 million. After a couple of expenditures the pro-Gomez groups decreased the gap to $1.4 million, but the margin has since returned to $2 million-plus.
Over this period of time, Markey has held a steady lead in the polls. The final chart in today’s post displays the percentage lead that Markey has in the polls over Gomez.
(Note: the above chart includes polling data from Real Clear Politics)
Markey has held a healthy lead in the polls since the start of the general election period. Roughly speaking, there does not appear to be a correlation between pro-Markey spending levels and the polls.
The final data point is from a poll ending on June 14th. Given the pro-Gomez outside expenditures were made from June 13th onward, the polling results to not reflect the impact any of these disclosures may have had.
Keep checking back for more updates before Tuesdays election and analysis of all the outside spending in national politics.
As always, thanks for coming to CBMG!