United States Elections

2020 Massachusetts Primary Results: Ed Markey Wins Senate Primary

2 Mins read
2020 Massachusetts Primary Results

At the top of the 2020 Massachusetts primary results, incumbent Senator Ed Markey (D) has held onto his party’s nomination.

He defeated Fourth District congressman Joe Kennedy III in the US Senate primary, all but ensuring that Markey will be re-elected in November in blue Massachusetts. This was the first time in history that a member of the renowned Kennedy family has lost a Democratic primary in the Bay State at any level.

With results still coming in, at the 400,000-vote mark, the incumbent senator led by a 55 percent to 45 percent margin over Kennedy. Markey did well in the wealthier Boston suburbs and also in places like Somerville and Cambridge, many of which were in Markey’s old congressional district. Kennedy’s victories in Massachusetts’ 351 towns and cities were more remote, but he could claim wins in Worcester, New Bedford, and Springfield.

Fast Analysis: Massachusetts Senate Primary

Polls indicated in recent times that Markey was looking better, but in the end, it was not that close. For Markey, who ran as an unabashed progressive, this will be a sweet victory in a state that sometimes lacks competitive statewide elections. As for Kennedy, there is no shame in losing, except when you are the first member of your family to lose an election at home.


The questioning and finger-pointing will begin in the Kennedy camp: Why did he run now? Why try to take down Ed Markey? Did Kennedy feel entitled to a Senate seat because of his name? Those are questions he will have to answer, but he is still young, and strongly doubt anyone saying that you have heard the last of him.

Ed Markey’s town victories were deeper and more profound, and Markey got the wins where he needed them. Kennedy needed more out of Worcester, yes, but with Markey clobbering him in Newton, Cambridge, Brookline, and Somerville, Kennedy did not have much chance to catch up.

Markey’s Senate race in November is rated “Very Safe Democratic.” In fact, almost every Congressional race in Massachusetts is Level Four, “Very Safe.” Markey faces Kevin O’Connor, the Republican nominee, in November. O’Connor defeated Shiva Ayyadurai by approximately a 60 to 40-percent margin.

2020 Massachusetts Primary Results: US House

In Massachusetts-01, Rep. Richard Neal easily won his Democratic primary over Holyoke mayor Alex Morse, a progressive challenger. Neal, in Congress since 1989, is a powerful committee chairman. In his 60 to 40 percent win, the coup de grâce was Neal carrying Holyoke, taking it out from under its mayor.

The Massachusetts-04 Democratic race remains too close to call. It is a two-candidate race between Jesse Mermell and Jake Auchincloss, with five other active candidates lagging far behind.

Like in the First District, another progressive upstart challenger was beaten back in Massachusetts-08. Stephen Lynch, first elected in 2001, was up more than two-to-one over Robbie Goldstein. This district includes parts of Boston, the South Shore, and Brockton.

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