BOSTON — Joe Kennedy was once thought to be such a lock to defeat Sen. Ed Markey that there was widespread speculation in Massachusetts that Markey might just retire to avoid a humbling end.
But Markey is piling up endorsements and closing in on the young congressman in the polls by running a policy-heavy campaign that seems tailored for the moment. There’s growing sentiment that Kennedy underestimated the backlash he’d face for challenging the veteran incumbent, who has become beloved among progressives for his work on the Green New Deal.
“What Markey hadn’t done in the past was flex his muscles, flex his policy muscles.” said Suffolk University pollster David Paleologos. “Now he’s doing that and I think Kennedy is realizing policy runs deep in Massachusetts. Personality and persona are important too, but in Massachusetts policy runs very deep.”
Markey’s once-lackluster approval rating and name ID helped explain why two