The Massachusetts Democratic Party primary fight for the U.S. Senate between Congressman Joe Kennedy and Senator Ed Markey is coming into focus as voting starts.

Could a Kennedy lose an election in Massachusetts? That is the question Sen. Markey and his campaign were forced to ask when Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III made it clear he was going to run for the Senate. Markey had a choice: retire and hand the seat over to Kennedy, or stand and fight the powerful Kennedy operation.

The Markey team decided to stay and fight. They had decided that Kennedy could be beaten in Massachusetts.

Now the theory of the Markey campaign is showing some promise, according to the latest poll done by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Markey is beating Kennedy on most major issues and across most demographics. His lead is a stunning 15 percent over his challenger.

Due to changes in election rules because of the COVID-19 virus, people are already voting by mail in the primary election. The danger for Kennedy is in the early and vote by mail voters. According to the poll, 53 percent of those polled are voting by mail – meaning they are voting now – and an additional 13 percent will vote in person using early voting in the weeks before the September 1 primary election.

This new poll points out that Markey is currently winning and more than 50 percent are voting now; therefore, it might be impossible for Kennedy to make up ground with the voters. They have voted and those results can't be changed even if the voters have their hearts and minds changed in favor of Kennedy.

The rules of the election have changed and it might contribute to a loss by one of America's dominant political families.

Chris McCarthy is the host of The Chris McCarthy Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @Chris_topher_Mc. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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