He's not even running yet, but U.S. Representative Joe Kennedy III has gained mastery over U.S. Senator Ed Markey.

We're a year out from the 2020 U.S. Senate primary, and Massachusetts voters, in an online poll, have placed the red-headed Kennedy 17 points ahead of the gray-haired Markey in a potential primary showdown. I know this is agonizing the seasoned pol to face an end like this. If the numbers are correct, should Markey fall on his sword?

The poll, conducted by Change Research, a San Francisco area-firm that has worked closely with unions, the NAACP and Democrats running for office, gives Kennedy a respectable 42 percent support among the state's Democratic voters, compared to only 25 percent for Markey. New Bedford native and businessman Steve Pemberton earned seven percent, beating out attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan at five percent, with a 3.5 margin of error.

It's interesting to note that the same poll showed that Gov. Charlie Baker would do well if he decided to seek the Senate seat because the most popular governor of any of the states would pull out a victory over Markey.

The results of this poll with Mr. Kennedy don't differ too much from other public surveys taken by Suffolk University/Boston Globe or a YouGov poll taken for UMass Amherst with other Democrats, so I think the writing is on the wall.

C.S. Lewis said, "You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream." Sage advice for U.S. Senator Ed Markey.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.