Obama scandals take toll on Ed Markey's bid for Massachusetts Senate seat

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Politics,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Barack Obama,Senate,Massachusetts,Campaigns

The wave of scandals washing over President Obama's White House is starting to slam his team, notably Rep. Edward Markey, the Massachusetts Democratic Senate nominee who has seen his approval ratings drop since the snooping affairs made headlines.

"Ed Markey continues to lead but the margin has dwindled," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. "Markey's core ballot test number has fallen below 50 percent and recent Obama administration scandals, especially the Associated Press phone records scrutiny, have touched a nerve with likely voters who are holding back or no longer supporting Markey and President Obama with the same intensity."

In their latest poll provided to Secrets, Markey held a 48-41 percent lead over GOP challenger Gabriel Gomez. The election is in two weeks.

The president has been a major bonus for fellow Democrats in Bay State elections. But the poll revealed that he is losing his support. Obama's approval ratings have dropped from 67 percent favorable-29 percent unfavorable to 60 percent favorable-35 percent unfavorable in the new poll. His job performance numbers are down from 63 percent approve-32 percent disapprove to 57 percent approve-37 percent disapprove.

"Clearly voters do not want the investigative powers of the federal government to run rampant," said Paleologos. "Through no fault of Markey, the remaining undecideds in the Senate race are equally polarized on this issue and the fallout may be hurting the congressman. The normally solid terrain that a statewide Democrat traditionally enjoys in Massachusetts has become a little muddy and if these privacy issues continue, that footing could cause Markey to sink further."