National Democrats Buy Airtime in Massachusetts Senate Special Election

Democrats are helping Markey. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Republican strategists who monitor media activity in Massachusetts say the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has purchased TV time, starting tomorrow, to help Rep. Edward J. Markey in the special election for Senate.

Markey — who just a few days ago started running a TV spot attacking GOP nominee Gabriel Gomez on abortion, guns and Social Security — continues to hold a narrow lead in the race, probably somewhere in the mid-single digits. But the margin has made Democrats nervous enough that they now appear prepared to throw their considerable weight behind their party’s nominee.

While the DSCC is poised to run TV ads, there is still little or no indication that any major GOP groups are preparing to rise to Gomez’s defense or to run ads attacking Markey in the final weeks of the contest.

“Democrats seem afraid that they might lose this race, but Republicans seem afraid even to try to win it,” joked one Gomez supporter who is expecting a “deluge of attacks very soon.”

“It’s going to be brutal. It’s not like they are going to run positive Markey ads,” he said in a resigned way.

Though the race remains very competitive, the combination of the state's partisan bent, the expected Democratic financial advantage in the final weeks (now that the DSCC is entering the fray) and Gomez's need to run well ahead of Scott P. Brown among independents — because the former senator was able to get more Democrats in his special election than Gomez will get later this month — gives Markey an edge in what has been an interesting race.