Marquee Senate primary on the ballot Tuesday in Massachusetts
The incumbent is 74-year-old Edward J. Markey, who served for 37 years in the House before winning a special election in 2013 to replace John F. Kerry in the Senate.
The challenger is 39-year-old Joseph Patrick Kennedy III, a four-term congressman and scion of America’s legendary political dynasty. Markey has never lost an election in his 47 years of public service, but no Kennedy has ever lost an election in Massachusetts.
Both men are well-known and well-liked: Polls show that 80 percent of likely Democratic voters recognize their names, and 70 percent view each candidate favorably. Both are self-described progressives with similar positions. Markey snagged a huge endorsement from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.); Kennedy got a rare and critical nod from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
In the absence of ideological differences, Tuesday’s contest comes down to age, relatability and loyalty. Do voters want an old dog with new tricks? Or new blood with old money?