Greens, Progressives, Youth Help Markey Beat Kennedy in Senate Primary

“Markey ran on his longstanding environmental policy record in a heated campaign. “

“Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) has won his primary, successfully holding off a challenge from Rep. Joe Kennedy, a scion of the famous Massachusetts political family.

Markey, a longtime US lawmaker, is known for being a stalwart champion of environmental policy including cosponsoring the Green New Deal, as well as landmark House legislation on cap and trade 11 years ago.

There had been a limited ideological case for Kennedy’s run since the two lawmakers both identify as progressives, and Markey leaned heavily into his legislative work on both climate and tech to carve out an advantage. A robust digital presence bolstered by his social media team and some of his younger supporters on TikTok and Twitter also played a role in rebranding him as an accessible policymaker, despite his age. (Markey is 74.)

The race between the two men was competitive, though Markey ended up leading in surveys taken the week ahead of the election, perhaps buoyed by endorsements from progressives including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, as well as the Sunrise Movement.”

Li Zhou reports for Vox September 1, 2020.