50–60% 60–70% 70–80% 80–90%
|Elections in Massachusetts|
The 2008 United States Senate election in Massachusetts took place on November 4, 2008. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator John Kerry, who returned to the Senate after losing the presidency to incumbent President George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election, won re-election to a fifth term in office. This was Kerry's last election to the Senate. He would resign in 2013 after becoming U.S. Secretary of State in the Barack Obama administration.
At the state convention on June 7, 2008, Edward O'Reilly received 22.5% of the vote, thereby granting him a spot on the September primary ballot. Kerry, received the vast majority of votes, however, granting him the convention's endorsement. On July 25, O'Reilly challenged Kerry to a series of debates, and the two eventually met for one debate in early September. On September 16, Kerry defeated O'Reilly in the Democratic primary.
- Jeff Beatty (R), businessman and nominee for MA-10 in 2006
- John Kerry (D), incumbent U.S. Senator
- Robert Underwood (L)
Democrat John F. Kerry, the incumbent since 1985, was the unsuccessful Democratic candidate for President of the United States in the 2004 election. He had historically attracted strong Republican challengers, including two former Massachusetts Republican Party Chairman, Ray Shamie in 1984, Jim Rappaport in 1990, and former state Governor William Weld in 1996.
Kerry had explored the possibility of seeking the Democratic nomination for President once again in 2008, a circumstance which prompted many of Massachusetts's all-Democratic House delegation, including Marty Meehan, Ed Markey and Stephen Lynch, to declare that they would run in the Democratic primary for Senate should Kerry not seek reelection. However, on January 24, 2007, Kerry announced that he would run for reelection to the United States Senate and not for the Presidency. A December 23, 2007, poll indicated his approval rating at 52%, with 43% disapproving.
Massachusetts held primary elections on September 16, 2008. Unlike in 2002, when Kerry was reelected against only third-party opposition, the Democratic nominee faced a Republican opponent in 2008. The Republican candidate, businessman Jeff Beatty who had lost a congressional race two years earlier, was not considered a serious contender in this overwhelmingly Democratic state. Massachusetts had not elected a Republican Senator since Edward Brooke in 1972 and has not sent any Republicans to Congress since incumbents Peter Torkildsen and Peter Blute were defeated in 1996.
On September 16, 2008, Kerry defeated Edward O'Reilly in the Democratic primary and faced Republican Beatty in the November general election.
|Rasmussen Reports||April 25, 2008||30%||55%|
|June 1, 2008||25%||63%|
|August 5, 2008||32%||59%|
|September 23, 2008||30%||65%|
|Democratic||John Kerry (Incumbent)||1,971,974||65.86%||-14.2%|
|Libertarian||Robert J. Underwood||93,713||3.13%||-15.1%|
- Kerry's primary challenger proposes debates, Associated Press
- CQPolitics Rates Safe Democratic Senate Races in ’08 - New York Times
- Survey USA
- Candidates guide from Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division
- ap.google.com, John Kerry bests 1st primary opponent in 24 years Archived September 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- John Kerry not running for President
- GOP ready to pounce on vulnerable poll
- Senator Kerry's SurveyUSA Job Approval Ratings
- 7News/Suffolk University, Mass. Statewide Likely Voters
- Elections Division from the Massachusetts Secretary of State
- U.S. Congress candidates for Massachusetts at Project Vote Smart
- Massachusetts U.S. Senate from CQ Politics
- Massachusetts U.S. Senate from OurCampaigns.com
- Massachusetts U.S. Senate race from 2008 Race Tracker
- Campaign contributions from OpenSecrets.org
- Beatty (R) vs Kerry (D-i) graph of multiple polls from Pollster.com