BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has a sizeable lead in the race to pick up the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, a recent poll shows.
A Suffolk University/7News poll released shows Coakley earning 44 percent of votes in a group that includes three other candidates for the December primary. The special election will determine who replaces the late Ted Kennedy in the Senate.
A September poll from Suffolk and 7News had Coakley trailing Kennedy's nephew, Joe Kennedy, but he has chosen not to run.
Coakley leads Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pacliuca (17 percent), U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano (16 percent) and City Year founder Alan Khazei (3 percent) with 20 percent undecided.
"Steve Pagliuca scored the biggest improvement since September," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
"He traveled from zero to second place by flooding the air waves with TV ads. However, he still has not secured the most aware Democratic voters who are choosing Coakley and Capuano before him."
State Sen. Scott Brown leads opponent Jack Robinson 45-7 on the Republican side, though the top three Democrats would defeat Brown in the general election, the poll shows.
The general election is in January.
Ted Kennedy passed away Aug. 25 and had been in office since 1962.
Coakley, 56, has been the state's attorney general since 2007 and has also been a district attorney. She received her law degree from Boston University.
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