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The Hiller Instinct

Senate Debate Preview

Quick! Look Around! Do you see a candidate for the U.S. Senate? Are you sure? Do you even know who they are, or what they look like?

Polls say you're far from alone if you look at pictures of the five men running and can't connect them to anything. . . much less a campaign for the United States Senate.

Start with Michael Sullivan, the former U.S. Attorney, District Attorney and State Rep apparently didn't make much of an impression doing those jobs. In a recent poll, 35% of voters said they never heard of him.

But Sullivan is an "A"-list celebrity compared to State Rep and former District Court Judge Dan Winslow, because 57% of likely voters haven't heard of him!

Gabriel Gomez-- the only non-politician in the GOP race-- may be making some headway, because he's already better known than Winslow. Still, 46% of likely voters say they don't know who he is.

No surprise, then that the leader right now on the Republican side is "Undecided."

But what is a bit surprising is that "Don't Know" is the number one Democrat, too.

Ed Markey has been in Washington so long, his first name might as well be Congressman. But after forty years in Washington--twenty terms-- 12% of voters say they have never heard of him.

Markey's opponent won't have much sympathy: Stephen Lynch has served seven terms in Congress, and is invisible to 19% of likely voters.

Candidates will make their first impressions on many voters. A break-out debate performance could break either primary wide-open.

That's why I would say, this race starts tonight!