A new poll out this afternoon shows that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton are statistically tied among likely Democratic voters heading into Tuesday's primary in Massachusetts.
On the Republican side, former Bay State governor holds a sizable lead over John McCain, according to the 7News/Suffolk University survey. However, 27 percent of Democratic voters and 24 percent of Republican voters say they may change their minds before Tuesday.
Obama has 46 percent to Clinton's 44 percent, while 7 percent of Democratic and independent voters likely to vote in the Democratic primary were undecided.
The endorsement last week by Senator Edward M. Kennedy for Obama is a key factor. Asked to size up the impact of three endorsements for Obama and Clinton, 43 percent of Democratic respondents cited Kennedy's endorsement as the most influential, followed by Bill Clinton's of his wife (23 percent) and Oprah Winfrey's of Obama (9 percent).
"The Bay State's senior senator Ted Kennedy clearly has more clout in Massachusetts than the popular former president, Bill Clinton," said David Paleologos, director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University. "Add to that the backing of Senator Kerry and Governor Patrick, with the resonant message of change as well as the Kennedy call for 'a new generation of leadership' and you have the reason why what was once Clinton country has become an Obama opportunity – and a political choice between the nostalgic and the new."
On the Republican side, Romney has 50 percent to McCain's 37 percent, with Mike Huckabee (4 percent) and Ron Paul (3 percent) trailing. Six percent were undecided.
“Mitt Romney can thank Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul for helping to split the anti-Romney vote in Massachusetts," Paleologos said in a statement. "Without them, this race would be much closer."
The poll was conducted Friday through Sunday and has a margin of error for each party of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.