Political scientist Anthony Dell'Aera says in elections, the incumbent usually has an edge.
However, in this year's U.S. Senate race, the Worcester State University professor believes Ed Markey may have a hard time retaining his seat.
"I think [Markey] checks off most of the boxes that would suggest he would be in a strong position to win. But with that said, Congressman Kennedy has strong name recognition for many of his supporters. He represents a certain type of vision," said Dell'Aera.
The two Democrats sparred in their final debate Tuesday night, with the primary election less than two weeks away.
The candidates took questions on a range of topics, while ultimately sharing with viewers why they believe they're the best for the job.
"I work very hard to make sure I deliver for the people of Massachusetts and I've done that consistently throughout my career. Whether it be the fishermen, the gig workers, the opioid crisis, that is who I have been throughout my career," said Markey.
Kennedy said, "If there is a connective thread between the election of Donald Trump, the devastation of COVID-19, and this moment of racial reckoning we are seeing, it's that we gotta watch live and adjust this system that steals black and brown lives."
Markey became a U.S. Senator for Massachusetts in 2013 after serving decades in the House of Representatives.
The 39-year-old Kennedy is making his first run at the senate, and currently serves as a Congressman.
Dell'Aera says one of the challenges in this race is having to choose between two very similar candidates:
"The reality though is there is very little daylight between the two of them when it comes to their positions, the policies they are promoting, and their core ideology," Dell'Aera said. "They are very similar."
Above all though, Dell'Aera expects voter turnout to play a major role in who comes out on top next month. "It's a matter of Ed Markey making sure the young people turnout. That seems to be his strongest core of support. And on the flip side you have Joe Kennedy, I think some of the older voters," he said.
In person early voting for this year's primary will take place between August 22 and 28. The primary is set for September 1.