WBUR Poll: Brown Would Be In Strong Position For Special Election

BOSTON — A WBUR poll of 500 registered voters (PDFs – topline, crosstabs) finds U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is in a strong position should there be a special election to fill U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat.

Kerry is believed to be President Obama’s choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The poll, conducted by the MassINC Polling Group on Monday and Tuesday, finds voters view Brown favorably, despite the fact that in November they chose to elect Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren in his stead. Fifty-eight percent of those polled say they have a favorable view of Brown, compared with 28 percent who view him unfavorably. Rounded off, 12 percent say they are undecided, and 1 percent say they have never heard of him.

Sen. Scott Brown, during his Election Night concession speech. An early poll finds Brown would be in a strong position, should there be a special election to fill U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat. (Dominick Reuter for WBUR)

Sen. Scott Brown, during his Election Night concession speech. An early poll finds Brown would be in a strong position, should there be a special election to fill U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat. (Dominick Reuter for WBUR)

MassINC pollster Steve Koczela looked at how well Brown would fare against four current or former Democratic members of Congress.

“We matched him up theoretically against (U.S. Reps.) Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Steve Lynch and (former U.S. Rep.) Marty Meehan, and in each one of those cases, he led by between 17 and 19 points,” Koczela said.

Meehan, now the president of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, has already said he’s not interested in running.

Aides to Reps. Capuano and Markey said they were unavailable to comment.

Lynch did issue a statement saying if a Senate seat were to become available, he “would give serious consideration to running.”

Brown’s office did not respond to a request for an interview.

Koczela found Brown had about half the vote in races against each of the current or former Democratic congressmen.

“So even though he does have a considerable lead over them, that’s not to say that he’s got a lock over any of these four potential opponents,” Koczela said.

There are other potential opponents not mentioned in the survey. There’s been speculation that attorney Edward Kennedy Jr, the son of the late senator, is interested in running. He did not return a message left with his office.

State Sen. Ben Downing, of Pittsfield, says he is considering a run if there’s a vacancy.

“If Massachusetts Democrats have learned anything from the past few elections, it’s that if we want to be successful in statewide races, we need to nominate fresh faces who bring new ideas and new energy to their respective races,” Downing said.

The survey finds Brown would have a very large lead in a Republican primary. Eighty-one percent of the people responding said they would vote for Brown, 6 percent said they would support former Gov. William Weld, and 5 percent said they’d back former candidate for governor Charlie Baker.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on wbur.org.
  • janesoutham

    Great news for Scott Brown!!

    • FrowningOverBrown

      Really bad news for everyone. Republicans support guns everywhere and anytime.

  • http://read-write-blue.blogspot.com/ RWB

    Why would any liberty minded voter vote for him?

    • JohnnyBeagle

      Ignorance and fear…..

    • janesoutham

      Um, because he’s for liberty? Also, he is hugely admired for speaking out about sexual abuse. He is an inspiration to the millions of men who were molested who have been too ashamed to speak out. You can read the admiring comments about him on the biggest website for male survivors in the world. http://www.malesurvivor.org

      If he is elected again, I hope he does something about the abysmal statute of limitations for victims of sexual abuse in MA. Delaware got rid of its statute entirely.

      • durham kid

        As I recall, he spoke out about it but did not go for prosecution of his abuser.

        I admired that he spoke up but felt that it lacked follow-through – it felt like a very mixed message to me.

        • janesoutham

          Huh? Brown was YEARS outside the statute of limitations to “prosecute his abuser.” IN MA, victims only have a short window of time to do so. As 95 per cent of men who are molested never come forward at all, that’s why most molesters keep molesting.

          You really need to read up on how the system works. Also, it’s not “up ” to the victim to go after the abuser. It’s entirely up to the DA’s office. And as Brown was outside the statute of limitations, the DA couldn’t prosecute. And for all we know, the predator could be dead.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Moshe-Chodesh/100000502705844 Moshe Chodesh

    Go Scott!

  • JohnnyBeagle

    Scott has already played his hand and it’s not a winning one. The next Democrat who runs against him will win by a wider margin than the last election. He can’t play the “mister nice guy” game anymore.

    Also, do not expect him to sign onto any “People’s Pledge” this time. I am sure that the big money guys on Wall Street are pissed that they were not allowed to purchase his election last time, and they will not let him sign that pledge this time.

    • janesoutham

      Gee, that’s weird. Either the poll is right or you are right… I am going with the people who were polled and not you.

      • JohnnyBeagle

        I don’t doubt the poll, but I don’t give it that much weight.

      • Flitzy

        The poll may be right but it was also taken without a nominee chosen for the other side, so it’s pretty meaningless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=625391257 Bryan K. Macklowe

    NY Post suggests that Ben Affleck, the Oscar-winning film maker, might be interested in running for Kerry’s seat. That would be an amusing race. Ben Affleck vs. Scott Brown.

    • janesoutham

      Um Ben Affleck can’t even be bothered to ever vote in elections. His voting record is even worse than Caroline Kennedy’s: http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/celebrity/ben-affleck-hollywood-hypocrite

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=625391257 Bryan K. Macklowe

        His celebrity would make him a formidable candidate if the Democratic Party or other group backed up his run. I’m sure his voting pattern could be used against him, but being a movie star will help him. Scott Brown would probably wage a strong campaign, but this would be a real fight.

        • janesoutham

          No, Caroline Kennedy’s lack of voting record damaged her in N Y state and prevented her from getting picked. Sorry, but someone who never votes-even if they are a celebrity is a big deal. Also, he is a fulltime resident of California, no?

        • John Cockburn

          please say it isn’t true. he is among the 1% of the 1%, why would we want that. and his movies have way too many guns in them ….

          • janesoutham

            Huh? Elizabeth Warren is far more wealthy than Brown. And although she had the chance to check the box to pay higher taxes, she did not. Do your homework.

          • Pointpanic

            small potatoes,Jane.

    • Pointpanic

      no celebrities i n office please

      • wineguy

        Agreed, we suffered terribly in CA with Schwarzzewhatever and his bride Maria’ Kennedy, they are finished and the State is a holy mess from the ‘Terminator’s’ Reign of Terror…

        • Pointpanic

          HI wineguy ,I can only imagine.

  • FrancisMcManus

    I think MassINC Polling Group is polling on a topic people haven’t thought much about. Charlie Baker at 5 points against Scott Brown? Get the f*ck out of here. I want to see a GOP primary but we won’t. If we did, Scott would lose.

  • FrancisMcManus

    Scott Brown’s is intentional foggy of key issues. I don’t think Mass voters have much tolerance for that.

    He’s still a Scalia-loving pro-life guy who pretends he’s pro-choice.

    He still puts his wife and daughters out front when he can’t explain his position.

    He still watered down Wall Street reform.

    He still voted against jobs bill and extending unemployment insurance during the worst recession since the great depression.

    He still wants to cut Social Security and Medicare rather than a bloated defense budget.

    He’s one step closer to losing the US Senate to Republicans.

    • gorilla monsoon

      God Forbid. He is just a cute, rudie, nudie. Plus he is not too smart. We need better than he.

      • janesoutham

        Huh? What’s with the faux “he’s not too smart meme?” His academic career was a whole lot more stellar than Warren’s ( who only got her Harvard job through the coat tails of her much more academically successful husband and for BRIEFLY claiming she was Native American before calling herself white after being hired at Harvard.)

        Take a look at the academic careers of Brown and Warren:

        Scott Brown graduated c.laude from Tufts: ranked #28 in top universities by US News and World report

        Elizabeth Warren graduated from the University of Houston, ranked #184 by US News and World Report. She did NOT graduate c laude. She did NOT graduate with ANY honors from this bottom of the barrel “commuter” university.

        Law Schools:

        Scott Brown got his law degree from Boston College, ranked #29 in top law schools by US News and World Report

        Elizabeth Warren got her law degree from Rutgers, ranked #82 by US News and World Report.

        • Sinclair2

          Janesoutham: When are you going stop these meaningless college comparisons you REPEAT so often? Your comments are about your elitism mentality showing a lack of critical thought and anaysis, and not about the accomplishments of people — any people!

          Elizabeth Warren is a legal scholar. Scott Brown is a former part-time real estate lawyer and two-days-per-month JAG paper pusher who earns his living in front of a camera — any camera.

    • janesoutham

      Um, FrancisMcManus: both Ted Kennedy and John Kerry voted to confirm Scalia.

      • wineguy

        who knew? Good Italian Catholic boyo, wow, what a mistake, he is the ventrilouist to the ‘dummy’ Clarence, and a bully without a pulpit…big mistake seating Tony on the Supreme’s, plus he has a good 20 years left in him, all the red wine and pasta fazool…oi

    • Flitzy

      Massachusetts was smart enough not to fall for Mitt Romney again and they’ll be smart enough not to fall for Scotty again.

  • IndependentEddie

    I think the 58/28 favorable/unfavorable was similar for the election. How people in my Mass could vote for Liewatha over him is crazy (and consistent with the Mass voter’s intellect). These polls don’t include the ‘real’ candidates that nutty Mass voters go for; “anybody named Kennedy”. The local papers have Viki Kennedy and other Kennedy children as leading candidates. Viki Kennedy’s only qualification is being the wife of her deceased husband. Who could vote for her based on this? Oooopps! Mass voters continuously elect rubber stamp Nikki Tsongas with similar ‘qualifications’.

    • durham kid

      That is no different than any other state – a political name is worth a lot.

      I am not saying it’s right or wrong – but you make it out like only MA voters operate that way.

      And arguably, since the general belief is that politicians will say most anything to get elected, going for a family name is, in some ways, more likely to get what you want than listening to the rhetoric on the campaign trail. Unless of course, the candidate has been in office and you can look at his/her voting record.

  • Repugnican

    Whadya know. GOPer’s got exactly what they wanted with the feigned outrage over Rice – “Bought Clown” is now back in the running…

    • durham kid

      Do you really think they thought it through that well?

      I suppose politics is like chess where you always anticipate the next move…

      • Stephen431

        That is precisely why they focused on Rice. John McCain even alluded to it by calling John Kerry “Mr. Secretary” a few weeks before Rice withdrew her name for Sec. of State.

  • Moderate Mike

    He’ll have to kiss Grover Norquist’s “ring” and resign the pledge before Grover allows him to run.

  • Tom White

    OK, he’s still popular, but I’m not sure this is that surprising. Pick a vigorous, well funded candidate against him, and he might well lose. Polls of X vs random are rarely that revealing in predicting results…

  • Flitzy

    Argh, WHY? He votes with the Republicans 90% of the time and joined in nearly ALL of their filibusters.

    If people think he’s some kind of “independent thinker”, they’re just not paying attention.

    THIS is why I dislike Senator Kerry leaving; because the media and Scott Brown have done everything they can to make him appear to be something he is not.

    Scott Brown is terrible for Massachusetts.

    • goldwater89

      Typical left-winger. Spewing lies. He votes with his party 68% of the time. The lowest out of any Senator, second only to Susan Collins.



      • Flitzy

        So he votes with his party 2/3rds of the time and you’re using that as some sort of point to prove yourself right? Not to mention that he actually votes with his party 76% of the time and joined in with nearly all of the Republican obstruction since joining the Senate.

        • goldwater89

          Are you dense? He’s been the second most Independent Senator. His record proves that. You lied and said he voted with his party over 90% of the time. In reality, it’s only 68% of the time. I called you out and now you have nothing to say.

          Every Democrat Senator votes lockstep along party lines. Bunch of parrots. The Democrats don’t even have any centrists in the Senate. Bunch of left-wing Progressives. Joe Manchin, the most conservative Democrat in the Senate votes along party lines 81% of the time.


          • Flitzy

            He is not an independent senator, despite the lies he told during the campaign that he was.

  • JFerreira

    I’d still consider Weld the better candidate, even if he jumps ship and runs as an independent. Brown won’t abandon many core Republican ideals even when they repudiated by the majority of voters here in MA. Weld generally goes his own way, which may make him similar to Angus King from ME in that regard. Brown had his chance with all the rock star momentum coming off the race against Coakley. He toed the mark on too many right-wing topics and the voters spoke. Remember, the only poll that matters is the one following the election…

  • Pointpanic

    A vote for Scott Brown in a special election would be a set back for Mass. and those who worked hard to get Elizabeth Warren into the senate. Also, Francis Mc Manus in the post below mine sums up why JOhn Kerry must remain in teh senate for our commonwealth.

  • Sassy Metrowest

    Sorry. Those who voted for Warren will not be voting for Brown. His condescending remarks and pretense that he was not aware of the Indian calls by his campaign followers has really left a bad taste in people’s mind. Then, there is his voting record as well!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000582357191 Dee Stonewall

    Brown lost in his re-election campaign. Yes, the incumbent lost. That says a lot. And for many solid reasons. Why, then, would Massachusetts voters vote for him? In any event, it’s too early for any polls. Why? Because voters aren’t that familiar w/ some of the potential candidates against Brown. So a poll now wouldn’t hold water in the long run — or the short run. All that being said, I would find it interesting if Weld threw in his hat. I’d enjoy Weld v Brown in a primary. What fun! The two of them duking it out.

  • BestandBrightest

    What an ironic move. Scott Brown in another special election?

  • BestandBrightest

    Elizabeth Warren was/is a liberal rock star. Anyone outside a Kennedy would have lost to her. I don’t think you can put much stock in her win

  • Bill Blanker

    We keep saying that compromise is needed and that Members of Congress and of the U.S. Senate must reach across party lines and work together for the good of the country. Scott Brown has proven that he can and will do this. Unfortunately, Ms Warren has not indicated that she will take this approach. She is committed to the far left agenda and the dictates of the Democratic heirarchy. Citizens of Massachussetts will be indeed fortunate if Senator Brown seeks to return to the U.S. Senate. Senator Brown is from Masssachusetts rather than a political plant from another state.

  • http://www.facebook.com/malcolm.macleod.716 Malcolm MacLeod

    Those of us from outside the State of Massachusetts, who go by what we see,
    hear, and read, have a uniformly poor opinion of Mr. Brown. Why should we be
    interested in state politics in Massachusetts? Because the Senate affects us
    just as much as it affects you.

Most Popular