WBUR

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.

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