January 10th, 2010
11:05 PM ET
5 years ago

Poll: Democrat leads in battle to replace Ted Kennedy

(CNN) - Democrat Martha Coakley leads Republican Scott Brown by 15 points in the battle to fill the final three years of the term of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, according to a new poll.

The Boston Globe survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire, was released Sunday, nine days before Bay State voters cast ballots in the special election.

According to the poll, half of the percent of people likely to vote in the contest say they're backing Coakley, the state's attorney general, with 35 percent supporting Brown, a state senator. Nine percent questioned are undecided and 5 percent support Independent Joseph Kennedy, a third party candidate who is not related to the late senator.

The poll indicates that Coakley's lead over Brown grows to 17 points, 53 percent to 36 percent, when undecided voters leaning toward a candidate are included in the tally. And nearly two-thirds of Brown supporters believe that Coakley will win. Brown is hoping to become the first Massachusetts Republican since 1972 to win a U.S. Senate seat.

"She's simply better known and better liked than Brown," Andrew E. Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, told the Globe.

The Coakley campaign announced Sunday that former President Bill Clinton and five-term Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts will team up at a rally for Coakley on Friday in Boston. Brown spent part of Sunday greeting fans of the NFL's New England Patriots, before the team's playoff game.

The 77-year-old Kennedy, who died of brain cancer in August, was the fourth-longest serving senator in American history. Paul Kirk, a long time adviser and friend to Kennedy, is serving as his interim replacement.

The Boston Globe/University of New Hampshire poll was conducted January 2-6, with 554 likely special election voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.2 percentage points.

Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @psteinhausercnn


Filed under: Martha Coakley • Poll • Senate
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Dennis in AZ

    I think the people of Massachussetts need to wake up and smell the coffee. Ted Kennedy got re-elected on the reputation and the pork. If Massachussetts wants to progress, they need some new ideas–not Romney-logic, not Kennedy hand-out-logic, they need a conservative.
    I'm no longer a Mass. Voter–but I will blame them if they elect another Liberal, corrupt piece of slime all to ready to spoon-feed the American public prescribed socialist solutions instead of inspiring innovation and Freedom for all Americans.

    January 10, 2010 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  2. Laura Taylor

    Hey Fellas –
    The Boston Globe has never backed a Republican in its history. The Globe came out with this poll when everyone else is saying something different. Pretty suspicious, I'd say.

    The PPP poll that came out today has Brown ahead by one point (and PPP leans left as everyone knows), and the various media (Facebook etc.) has Brown absolutely slaying Martha.

    Brown has a very good chance to beat Coakley.

    Better watch out Martha. People have HAD it with the Democratic Party. They are stuffing their huge spending bills on us, forcing a health bill everyone hates, killing business, raising taxes. People have had enough!

    January 10, 2010 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  3. Michael from Ventura

    I certainly would hope the Dems keep that seat- If they don't I'll be in shock. The gop offers nothing except the same old fear & smear that they're known for.

    January 10, 2010 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  4. Tony T

    CNN, you may have missed the by the non-liberal loons at the Globe. A poll released by Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows the candidates in a statistical tie, with Brown garnering 48% to Coakley's 47%.

    This is good news though, hopefully all of the libs are only reading the rag and don't go out and do the mind numbingly stupid vote for the letter that Mass. is known for. Repubs, Conservatives and Independents will be out in droves, trying to put an end to the most corrupt administration and congress ever.

    January 10, 2010 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  5. M.J.H.

    No way is Coakley 15 points ahead in the polls!

    The Globe probably interviewed the people at Acorn to get those numbers.

    Scott Brown can win this election. I'm betting he'll do it too.

    January 10, 2010 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  6. Hope to Change

    CNN you only report the higher poll but not the lower one. Look at The Public Policy poll below.

    The Public Policy Polling results showed Brown with a razor-thin edge - 48 to 47 percent - over Coakley, giving state and national Republicans fresh hope that a Senate seat thought to be safe for the Democrats could still be in play.

    January 11, 2010 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  7. Bubble of Sanity

    What a surprise. Thank you, CNN, for keeping us on top of the news like this. I never would have known.

    January 11, 2010 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    Fox News is flat-out lying by calling the race a "dead heat" but slightly in favor of the rightie.

    January 11, 2010 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  9. Albert K. L.A., CA

    All Ted wanted was one nation under God, with liberty, justice and health care for all. With Coakley "the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die."

    January 11, 2010 12:49 am at 12:49 am |
  10. e-man

    Appears us Dems have a lock on this one.

    Whew.

    Gotta hold onto our spots in Congress and add even more in November to lock out the lunatic fringe right.

    January 11, 2010 12:52 am at 12:52 am |
  11. J.V.Hodgson

    Not a surprise at all. This republican or any other would not be able to follow ted kennedy and vote for health care one of Ted's lifetime goals because of Partisan politics.
    So he will lose... you wasted a lot of money making this poll it was a given before doing it!!
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    January 11, 2010 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  12. stephensonbillings

    It's so sad that Massachusetts finally has a solid opportunity to finally elect a Senator who can stand for genuine, solid American values and they're throwing it away on this radical hack with only minor experience in local government. Coakley is a grand supporter of every extremist left wing agenda, including the gay ones, and she will only corrupt the Senate with more leftist thinking. It's rather sad when you realize that the basis of the American Republic and nationalism was created in Massachusetts and now the state only elects short-sighted politicians who want to throw that away and turn this country into some second rate Canada.

    January 11, 2010 04:04 am at 4:04 am |
  13. dan smith

    Just what America needs-another moron in office.

    January 11, 2010 05:51 am at 5:51 am |
  14. chris l

    funny, i never heard of that poll, however i have seen the poll that has them virtually tied. guess cnn didnt like that one.

    January 11, 2010 09:05 am at 9:05 am |