Poll: Brown in good position to win ticket back to Senate
December 20th, 2012
10:05 AM ET
1 year ago

Poll: Brown in good position to win ticket back to Senate

(CNN) – Outgoing Republican Sen. Scott Brown may not be gone from Capitol Hill for long, according to a new poll of Massachusetts voters.

With Democratic Sen. John Kerry considered President Barack Obama's top choice to succeed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and with Kerry expected to sail smoothly through confirmation by his Senate peers, the Bay State will most likely hold a special election in late spring or early summer to fill the final year and a half of Kerry's term.

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A WBUR survey released Thursday indicates that Brown, who was defeated in last month's election by Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, grabs the support of 47% of registered voters compared to 39% who say they would vote for a generic Democratic candidate in a hypothetical 2013 special election contest.

According to the poll, Brown also has double digit leads against possible Democratic candidates such as Representatives Ed Markey, Michael Capuano, and Stephen Lynch, who have all expressed interest in possibly making Senate bids.

And even though they voted him out of office in the November election, 58% of Massachusetts voters say they have a favorable opinion of Brown, with just 28% saying they view him in a negative light.

In January 2010, then Republican state lawmaker Brown upset Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, the state's attorney general, in a special election to fill the final two years of the term of longtime Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy, who died the previous summer.

Brown won the special election by five points over Coakley, but lost to Warren by eight points in his re-election bid last month. Around 2.3 million voters cast ballots in the 2010 special election, and nearly 3.2 million voting in last month's general election.

Republicans often perform better in special elections, which usually draw far fewer voters than regularly scheduled elections. But a Democratic Party source told CNN last week that a special election in 2013 "would not be a repeat of 2010," when many Democrats took the race for granted; in a state where Democratic voters greatly outnumber Republican voters.

The big question is whether the 2013 electorate will look more like that of the 2010 contest or that of last month's general election.

In his Election Night concession speech Brown said "defeat is only temporary."

And in his Senate farewell speech last week, Scott repeated that line, and also added that "depending on what happens, and where we go, all of us, we may obviously meet again, but I'm looking forward to continuing on with those friendships, with continuing on working with my staff."

If nominated by the president and confirmed by his colleagues in the Senate, Kerry would leave Congress, and Deval Patrick, Massachusetts' Democratic governor, would appoint a replacement to fill the seat.

By state law, a special general election is required to take place 145 to 160 days after a vacancy occurs. So if Kerry were nominated, confirmed, and then stepped down on January 21 (Inauguration Day), the election would take place between June 14th and 29th with primary elections being held six weeks earlier.

Whoever wins the special election would serve the final year and a half of Kerry's term and would then have to run again in 2014 for a full six-year term in office.

The WBUR poll was conducted by the Masonic polling group December 17-18, with 500 Bay State voters questioned by telephone. The survey's sampling error is plus or minus 4.4 points.


Filed under: Massachusetts • Polls • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Rush

    He doesn't stand a chance. He's flip-flopped on EVERYTHING! Now he wants an Assault Gun ban,,,,just like a REAL Democrat.

    December 20, 2012 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  2. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Don't count your chickens before they hatch Scottie. The good people of Massachusetts are voting Wall St's FORMER favorite senator back into office. I really will like to see Barney Frank or for Caroline Kennedy to run for the seat.

    December 20, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  3. rs

    Not really. The Senate GOP can't do anything but filibuster and block appointments . They'll block Kerry too. Shoot, they filibuster their own bills!

    December 20, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  4. roro

    How come Haley gets to appoint a replacement for DeMint and Deval Patrick doesn't? Patrick should appoint himself.

    December 20, 2012 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  5. Sniffit

    I have to say...usually polls are at least informative in terms of giving you some real world data, however limited and ambiguaous it usually is, but the whole "generic candidate from party X" thing has never struck me as even remotely meaningful.

    "The Senate GOP can't do anything but filibuster and block appointments . They'll block Kerry too. Shoot, they filibuster their own bills!"

    Not for long! Muahahahaha...can you say filibuster reform? Prepare yourself for the wailing perseveration of "shoved down our throats" rhetoric from the GOPers/Teatrolls.

    December 20, 2012 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "How come Haley gets to appoint a replacement for DeMint and Deval Patrick doesn't? Patrick should appoint himself."

    States determine the electoral proecsses surrounding their Senators. There is no national stardardization of those rules. The GOP likes it that way because it allows them to make messes and will help them stay in office longer than their states' electoral demographics suggest should be possible.

    December 20, 2012 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  7. Dan

    Scott Brown is a flip flopping liar who is beholden to special interest groups. Just like every other successful politician.

    December 20, 2012 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  8. scarf

    Hoping to get Scott back into the Senate is the ONLY reason the Republicans want Kerry for Sec. of State. It's pure politics as usual. For that reason, I think Obama should find someone else to nominate (maybe a Republican in a swing stae who Obama can then send to the Mideast for 4 years to negotiiate peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That should keep him/her out of Washington for four years.

    December 20, 2012 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  9. Mass Resident who DOES NOT want Brown

    I really will like to see Barney Frank or for Caroline Kennedy to run for the seat.–_ I'd like to see Joe Kennedy run. As in, Joe-for-oil, the well known Kennedy. He's done alot of good work bringing oil to the poor and the elderly, he has been in government and he's smart, he's well known. Caroline hasn't done anything. She's been a socialite and Brown is a mysogynist, he'll bash her to kingdom come as fluffy women. Joe is a scrapper. He's 1000x smarter than Brown, brown is really dumb as a stone. I do like Frank. I would love to see Frank run. He would have Brown for lunch in a debate laced with sarcasm and wit...that would be fun!

    December 20, 2012 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  10. Harry Wreckdom

    I'm from MA and he definitely DOES'NT have my vote!!

    December 20, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. jkane sfl gop mascots the blubbering slobs allen west rover nitwitquest rick scott ,carl rove and donald dump ??????

    Just puting even one lowlife gop canadate in office slows down the whole country all gop that are left should be thrown out of office in 2014 for the good of the country if there is any gop voters left by then.

    December 20, 2012 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. Babyboomer

    Are we sure Deval Patrick can't nominate himself for the MA Senate seat should Kerry get picked for Sec. of State? I thought MA was one of the states where the Gov. could choose. Didn't the Gov. appoint someone to the Senate when Ted Kennedy passed away, then held a special election? Frankly, I hope he can do what Haley did in SC, and appoint himself.

    December 20, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  13. alien

    The voters ought to take Brown to the superbowl. Flush him.

    December 20, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  14. Rudy NYC

    Brown has a chance? Don't torture the right wing like this; raising false hopes, fantasies and expectations.

    December 20, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. Michael Q

    Obama should put John McCain's name forward and send him to the Middle East. And, Scott Brown should do the final stage of his evolution and cross the aisle becoming a Democrat as that will assure his future in Massachusetts where educated people make up the majority of the population. That would be the final nail into the GOP/TeaParty's heart!

    December 20, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  16. Sandy

    I'm from MA too, and Brown will not get my vote, nor the vote of anyone in my family or any of my friends! We made sure he didn't win in 2012 and we'll make sure he doesn't win this time too. No more republicans until they get their act together!

    December 20, 2012 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  17. Data Driven

    I don't get the attraction. Is it because he's handsome in a vaguely game-show-host type of way? Perhaps a Massachusetts GOPher can explain it to me.

    Meanwhile, it would be hilarious (and preferable, actually) if Obama nominated someone besides Kerry for SOS.

    December 20, 2012 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. Gregory M. Newbold

    It was shameful that the Democrats allowed the Republicans to pick up this seat in 2010. They ran a mediocre candidate [Coakley] and a lackluster campaign.

    They`ll need a high profile candidate . . . Deval Patrick would be great with state wide recognition . . to defeat Brown. As a former US attorney and now Governor, Patrick`s presidential resume would be bolstered by a seat in the Senate. He won`t be able to follow Barack right away into the Oval office so burnishing his policy image for 8 years as a moderate Senator first will help.

    The Kennedy name would help another candidate but simply resting on name alone is a precription for failure. Patrick has a record and a profile that wouls squash Brown and his pickup truck.

    December 20, 2012 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  19. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Prepare yourself for the wailing perseveration of "shoved down our throats" rhetoric from the GOPers/Teatrolls."

    Indeed. I'm looking forward to their continued wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    "Obama should put John McCain's name forward and send him to the Middle East."

    I know you're being sarcastic, but, no, Obama should NOT put John McCain anywhere. Best to keep the senile old fool here in America where he can do the least damage.

    December 20, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  20. Name lynn

    IF scott brown wants to run that senator seat let him win lose or draw what the heck

    December 20, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  21. Malory Archer

    roro

    How come Haley gets to appoint a replacement for DeMint and Deval Patrick doesn't? Patrick should appoint himself.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It's the way their State Constitution is written. Red states always appoint a replacement, but blue states do the Democratic thing and have an election for all parties. Apparently the reds are terrified they might lose their deathgrip on power if they actually held an election.

    December 20, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. Malory Archer

    roro

    How come Haley gets to appoint a replacement for DeMint and Deval Patrick doesn't? Patrick should appoint himself.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It's in the way their states' Constitutions are written. Red states are notorious for appointing a replacement (could it be they're terrified of losing their grip on the reins if they actually held an election?) while the blues appoint someone to fill the seat until the next election. Sometimes the blue replacement is also the contender for the seat in the next election/sometimes they're a caretaker.

    December 20, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  23. JustAO

    Yeah let's give more GOP an opportunity in our government to say NO to job growth (by stifling consumer demand through spending cuts low-to-middle income families rely on) and yes to more legislation concerning abortion banning and corporate welfare.

    The GOP have nothing positive to give to American society in 2012 and beyond; and Obama's re-election proves the changing and diverse demographics in this country that see the GOP as out of touch with reality and unable to put forth credible solutions to solve our socio-economic problems.

    Hopefully sooner than later, their days are numbered as representative in our government.

    December 20, 2012 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  24. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    If Brown does win he could prove to be a thorn in the side of Republicans, he's done it before.

    December 20, 2012 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  25. Sniffit

    "I know you're being sarcastic, but, no, Obama should NOT put John McCain anywhere."

    Welll, maybe a nursing home....

    December 20, 2012 11:45 am at 11:45 am |