[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/01/art.coakley.cnn.jpg caption="Coakley has a commanding lead in the Massachusetts Senate race."](CNN) - A new survey out of Massachusetts suggests the frontrunner to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy is not even a candidate in the race.
According to a new poll from Suffolk University, 59 percent of Massachusetts Democrats said they want former Rep. Joseph Kennedy to replace his uncle in the Senate. Kennedy, who served in Congress for 12 years until 1999, announced last week he would not run for the seat.
Among the current crop of candidates, state Attorney General Martha Coakley has the overwhelming lead, with support from 47 percent of those polled. Rep. Mike Capuano, who will formally announce his bid Friday, places a distant second at 9 percent. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who on Wednesday said he would not run for the seat, drew 6 percent of support.
In a general-election match up, the survey also suggests Coakley would easily defeat Republican State Sen. Scott Brown, 54-20 percent.
Perhaps among the polls most surprising findings is Bay Staters' feelings toward Curt Schilling - the former Red Sox pitcher who earlier this month left open the door for a possible Senate run on the GOP side.
According to the survey, only 29 percent of Massachusetts voters hold a favorable view of Schilling, while 39 percent disapprove of the pitching ace who was instrumental in leading the Red Sox to the World Series in 2004.
The poll surveyed 500 registered voters and was conducted Sept. 12-15. It carries a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.