Thursday, December 2, 2010

Brown in good position

As Scott Brown's first year in the Senate comes to a close he remains an extremely formidable political presence and leads five hypothetical 2012 reelection opponents by margins ranging anywhere from 7 to 19 points.

Vicki Kennedy (48-41) and Deval Patrick (49-42) do the best against Brown, each trailing by 7 points. Ed Markey trails by 10 (49-39), Mike Capuano does by 16 (52-36), and Stephen Lynch does by 19 (49-30).

Brown is one of the most popular Senators in the country, with 53% of voters approving of his job performance and only 29% disapproving. He continues to have incredible appeal to independents, with whom his approval spread is 61/25. He also breaks nearly even among Democrats with 35% approving and 41% disapproving of what he's done so far. The only other Republican Senators PPP's polled on this year with that much appeal to Democrats are Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham. What sets Brown apart from that trio is he's managed to generate that popularity across party lines without antagonizing voters in his own party- Republicans give him a 74/13 approval.

PPP's final poll for the special election found Brown defeating Martha Coakley by 32 points with independents. He's looking at a pretty comparable margin in all of these match ups, leading Lynch by 34, Kennedy by 33, Capuano by 31, Markey by 30, and Patrick by 29 with them. The other key aspect of Brown's victory in January was that we found him winning 19% of the Democratic vote. He actually exceeds that in each of these match ups, getting 28% of Dems against Capuano, 25% against Lynch and Markey, and 22% against Kennedy and Patrick.

Beyond the fact that the election is 23 months away these numbers should also be taken with a grain of salt because the folks we tested, with the exception of Patrick, aren't all that well known. 50% of voters have no opinion of Lynch, 47% don't know Capuano, 37% are ambivalent toward Markey, and even with Kennedy 29% don't express an opinion. Obviously if any of these folks, or someone not tested on this poll, emerged as the Democratic nominee they'd have much more visibility and opportunity to make the case that they'd be better than Brown.

For now though it seems Brown has done pretty much everything right- he's just as strong with independents as he was in January, stronger with Democrats, and he's accomplished those things without ticking off the base. It would be hard to find a politician who's had a more impressive year.

Full results here


Anonymous said...

Isn't Meehan the most likely opponent?

Anonymous said...

Still they are not important votes what define Brown, but we will see in 2012. He will be the first target for the democrats.

Why poll not the former representative Joe Kennedy?

Anonymous said...

Possible thought:

Since Deval Patrick is pretty unpopular in the state, might the fact that he performs best against Brown be a sign of the other candidates' lack of name recognition in addition to Brown's own popularity?

AG said...

What I'd like to know is how Brown polls among 2008 Obama voters. After all, Brown isn't just running against a Democrat, he's running against Obama's coattails, too.

But it does bring up an interesting point. Like Snowe and Collins, you can vote like Jim Demint and Tom Coburn but as long as you don't talk like them you'll be able to come across as a moderate. Apparently, talk isn't cheap when it comes to the ultra-right.

Anonymous said...

Scott Brown being the GOP Senator blocking a vote on funding the Unemployment Insurance extension while pushing for tax cuts for millionaires is going to cost him more than 10 points in this state. Especially when that fact will be hammered in campaign ads.

Dustin Ingalls said...

"Since Deval Patrick is pretty unpopular in the state, might the fact that he performs best against Brown be a sign of the other candidates' lack of name recognition in addition to Brown's own popularity?"

Absolutely. And I wouldn't say he's "pretty unpopular." I guess he is for a Democrat in MA, but many governors would dream of being dead even at 45-45.

Unknown said...

Deval Patrick isn't running. I'm skeptical that a guy who fought a grueling campaign this year for the governorship would be so quick to jump and, if successful, give that up. The GOP only has one Scott Brown and, maybe, John Kerry will retire in 2014. I think Vicki Kennedy is a longshot. She's indicated she doesn't want it up until now.

Clearly people believe they're getting the Scott Brown they elected. Brown broke with the GOP on the Obama jobs bill and DISCLOSE, among other things. Voting against the Democrats on issues like unemployment or taxes isn't going to hurt him with independents or Republicans, who are likely 60% of the electorate combined.

I'd be surprised if he gets 20-25% of Democrats, but 41% of Democrats think he's either too liberal or just right. So there's clearly Democrats who like what they've gotten.

JCordes said...

How many of those independents do you imagine think Sen. Brown has voted to end DADT?

coolidgen said...

I wouldn't bet on many of the names tested actually running. I would say most likely candidates are Capuano, Lynch, and maybe Alan Khazei or Setti Warren.

jim christie said...

HE only is in good position if he runs as a Dem, because he is not a republican he is another lying rhino

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