MA-Sen: Scott Brown Leads All Dems

Public Policy Polling (PDF) (11/29-12/1, Massachusetts voters, no trendlines):

Mike Capuano (D): 36

Scott Brown (R-inc): 52

Undecided: 12

Stephen Lynch (D): 30

Scott Brown (R-inc): 49

Undecided: 20

Ed Markey (D): 39

Scott Brown (R-inc): 49

Undecided: 13

Vicki Kennedy (D): 41

Scott Brown (R-inc): 48

Undecided: 11

Deval Patrick (D): 42

Scott Brown (R-inc): 49

Undecided: 9

(MoE: ±4.4%)

PPP’s first look at 2012 in Massachusetts shows that Democrats who’ve been treating this like an easy pickup are in for a rude awakening, with Scott Brown leading a spate of five Dems by margins ranging from 7 to 16. Some of these prospective Dem candidates can point to the problem of being little-known outside their House districts at this point (Mike Capuano is 47% unknown at 26/27, Stephen Lynch is 50% unknown at 23/26), but even the ones with a statewide profile (Deval Patrick and Vicki Kennedy) still trail Brown.

Despite the overall very-blue hue of Massachusetts, Brown seems able to hold his own through a mix of personal likeability (53/29 approval) and ideological positioning (53% say he’s just right, while 33% too conservative, while voters say, regarding the whole GOP, that it’s 52% too conservative and 32% just right). These numbers might change a bit once a) there’s a defined Democratic candidate getting all of the attention, and b) said candidate calls attention to some of Brown’s not-so-moderate moments, like his unemployment benefits blocking today. (Another consideration: the state’s Democratic city machines, which seemed to slumber through the special election, will be working in full effect in a presidential year.) However, with nearly 50% of the vote today, Brown’s starting in a strong position for now.

As for the possibility of just-re-elected Deval Patrick getting in, that seems like kind of an odd throw-in by PPP, but don’t totally discount it. While he’s publicly saying he’s not interested (repeating that today, in fact), he says he’s “staying involved” in the race. There are reports that he’s working back channels about that race, though perhaps more so about trying to facilitate a non-brutal Dem primary.

111 thoughts on “MA-Sen: Scott Brown Leads All Dems”

  1. Scott Brown’s strength with blacks is amazing for a Republican. He has a +23 approval with them (38-15) and he gets 31% of them against Capuano, Lynch, Markey, Kennedy, and Patrick. Does this suggest that a solid 31% of black voters are committed to Brown, if he even gets 31% against Patrick?  

  2. But still Brown won’t be a pushover. Though I still think the Ds are favored if they get their act together by 2012

  3. I was Patty Murray and if the Democratic primary takes a turn for the worst, I’d have the DSCC make a seven figure buy and flood the state with attack ads so Brown doesn’t become the overwhelming winner of a nasty Democratic primary.

  4. Brown’s personal numbers are almost guaranteed to be higher than his re-elect numbers. People–for now, at least–really like the guy, and the key for Democrats is going to be whether or not they can get swing voters to look past their personal affections for Brown and vote for someone who is closer to the state on the political spectrum.

  5. and he’s only 16 points down two years before the election. I think this will end up being a strong pickup opportunity. Party discipline will force Brown to cast a lot of Senate votes that are unpopular with Massachusetts voters.

  6. No way a competent Democrat will be trailing him by this much once the campaign gets started. In a Presidential year, Brown is going to be facing a very Democratic electorate and will have to rely on ticket splitters to win re-election, which isn’t an easy task.

  7. though he’s going to have to walk a very fine line once his party gets around to selecting a nominee (particularly if it’s somebody like Sarah Palin).

  8. Let’s just set aside the Capuano, Lynch, and Markey numbers.  No one knows who they are, those numbers have A LOT of room for growth.  You have Patrick who is unliked only being down 7.  I dont know much about Vicki Kennedy and if she has any name beyond being Ted’s wife, but her being down 7 aint bad either.

    No one has the tier one combination but many many many candidates can get up there.  I also have feeling those numbers are Brown’s ceiling.

  9. There is no question that Brown will have a fight on his hands, but I have always felt he starts with the advantage.  He’s a very skilled politician and is fantastic at the retail aspects of it.  He’ll continue to throw some votes the Dems’ way and I don’t see any way that the late Dem primary is going to be anything but nasty.  He’ll have a huge warchest and whoever he faces will be beat up, broke and will have had to have tacked far left to get the nomination.  That will put him in a great spot to hold his indy vote.

  10. Only S Brown and J Ensign have at this point some potential democratic challenger back in single digits, then, both are the obvious targets for the DSCC in this cycle. That will not change and we will fight both seats until the end. The DSCC need polls in both states including all the strongest democratic options for know who are the strongest challengers and make the right recruitment. I hope all the likely candidates be responsible in these states and give not troubles.

    The chance of defeat both is so high. J Ensign has his scandals. S Brown has two years for vote in the senate. Two years voting as a obstructionist republican can be too much for many democrats from Massachusetts. We have the recent examples of J Cao and C Djou. Both begin showing some strength but both lose finally the election day.

  11. MA who have signed a petition for Congressman Capuano to take on Scott Brown.  They are his fellow congressman from the Bay state.

    His running for that seat would solve a lot of redistricting problems.  

  12. A guy who’s as good looking and charming as Scott Brown can get away with all sorts of crap and still win.  He’s a player… like the guy that comes into a bar and when you turn your head you see him walking out the door with your girlfriend before you know what you.

    This was never going to be an easy race.  He can bullshit better than Romney ever could, and a wink of his eye sends starbursts shivering down the spines of independents.  Remember that he’s still a celebrity.  That may wear off in time for the election, but maybe not enough…

    His opponent is going to have the tough task of proving to everyone what a fraud Scott Brown really is.  He is no moderate, and he isn’t reasonable at all.  His stand on unemployment benefits is absurd, but he gets away with it with a wink and smile.  It’s going to be downright maddening for his opponent, that’s for sure…  They are going to have a tough time making the truth stick to a celebrity “dream date” like Brown. You’re not going to be able to knock him down too much… you’re going to  have to do everything you can to pick yourself up instead and hope turnout puts you over the top.

  13. Brown’s lucky that, assuming that every Senate Democrat is still more liberal then the least conservative Republican senators in the 112th Congress, he’s not the 59th-61st vote for Democratic-sponsored legislation, and that unless something dramatic changes in the next Congress he probably won’t be forced to make tough votes unless he has six or more Republicans standing with him. If I were Ben Nelson or Olympia Snowe, I’d be feeling pretty happy about this now, too (or as happy as they can get with tough paths to reelection being on the horizon).

  14. Brown is going to have to block that many Democrat bills. The House is overwhelming GOP and wont be sending any bills to be blocked. In the Senate there are 5 or 6 Rs who can split the tough votes. That isn’t even considering the squishy Democrats (Nelson, Liberman and Nelson up in 12) who will defect on tough bills.    

  15. Markey adds several points of disapproval for +3 approval and poll numbers, Lynch is gonna annoy lots of liberals, and Vicki might not go over totally well if people are in an anti-incumbent (and thus anti-nepotism) mood.

    Patrick is a nice backup choice though.

  16. 1992 (11 – 6 D/5 R) – Shelby (D-AL), Graham (D-FL), Grassley (R-IA), Gregg (R-NH), D’Amato (R-NY), Dorgan (D-ND), Conrad (D-ND), Packwood (R-OR), Hollings (D-SC), Specter (R-PA), Daschle (D-SD).

    1996 (10 – 7 R/3 D) – Hutchinson (R-AR), Cleland (D-GA), McConnell (R-KY), Collins (R-ME), Baucus (D-MT), Smith (R-NH), Domenici (R-NM), Smith (R-OR), Johnson (D-SD), Thompson (R-TN).

    2000 (9 – 5 D/4 R) – Nelson (D-FL)*, Miller (D-GA), Snowe (R-ME), Carnahan (D-MO), Nelson (D-NE), Santorum (R-PA), Chafee (R-RI), Jeffords (R-VT), Byrd (D-WV).

    2004 (7 – 5 D/2 R) – Lincoln (D-AR), Salazar (D-CO), Bayh (D-IN), Reid (D-NV), Gregg (R-NH), Dorgan (D-ND), Specter (R-PA).

    2008 (6 – 5 D/1 R) – Begich (D-AK), Pryor (D-AR), Landrieu (D-LA), Collins (R-ME), Baucus (D-MT), Rockefeller (D-WV).

    So three things – firstly, it is quite possible to win a senate race when the same state is being won in the presidential race by the other party. Secondly, it is becoming increasingly more difficult to do. Thirdly, Democrats are slightly better at it than Republicans in each of the last three presidential cycles (despite losing 2 of them) and progressively so.

  17. Curiously, based on full polarization, Dems would hold the presidency while Repubs would control both houses of Congress, by small margins.

Comments are closed.