Poll: Scott Brown’s Return Seems Imminent

Daniel Doherty

12/20/2012 2:07:00 PM - Daniel Doherty

It seems to me that when Senator Scott Brown lost his bid for re-election last November, centrist Republicans in Massachusetts -- and around the country, for that matter -- were demoralized. Not only did he lose to a big government, tax-and-spend liberal Democrat, but he lost by a devastating margin. But fear not, my friends: we may not have seen the last of Washington’s second most bipartisan Senator.

Indeed, a new poll released Thursday suggests that the lame-duck lawmaker is heavily favored to win back a seat in the upper chamber; that is, if -- and only if -- John Kerry becomes the next secretary of state (via Ed Morrissey):

A WBUR poll of 500 registered voters (PDFs –topline,crosstabs) finds U.S. Sen. Scott Brown is in a strong position should there be a special election to fill U.S. Sen. John Kerry’s seat.

Kerry is believed to be President Obama’s choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The poll, conducted by the MassINC Polling Group on Monday and Tuesday, finds voters view Brown favorably, despite the fact that in November they chose to elect Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren in his stead. Fifty-eight percent of those polled say they have a favorable view of Brown, compared with 28 percent who view him unfavorably. Rounded off, 12 percent say they are undecided, and 1 percent say they have never heard of him.

MassINC pollster Steve Koczela looked at how well Brown would fare against four current or former Democratic members of Congress.

“We matched him up theoretically against (U.S. Reps.) Ed Markey, Mike Capuano, Steve Lynch and (former U.S. Rep.) Marty Meehan, and in each one of those cases, he led by between 17 and 19 points,” Koczela said.

Meehan, now the president of the University of Massachusetts Lowell, has already said he’s not interested in running.

But how likely is it that Senator Kerry will actually receive his much-coveted and long awaited promotion? Pretty darn certain, according to the New York Times:

President Obama is leaning strongly toward naming John Kerry, the Massachusetts senator and unsuccessful Democratic nominee for president eight years ago, to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, according to administration officials and friends of Mr. Kerry.

But the announcement will be delayed, at least until later this week and maybe beyond, because of the Connecticut school shooting and what one official called “some discomfort” with the idea of Mr. Obama’s announcing a national security team in which the top posts are almost exclusively held by white men.

Senator Brown’s involuntary retirement from public life will probably be cut short, in other words, if Kerry gets the nod. However, all that could change if this guy throws his hat into the ring -- a contingency I suspect most Republicans hope doesn’t come to fruition.

UPDATE - Well, this certainly makes things a little bit more interesting:

With the expectation that U.S. Senator John Kerry will be appointed Secretary of State, attention now focuses on who will be his successor. A new survey by the Emerson College Polling Society (ECPS) finds that Governor Deval Patrick ahead of U.S. Senator Scott Brown (48% to 43%) and former Governor William Weld (50% to 32%) in head-to-head matchups to succeed Kerry. Brown leads Vicki Kennedy, the widow of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, (46% to 40%). There was a 2.9 percent margin of error in the ECPS survey.

Felix Chen, chief analyst of the poll, pointed out that while Patrick may win the head-to-head contest, 38% of those surveyed believed Brown would be the next U.S. Senator, 14% named Patrick, followed by 10% selecting Attorney General Martha Coakley then Kennedy with 7%, and former Governor Weld with 3%.