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Suffolk (4/3-5, likely voters, no trendlines)

Deval Patrick (D): 37
Scott Brown (R-inc): 52
Undecided: 11

Mike Capuano (D): 26
Scott Brown (R-inc): 52
Undecided: 19

Tim Murray (D): 23
Scott Brown (R-inc): 51
Undecided: 22

Joe Kennedy (D): 40
Scott Brown (R-inc): 45
Undecided: 13

Setti Warren (D): 9
Scott Brown (R-inc): 52
Undecided: 32

Ed Markey (D): 26
Scott Brown (R-inc): 53
Undecided: 19

Vicki Kennedy (D): 30
Scott Brown (R-inc): 52
Undecided: 16
(MoE: ±4.4%)

Here's one more splash of cold water for anyone who thinks that Massachusetts, what with its dark blue hue, will be an easy Senate pickup in 2012. Local pollster Suffolk (who correctly predicted that Brown would win by 4 in the Jan. 2011 special election) find him leading by mostly large margins, ranging anywhere from 5 (against former Rep. Joe Kennedy, who hasn't expressed any interest in the race) to 43 (against currently unknown Newton mayor Setti Warren, who seems like the likeliest of these seven to actually run).

They aren't the first pollster to find these kinds of numbers lately, although these are the worst of the batch; for comparison's sake, PPP found Brown leading MA-08 Rep. Mike Capuano by 16 in December, while WNEC in March gave him a 13-point lead. (Today's poll has Capuano, the only Dem sampled in all three polls, down by 26.) That WNEC poll raised some eyebrows for its sample composition (34 D, 12 R, and 47 I, compared with 2008 exit poll numbers of 43 D, 17 R, 40 I), and today's Suffolk poll is in that same territory, with a breakdown of 37 D, 12 R, 48 I.

If there's good news to be found here, it's that the Democrats tested (with the exceptions of Gov. Deval Patrick, and the Kennedys, all of whom have said they won't run) are pretty poorly known, and their share of the vote is only likely to go up once somebody's actually in the race and making the case in the local media against Brown's mostly party-line voting record. In the meantime, though, through personal charisma (he has 58/22 favorables) and skill at building his brand as a moderate through frequent ritual invocations of his independence (based on the 56/24 'yes' response to the question of whether he has kept his promise to be an independent voice), Brown's starting in unexpectedly strong position. Add in the more-appealing possibility of another open seat in 2013 (if, as some expect, John Kerry resigns to become the next Secretary of State), and it's no wonder the DSCC is having recruitment problems with this seat.

Originally posted to David Jarman on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 01:34 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Daily Kos Elections.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    Manufactured political distractions, you are officially on notice.

    by David Jarman on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 01:34:21 PM PDT

  •  I saw this poll earlier (6+ / 0-)

    and was not surprised.

    Stop and think about it. When Brown talks he talks like a somewhat reasonable and moderate Republican. The MA Tea Party his early supporters have condemned him.

    So all in all to those not paying attention, most, his isn't so bad.

    Now does that all change when election time rolls around and he has defend his votes which have been predominately along party lines. I think he starts to run into a bit of trouble. And for hi to actually survive he is going to actually by vote part with the party more.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Thu Apr 07, 2011 at 01:56:29 PM PDT

  •  Joanne Kloppenburg wasn't that well known..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    brn2bwild

    in Wisconsin 6 weeks ago.  If her win holds to replace Judge Prosser, it will be the first time an incumbent judge has been voted out in Wisconsin in 48 years.

    Things happen.  Let's give that YouTube video of Scott Brown schmoozing up David Koch a little more time & a lot more circulation.  

  •  Oh Come on. You mean to tell me Dems can't (4+ / 0-)

    find one old centerfold from the 70's or 80's to counter Brown.

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:17:32 PM PDT

  •  Dear God (2+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, fiddlingnero
    Hidden by:
    bozepravde15

    what is it going to take to get the SERFS TO LEARN???? A 2X4 TO THE HEAD? No nothing. Let us keep shooting ourselves in the foot.. Shooting everyone else while they are at it. Is the educational system that bad that people in the country can't use reasonable thinking? I am so tired of fighting to survive and they keep the people who are putting up the hurdles in office. The people who say they will fight for us sit there and let the express buses to landed gentry run over us again and again.

  •  Why, why, why (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    James Allen, Gator Keyfitz

    why, why, why, why, why, why, do folks vote against their own self interest?..... SICK!

    "Good people are so sure they are right!" I believe, this could be the Republican mantra, and they would be wrong!

    by secret38b on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:27:49 PM PDT

  •  frankly, Kerry should not (7+ / 0-)

    leave if these polls continue. He can do far more good for this country where he is. Sadly, he probably wants the prestige of SOS, and the change of pace, and who can blame him. But the damage of having two GOP senators from MA would be catastrophic.

  •  Two words: Mike Castle (nt) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Marie, Scott Wood
  •  Brown (4+ / 0-)

    was smart and ditched the tea party, played to the center.

    "It is, it seems, politically impossible to organize expenditure on the scale necessary to prove my case -- except in war conditions."--JM Keynes, 1940

    by randomfacts on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:33:11 PM PDT

  •  Joe Kennedy polls reasonably well (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    supercereal, Kimball Cross

    Any chance at all he'd take the plunge?

    I tend to doubt it.

  •  Fuckin right he's ahead (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bozepravde15

    There is no leadership in the party - Obama is a weak republican.  What's a democrat to do?  Even if Obama wins (and he probably will) the whole country is going to go R in 2012.  

    Hope bro . . .

    •  Contradicting yourself mid-sentence? (0+ / 0-)

      Obama "probably will" win while the "while country is going to go R"? Paraphrasing Shakespeare, the latter half of your sentence doth forget the beginning.

      Why is it the "whole country" didn't go R in 2010? CA, OR, and WA certainly didn't. If MA went R in 2009, and is happily R now, then why is it different? Why didn't Massachusetts D's get out to vote when western Ds did? There's a difference in what happened and what now seems likely to happen, I'd think it'd be helpful to understand what it might be.

      •  When are you talking about? (0+ / 0-)

        When did "western Ds" get out? If you mean November 2010, Mass Ds DID get out to vote then--and Democrats won everything here. The state party did a great job, getting candidates for different offices--governor, rep, etc.-- to work together, share offices, coordinate to use resources more effectively. And it worked. But Brown had already won in a special election. MA is not "happily R" now--it's D. Brown's popularity is an aberration. Personality, public image, favorable media coverage--VERY VERY favorable coverage.

  •  Does EVERYTHING have to suck today? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mambo, supercereal

    Fuck me. This is bullshit. Why even bother caring about this shit anymore.

    So many stupid people in the world, and me with only two fists.

    by phenry on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:35:41 PM PDT

  •  Brown can potentially hold the seat (5+ / 0-)

    for a long time provided the GOP doesn't get arrogant and stupid (which would be challenging for them) and primary him with a tea bagger and he continues to break with the party on those bigger meat and potato issues relevant to the quality of life for MA citizens-i.e., straddles the middle of the road.

    "Sisters, brothers and the whities, Blacks and the crackers, Police and their backers, They're all political actors"--Curtis Mayfield

    by Cynic in seattle on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:35:51 PM PDT

  •  This is totally theoretical (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hooper, Kimball Cross

    The Republicans (thanks Ryan) have set up the debate: Will you support the coninuance of Medicare or not?

    Every Democrat will have the edge in this debate.

    But MA needs a strong candidate, who will stand firm for Social Security and Medicare. Any poll right now is crap.

    Get a good candidate, tomorrow, MA.

    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur.

    by MrMichaelMT on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:36:17 PM PDT

  •  Any chance the teabaggers will primary him? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    auapplemac, Matt Z

    The Republican party is so crazed that they have primaried reasonable people and replaced them with hysterical ideologues who stood little chance of winning. In fact, they could not even pick up the Senate...in ALASKA...vs. a write-in candidate! I would not put it past them to try to primary Brown, and we would stand to gain from that.

    Here's to our last drink of fossil fuels - may we vow to get off of this sauce...shoo away the swarms of commuter planes...and find that train ticket we lost.

    by terra on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 07:46:52 PM PDT

  •  If it comes out that his story about being abused (0+ / 0-)

    isn't true, I wouldn't give a lot of credence to these polls at this stage.

  •  Liberal MA??? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mambo, auapplemac

    Ted Kennedy was Catholic which is the largest religious group in MA.  Have Catholics become more progressive in the last few years?  No.  Catholics are trending more conservative.   MA is not pure blue for many reasons; but I will raise this one religious issue because it is obvious.

    From my bird's eye view, the DNC gave Dem Martha Coakley very little support in the special election to fill Kennedy's empty seat a few years ago.  Then, Dems blamed Coakley for loosing "Kennedy's seat" when her campaign was seriously underfunded and without support.  Other potential MA Dem's might expect that they will get the same treatment as Coakley from their party.

    The idea that MA is purely liberal is a wingnut talking point that national Dems seem to have "bought into" without looking at the facts.  A state with a large Catholic population is purely progressive?

    MA does have many progressives and progressive policies; but it is not a "shoe in" either.

    •  Believe you're out of date on the "catholic" part. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TrueBlueMajority

      The influence of the church has been trending hugely downhill for decades. Parishes and schools closed. Hospitals closed and sold.

    •  The Democratic Party supported Coakley. (0+ / 0-)

      She just wasn't willing to campaign.  Somewhere she got the impression that she didn't really need to.  She did very little polling to see where she stood in Massachusetts, and made famous cracks like, "What?  Stand outside in the snow shaking hands?"

      Meanwhile, Scott Brown did that sort of thing.  He ran like he actually wanted that seat.  Brown ran a campaign that would've given him a landslide victory in a state like Ohio, but considering it was Massachusetts, he pulled off a narrow victory, which is impressive.

      Brown ran a great campaign.  Coakley ran a lousy one.  As a Coakley voter and volunteer, I was continually stunned by her loftiness, and by her disinterest in getting her hands dirty on the campaign trail.  Martha Coakley deserved to lose.

      However, Massachusetts didn't deserve to have her lose, which is why I'd rather have a lousy Senator Coakley than a lousy Senator Brown.  Whoever our candidate is in 2012, he or she had better run the way Ted Kennedy and Tip O'Neill did: run as if you might lose this one in a landslide.  Because you just never know when that will happen.  Voters like to be asked.

      A conservative is just a liberal who hasn't needed a second chance yet.

      by Larry McAwful on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:43:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks for first hand info. (0+ / 0-)
        As a Coakley voter and volunteer, I was continually stunned by her loftiness

        The next Dem candidate will have to work hard to convince folks.   Coakley's experience certainly proved that.  Oj!

  •  We need to make Brown the next Blanche Lincoln (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus

    Brown's support should be coming from independents and the moderates and so he has to walk a tight rope to maintain his moderate image. Brown has to be portrayed as unlikeable by both parties by highlighting his votes and statements that can be seen as unacceptable to one party or the other. I think the best chance to take him out would be in a republican primary, but he might pull a Lisa Murkowski and do a write-in campaign so making him unlikeable to both sides should come first.

    •  And that worked so very well for the Democrats (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Larry McAwful

      The only way Brown is getting a primary challenge is from the Tea Party, and they have almost no traction in Massachusetts.  Not going to happen.

      •  Yep. (0+ / 0-)

        I wouldn't be surprised if Brown does draw a Tea Party challenger in the primary.  But I'd be shocked as hell if that challenger had a ghost of a chance at knocking Brown out.

        A conservative is just a liberal who hasn't needed a second chance yet.

        by Larry McAwful on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:45:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So why not go with my first idea (0+ / 0-)

          and make him unpopular with both sides of the aisle. He can be portrayed as a flip-flopper who only cares about getting elected and has no real principles to stand on.

          •  Easily said. (0+ / 0-)

            Brown is a canny politician, though.  Just because we say we want him to be unpopular doesn't make him unpopular.  How do you propose we do that?  I already don't like him, and apparently you don't either, but we need to do better than that.

            A conservative is just a liberal who hasn't needed a second chance yet.

            by Larry McAwful on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 07:18:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  He never ran remotely as a Tbagger (0+ / 0-)

            I remember getting in some "disagreements" on the net about this when he first got elected.  Yes, he's a (R) but his professed stances were never remotely teabaggy.  

            A teabagger couldn't win in MA but a (r) like Brown (or Weld... remember him?) can.

            Coakley screwed us with her arrogance.  It STILL pisses me off

  •  Where is Barney Frank vs Brown? (0+ / 0-)
  •  Come on MA, Let's Get On It (6+ / 0-)

    As a life-long resident of MA, I am embarrassed of this...

    Seriously, let's get this show on the road... it was embarrassing that he won a year ago - I can't imagine him in there for 6 more years...

  •  Brown has "correctly" deduced that he has to move (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Odysseus, Matt Z

    to the center in MA to pick up votes for this next election.  He will (and has said) that he votes with Obama some of the time, which is true, but very rarely on any votes of real consequence - but that's not what is going to be sold to the public

    however once the 2012 election is over, if he wins, he'll swing hard right for about 3 years

    Bumper sticker seen on I-95; "Stop Socialism" my response: "Don't like socialism? GET OFF the Interstate highway!"

    by Clytemnestra on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:31:21 PM PDT

  •  So all the mocking from the left, left no (0+ / 0-)

    dents on this below average man? Tells me something about left's messaging.

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 08:40:11 PM PDT

  •  But anyone know what Coakley's numbers were (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TrueBlueMajority, ScottyUrb, Matt Z

    back just after the primaries? Didn't she at one time look as much of a shoe-in as Brown does now, with much more time left for things to change?

  •  Of course he's popular (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gator Keyfitz, ipsos, Matt Z

    No one has challenged the immensely seductive narrative that he represents some second coming of Nelson Rockefeller. A lot of people of goodwill want to delude themselves into thinking that there are any moderate Republicans left. They exist, sure, at some local levels and relative to the inanity and toxicity of the national party, but in a real sense?

    Nonsense.

    In any case, I think Brown's popularity is brittle. He's been adept at playing moderate because the national party (despite the whinging of our Tea Party friends) has given him relatively wide berth and because Democrats have legitimated him as a moderate when he is no such thing.

    Get a strong candidate against him, with plenty of money and riding on the Obama tide in 2012 and he's done. Which is good riddance to bad rubbish. Scott Brown tarnishes the perfectly honorable legacy of Rockefeller Republicanism, provides cover for Wall Street criminals, and is generally a bad example of personal charisma and tabloid fodder serving as a substitute for intellectual and policy heft.

    I'm personally pulling for either Capuano or Elizabeth Warren. Though honestly, any fiery Democrat with institutional support can pull this off.

    I'm not sure why the party is being so timid on this. Beating Brown would be the perfect symbolic victory. And not only beating him, but beating him soundly, smearing his blood on our faces and then doing a little war-dance before going for other RINOs (as our TP friends call them.)

    As Jack Nicholson's Joker put it, "We've got a flying rodent to kill, and I want to clean my claws."

  •  I am worried that the DSCC will focus (0+ / 0-)

    on trying to find a "big name" for this seat when what they need is a strong CANDIDATE.

    Elizabeth Warren might be a very fine Senator, but has anyone seen any evidence that she would be a strong candidate?  Does she know anything about Massachusetts politics?  This race is not a time for someone who has to learn the basics of Bay State politics on the job.

    Bob Massie is the only person of the names being floated who has ever won a statewide primary (except Deval Patrick, who obviously is not going to leave the State House to run for the Senate).  He declared "early" because important groundwork for a statewide campaign has to be done now, while "big names' twiddle their thumbs and read tea leaves and cower in the corner afraid of big bad Scott Brown.

    Brown only won by about 100,000 votes in a special election at a strange time of year that a lot of Dems sat out because they couldn't imagine the Republicon would win.

    2012 is going to be different.

    Bob Massie is fluent with the facts, has connections with D activists all over the Commonwealth, is intelligent without being condescending, and the cherry on top is that he can beat Brown in the areas where Brown believes he is strong:  Massie has an even more compelling life story than Brown, and is way more genuinely appealing when it comes to charm and charisma.

    A "big name" who does not have these characteristics would be a mistake.  Someone who looks good on paper or who may have slightly better name recognition but does not have the practical experience and skills to be a strong candidate would be a mistake.

    Martha Coakley looked good on paper too.

    "Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D."
    I support Bob Massie for MA-Sen

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 10:01:27 PM PDT

  •  Announced Dem Candidate Not Included (0+ / 0-)

    Bob Massie, the only announced Democratic candidate I know of, was not included in the poll.  Massie ran for Lt Governor a few years ago and was a founder of CERES, the corporate social responsibility group.  He is a very interesting guy whose parents wrote Nicholas and Alexandria.

    Solar is civil defense. Video of my small scale solar experiments at solarray.

    by gmoke on Fri Apr 08, 2011 at 11:05:16 PM PDT

    •  Very true (0+ / 0-)

      This poll is a joke.  Massie isn't on it (nor is Alan Khazei, whom I believe is interested), but they throw in two Kennedys who've already said no AND Deval, who just started his second term as governor and is concentrating on that.  Makes no sense.

      •  Khazei? Really? (0+ / 0-)

        I hadn't heard that, but it sure makes sense.  I voted for Capuano in the last primary, but I almost went with Khazei.  Not that it matters now, but I'd have gone with Khazei if I had it all to do over again.  I like Tim Murray, too—but I doubt Murray will run.  I'd say there's a decent chance that Deval will wind up working in the Obama administration, if all goes well in 2012, which would make Murray governor.  And even if Deval finishes both terms, that would still put Murray in the catbird seat in 2014.  I don't see him going for the Senate seat.

        A conservative is just a liberal who hasn't needed a second chance yet.

        by Larry McAwful on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:50:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  19 months before the election! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry McAwful

    How much more meaningless can polls be?

    Sure, Suffolk happened to be accurate just days before the 2010 election. But we still have almost 19 whole months before the 2012 election.

    Frankly, we don't know if Scott Brown will win by landslide margins, or if he will be to 2012 what Santorum was to 2006 and Lincoln to 2010, or if it ends up being Franken-Coleman close.

    We just don't know - and we won't know for some time.

    I Refudiate Palin's Squirmishes

    by ScottyUrb on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 12:47:28 AM PDT

  •  Draft Joe Kennedy? (0+ / 0-)

    According to the TeaBaggers, the wrong side won the Civil War. Kinda says it all.

    by Beomoose on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 01:17:02 AM PDT

  •  Sample for MA polls (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ellid, Matt Z

    Quick comment on the samples for these recent polls. Both the Western New England and Suffolk polls are of registered voters, not likely voters as this diary suggests. Both samples are pretty close to the most recent distribution in party registration from the Massachusetts Secretary of State's Office:

    Democrats  36.5 percent
    Republicans  11.3 percent
    Unenrolled  51.6 percent

    Comparing these samples to the partisan breakdown from the 2008 exit poll in Massachusetts is comparing the proverbial apples to oranges. A representative sample of all registered voters may look quite different from the partisan breakdown of voters who actually show up on Election Day. We can debate the merits of focusing on all registered voters versus likely voters this far out from an election, but we need to be accurate when raising questions about whether a sample is representative of the population. (Just as an aside, I don't think it makes sense to use a likely voter screen this far out from an election, but lots of polls do. That's just a matter of personal preference, I guess.) Remember to read the fine print before raising questions about the representative nature of polling samples. Actually, it's not even fine print. Both polls are clearly labeled registered voters.

    Tim Vercellotti, director, Western New England College Polling Institute

  •  Not a vote of confidence for brown. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z

    Its just that just about every democratic official in Mass is a joke right about now.  The one id like to see make a go of it would be Barney.

    If he was not so damn old he would be able to hold the seat for the next 30 years.  To be fair hes been a bit too cozy with the banks but Ill let that pass for his consistent open mockery of the republicans.

    •  Well, Barney rules and all... (0+ / 0-)

      ...but he's 70 years old and wouldn't be likely to give up all that power in the House in exchange for freshman status in the Senate.  Even if Barney ran for the Senate and won, the loss to the House would be too great.

      I agree that if Barney were 40, he'd be at a great point to jump to the Senate.

      A conservative is just a liberal who hasn't needed a second chance yet.

      by Larry McAwful on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 08:54:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Despite theoretically liking moderate Republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larry McAwful

    I still want to see this seat back in the hands of actual Democrats. These numbers are unfortunate, but I must say, unsurprising, given how Brown has positioned himself. He is a rather savvy politician.

    http://www.partisans.org

    by Prajwal Ciryam on Sat Apr 09, 2011 at 02:57:07 AM PDT

  •  This poll makes some huge assumptions (0+ / 0-)

    As in, polling Joe and Vickie Kennedy, both of whom have said repeatedly that they are not interested in the seat, Deval Patrick, who just finished running for governor, and Ed Markey, who has a safe seat in the house.  

    Personally, I think this is all about whom Suffolk thinks has name recognition, not who might or might not run.  rolls eyes

  •  Run, Setti, Run . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andy1116

    This is why we have campaigns.

    How would Brown have polled statewide, 19 months before he was elected?

    He would have polled the way an unknown, somewhat charismatic, moderately smart, potentially formidable three- or four-term state senator ought to poll -- in the high single digits.  

    Republicans were initially scared to death of going into the race for Ted's seat with "only" Brown as their candidate.  They were BEGGING Romney or former Bush chief of staff Andy Card to run.

    I remember this.  Brown was my state senator, and I for one was afraid of his potential as a candidate.  (And don't even get me STARTED about the Coakley campaign.)

    I grew up in Newton, and a lot of my relatives still live there.  I've met Setti Warren, who is a former aide to John Kerry.  

    He strikes me as a somewhat charismatic, very smart, potentially formidable one-term mayor of one of the state's largest, wealthiest, best educated, and most liberal cities.

    In Massachusetts in 2012, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to out-Brown Brown.

    Let's make it happen.

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