This is not really surprising, but perhaps an indicator that Democrats will have a harder time knocking off incumbent Republican senator Scott Brown than they initially thought: “Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) ruled himself out of a 2012 challenge to Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), but predicted there won’t be any shortage of Democrats in the running.”
If Patrick wanted to run for Senate, he probably wouldn’t have run for reelection as governor and won a race that looked extremely difficult when the year began.
Obviously, a lot can change between now and November 2012, but PPP found Brown in particularly strong shape:
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.