Heading into 2012, Massachusetts senator Scott Brown appeared to be the most vulnerable Republican incumbent. He won in unique circumstances against a colossally flawed rival, and in a presidential year, Democrats are likely to come out in droves. But he may be in less trouble than widely believed, at least for now:
But the DSCC received some bad news this week when a poll it commissioned found that Brown’s popularity is soaring. The survey, which has been seen by at least one D.C. insider and was detailed for Salon, measured Brown’s approval rating at 73 percent — easily surpassing the scores for Barack Obama and the state’s two top Democrats, Gov. Deval Patrick and Sen. John Kerry. It also found him running over the magic 50 percent mark against every potential Democratic challenger, and crushing the strongest perceived Democrats (Reps. Michael Capuano and Ed Markey and former Rep. Marty Meehan) by double-digit margins. The results only grew closer when respondents were primed with negative information about Brown.
A public poll from earlier this month wasn’t quite as shiny for Brown, but he still looked pretty solid:
The survey found 53 percent of respondents held a favorable view of Brown, and 27 percent held an unfavorable view, with 15 percent offering no opinion and 5 percent saying they hadn’t heard of Brown or refusing to answer.
The poll also found 52 percent wanted Brown reelected, and he led Rep. Michael Capuano 51–38 and Obama advisor Elizabeth Warren 51–34.
Interestingly, that poll found few Republicans all that dissatisifed with Brown, who hasn’t always toed the GOP line: “96 percent of Republicans support him in the suggested matchups.”
Obviously, it’s early. But so far, this would seem to be particularly strong position for Brown.