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Rep. Bill Delahunt (D., Mass.), a safe incumbent since 1997, could be the next Bay State Democrat to get swept away by the Scott Brown wave. A new McLaughlin and Associates poll commissioned by former state treasurer Joe Malone shows Delahunt ripe to be picked off in November. Malone, Delahunt’s likely GOP challenger, leads the congressman by 37 percent to 34 percent among likely voters:

Malone’s lead grows among voters among voters who have a firm opinion of both candidates, to 48 percent to Delahunt’s 34 percent. . . . Also worrisome for Delahunt: his favorable rating is under the 50% benchmark for a safe incumbent. Forty-four percent of likely voters rate him favorably and 33 percent unfavorably. And Delahunt, who was unopposed in 2008 and won reelection in previous cycles with over 60 percent of the vote, has a negative net job approval rating — 54 percent of those surveyed rate his job negatively to 35 percent who rate it positively.

National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tony Mazzola tells the Boston Herald that many conservatives feel Delahunt is beatable after watching Brown win 61 percent of the vote in Delahunt’s district last month. Besides Malone, other Republicans are also eyeing a challenge.

Robert Costa — Robert Costa is National Review's Washington editor and a CNBC political analyst. He manages NR's Capitol Hill bureau and covers the White House, Congress, and national campaigns. ...

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