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He is a tea-party-backed conservative serving in deep-blue Massachusetts, but polling released this morning suggests that Scott Brown is “looking good” for his 2012 re-election bid.
Brown enjoys high favorables and leads by no less than 7 points in a series of hypothetical head-to-head matchups, according to a survey of 500 Massachusetts voters taken Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling.
While a challenger has yet to emerge in the effort to oust the tea-party-backed Brown, Democrats in Massachusetts and Washington are targeting the seat as a top pickup opportunity in 2012. Roll Call Politics rates this race as a Tossup.
“Scott Brown is not going to be a pushover for Democrats in 2012,” Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling, said in a statement. “Since taking office he’s been able to maintain the appeal to the center that got him elected as a Republican in a dark blue state.”
Fifty-three percent of respondents said Brown’s views are “about right,” a feeling that just 38 percent said about the GOP as a whole. Similarly, PPP found that 52 percent believe Republicans in general are too conservative, while just 33 percent said Brown was too conservative. (Download a PDF of the poll here.)
That’s bad news for a crowded field of potential candidates, who’d like to prove that Brown’s 2009 special-election victory in the race to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) was largely a fluke.
The polling firm, however, notes that there’s time for the numbers to shift, especially as the challengers’ name recognition grows.
Here’s a look at potential matchups, thanks to PPP:
- Brown vs. recently re-elected Gov. Deval Patrick: 49 percent to 42 percent.
- Brown vs. Kennedy's widow Vicki Kennedy: 48 percent to 41 percent.
- Brown vs. longtime 7th district Rep. Ed Markey: 49 percent to 39 percent.
- Brown vs. 8th district Rep. Mike Capuano: 52 percent to 36 percent.
- Brown vs. 9th district Rep. Stephen Lynch; 49 percent to 30 percent.
The margin of error was 4.4 percent.
For more from our At the Races politics blog, click here.