Massachusetts is a Democratic state, but Bay Staters really like Republican Sen. Scott Brown, according to a new poll conducted by the GOP firm Public Opinion Strategies for Brown’s campaign and the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Sixty-two percent of likely voters polled had a favorable opinion of Brown, while only 28 percent had an unfavorable view. His job approval stood at 67 percent, with only 27 percent of those surveyed saying they disapprove.
Brown won a January 2010 special election to fill the remainder of Sen. Edward Kennedy’s (D) term by just less than 5 points. The new poll shows 56 percent of likely voters said that Brown deserves to be re-elected while 32 percent said “it’s time for a change and a new person to be elected.”
Brown is vulnerable in a state that President Barack Obama carried with 62 percent in 2008, but the poll confirms any Democratic candidate who wants to unseat him has a steep hill to climb.
In head-to-head matchups against current Democratic candidates Setti Warren and Alan Khazei, Brown bested them 57 percent to 21 percent and 54 percent to 24 percent, respectively. Warren is the mayor of Newton and Khazei was the co-founder of the nonprofit group City Year.
In a hypothetical matchup against Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren, Brown led 53 percent to 28 percent, with 18 percent undecided.
Based on open-ended questions asked of those polled, POS partner Neil Newhouse notes in a memo to Brown supporters that “voters primarily view Scott Brown as a man of the people. He’s a regular guy, a family man, not a politician, and not swayed by ideological pressure.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee slammed the poll in a statement to Roll Call.
“The only percentage that will matter to Bay Staters next November is that Scott Brown votes with extreme Republicans in Washington nearly 90 percent of the time,” DSCC Communications Director Matt Canter said. “The simple fact that national Republicans feel the need to release [this poll] reeks of desperation and fear that Scott Brown is very vulnerable.”
The poll of 500 likely voters was conducted June 21-23 by live interviewers using random-digit dialing. The survey had a margin of error of 4.4 points.