A majority of Massachusetts voters would back former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) over Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) in a special election to fill the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), according to a poll released Friday.
The latest survey from MassINC Polling Group showed Brown easily cruising in a hypothetical matchup against Markey. Fifty-three percent of registered Bay State voters said they would support Brown, compared with just 31 percent who indicated they would vote for Markey. But pitted against a generic Democrat, Brown was shown with only an 8-point edge.
The poll showed Brown continuing to enjoy sky-high popularity — as was the case throughout his brief stint in the Senate — with 55 percent of voters saying they have a favorable view of the Republican. Markey is a relative unknown throughout the state: 59 percent of voters surveyed offered no opinion of the longtime congressman.
Although the state and national Democratic establishment has coalesced behind Markey, 71 percent of would-be Democratic primary voters favor a contested primary — an encouraging sign for Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA), who will reportedly announce Friday that he's challenging Markey for the party's nomination in the special election.