Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is in good shape to win another special election if Sen. John KerryJohn Forbes KerryLobbying world Kerry: Trump not pursuing 'smart' or 'clever' plan on North Korea Tillerson will not send high-ranking delegation to India with Ivanka Trump: report MORE (D-Mass.) leaves the Senate to take over at the State Department, according to a poll released Thursday.


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Forty-seven percent of the registered Massachusetts voters surveyed would vote for Brown, while 39 percent would vote for a generic Democratic challenger, according to the WBUR poll.


The outgoing Sen. Brown, a popular centrist Republican, won his Senate seat in a special election to replace the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) but lost his reelection bid in November to Sen.-elect Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenOvernight Regulation: Net neutrality supporters predict tough court battle | Watchdog to investigate EPA chief's meeting with industry group | Ex-Volkswagen exec gets 7 years for emissions cheating Overnight Tech: Net neutrality supporters predict tough court fight | Warren backs bid to block AT&T, Time Warner merger | NC county refuses to pay ransom to hackers Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign MORE (D). 

Kerry is considered the most likely candidate to succeed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonGrassley blasts Democrats over unwillingness to probe Clinton GOP lawmakers cite new allegations of political bias in FBI Top intel Dem: Trump Jr. refused to answer questions about Trump Tower discussions with father MORE as secretary of State, and Brown is well-positioned to fill his empty seat.

But the competition in the race would likely be fierce, with Democratic Reps. Edward MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless car bill hits Senate speed bump MORE, Mike Capuano and Stephen Lynch reportedly interested.

Brown beat all three by between 17 and 19 points in hypothetical match-ups, according to the poll. 

He led Capuano by 47 percent to 28, Markey by 48 percent to 30, Lynch by 51 percent to 24, and former Rep. Marty Meehan by 49 percent to 30.

Edward Kennedy Jr., the son of the late senator, and actor-director Ben Affleck have also been named as possibilities to run as Democratic candidates, but were not included in the poll. 

Despite losing his bid against Warren, Brown is still highly popular in his state, with 58 percent of those polled holding a favorable view of him and just 28 percent viewing him unfavorably.

A special election to replace Kerry would be held in Massachusetts in the late spring or early summer, and the empty Senate seat would be filled until then by the Democratic governor's appointee. 

The WBUR poll, conducted by the MassINC Polling Group over two days earlier this week, surveyed 500 registered voters in the state, the majority self-identifying as independent voters, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.