Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) is in good shape to win another special election if Sen. John KerryJohn KerryOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — EPA finalizing rule cutting HFCs Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by the League of Conservation Voters — Senate Finance chair backs budget action on fossil fuel subsidies Kerry: 'We can't get where we need to go' in climate fight if China isn't joining in MORE (D-Mass.) leaves the Senate to take over at the State Department, according to a poll released Thursday.
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 WarrenTreasury says more rental aid is reaching tenants, preventing evictions 11 senators urge House to pass .5T package before infrastructure bill Senate Democrats seeking information from SPACs, questioning 'misaligned incentives' MORE (D).
Kerry is considered the most likely candidate to succeed Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats worry negative images are defining White House Heller won't say if Biden won election Whitmer trailing GOP challenger by 6 points in Michigan governor race: poll 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 MarkeyEd MarkeyWarren, Bush offer bill to give HHS power to impose eviction moratorium Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Senate Democrats ding Biden energy proposal Six Democrats blast Energy Department's uranium reserve pitch 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.