Tags: markey | brown | senate | race

Poll: Brown, Markey Race Too Close to Call

Thursday, 31 Jan 2013 10:04 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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A race between former Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) to replace John Kerry in the U.S. Senate would be a squeaker, according to a new poll.

And Republicans in Massachusetts would rather see Brown run for governor than to try to win back his Senate seat, the Public Policy Polling survey found.

The poll has Brown leading Markey by only three percentage points — 48 percent to 45 percent for the Senate seat. However, 69 percent of those who are currently undecided in the race chose Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren over Brown in the November election, while only 17 percent of them voted for him. If the undecided again vote Democrat, Markey would lead Brown by a point, the poll found.

The survey found Brown might have a better chance in a run for governor. Republicans, by a 48 percent to 38 percent margin, said they would rather see Brown enter the race for the state’s chief executive next year, believing there will be a weaker field of Democratic challengers. Current two-term Gov. Deval Patrick, a Democrat, has said he will not seek re-election.

“Brown has a tough choice to make in the coming days,” the PPP said in releasing its survey results. “There's a very real chance that if he runs against Markey he'll be handed his second loss in just over six months, tagging him with a loser label that could make it hard for him to run for office again in the future. Or he could take on a weaker field of Democrats in the gubernatorial race.

“Either way, Massachusetts will be the most interesting state in the country electorally during the first half of 2013.”

Brown does lead another Democratic Senate candidate — U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch, who announced his candidacy Thursday. Brown would beat Lynch handily by 48 percent to 39 percent, the PPP poll found.

Only 27 percent of Democrats polled had a positive opinion of Lynch, compared with 28 percent with a negative opinion. In comparison, 58 percent have a favorable opinion of Markey while 13 percent view him unfavorably.

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