Brown Surges in Latest Massachusetts Senate Poll

Posted January 15, 2010 at 5:43am

State Sen. Scott Brown (R) was statistically tied with state Attorney General Martha Coakley (D) in the Massachusetts Senate race in a new poll by Suffolk University taken Monday through Wednesday.The poll of likely voters showed that Brown, a huge underdog at the start of the special election, had surged into the lead, 50 percent to 46 percent, over Coakley, with Independent candidate Joe Kennedy (no relation to the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, who held the seat for decades) at 3 percent and 1 percent undecided. The margin of error was 4.4 points. Coakley’s unfavorable rating has jumped considerably in the past two months. The latest Suffolk poll found that 41 percent of likely voters now have an unfavorable opinion of her, compared with 21 percent in mid-November. Forty-nine percent viewed Coakley favorably in the latest poll.Brown has a far more positive net favorable rating — 57 percent favorable to 19 percent unfavorable. Democrats and their allies have been working feverishly this week to bring up his unfavorable rating with a slew of negative ads.Among other damaging findings for Coakley in the poll, 64 percent said they think Coakley will tow the Democratic Party line, while just 24 percent said they think she will be an independent voice. And 61 percent of likely voters did not think the federal government can afford the proposed health care bill, compared with 32 percent who did.Likely voters were split on whether they favor the Democrats’ health care proposal — 47 percent favored and 48 percent opposed.Despite Brown having seized the momentum, most voters still considered him the underdog. Sixty-four percent said Coakley will ultimately win on Tuesday, while just 26 percent said Brown would.