State House News Service
---- — BOSTON - Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and former U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy II outpolled party mates in a recent survey of voter attitudes towards potential 2014 candidates for governor.
With Gov. Deval Patrick opting against seeking a third term, pollsters at UMass-Amherst surveyed 500 registered Massachusetts voters between May 30 and June 4. Voters were asked about their preferences in a hypothetical field featuring Republicans Brown, former Sen. Richard Tisei and 2010 GOP gubernatorial nominee Charles Baker, as well as Democrats Kennedy, Congressman Michael Capuano and Treasurer Steven Grossman.
Brown led all potential candidates and at 42-41, barely outpolled Kennedy in a poll with a margin of error of plus or minus 5.4 percent. “Voters continue to have good feelings for Scott Brown, even after his 2012 Senate loss,” Ray La Raja, associate director of the UMass Poll, said in a statement. “For a Democratic state like Massachusetts, Beacon Hill is a safer spot to put a well-liked Republican rather than next to Mitch McConnell in Washington.”
The poll’s associate director, Tatishe Nteta, said the support for Kennedy, out of office since 1999, “demonstrates the continued electoral relevance of the Kennedy name in the minds of the state’s voters.”
The poll showed Brown leading Grossman 55-26 and Capuano 45-33 and Kennedy leading Tisei 40-33 and Baker 48-25. “The worst news in this poll is probably for Charlie Baker,” said Brian Schaffner, director of the UMass Poll. “Despite the fact that he should have fairly high name recognition from his run for governor in 2010, his support doesn’t break 26 percent in any of the potential match-ups.” None of the individuals polled have said they will run for governor.