Senator Scott Brown would most likely be back in the Senate if a special election were held today, according to a new poll.
The telephone poll of 500 registered voters, taken by the Mass Inc. Polling Group for WBUR, showed Brown, a Republican, leading a generic Democrat 47 percent to 39 percent, with a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent. The remaining 15 percent of respondents did not express a preference.
That’s about the same margin, 8 percentage points, by which Brown lost his seat to Elizabeth Warren, the Democrat who will replace him next month.
The poll also showed Brown leading several potential candidates in theoretical match-ups. The one who came closest to Brown, Governor Deval Patrick, lost to him by 7 points. Patrick has said he would not run.
Brown would defeat Attorney General Martha Coakley by 15 points, US Representative Ed Markey by 18 points, Representative Michael Capuano by 19 points, Representative Steve Lynch by 27 points , and former Representative Marty Mehan by 19 points.
The poll also shows that voters, despite ousting Brown, have a high opinion of him, with 58 percent of respondents saying they view him favorably compared with 28 percent who said they view him unfavorably. There had been concern after his tough election with Warren that his attacks could turn off voters.
The political world has been abuzz about a potential comeback for Brown since he lost the election last month. Senator John Kerry is expected to be named secretary of state, opening up a special election in the spring, after Patrick appoints an interim replacement.Noah Bierman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @noahbierman.