Proving that he was not a fad brought forth by voter anger against incumbents, six months after his election, Senator Scott Brown is polling better than not only Massachusetts senior Senator John Kerry, but also President Barack Obama.
According to Boston.Com:
“Asked their opinion of Brown, 55 percent of those polled said they view him favorably, only 18 percent unfavorably. His rating among Republicans is 79 percent favorable, 3 percent unfavorable. And 55 percent of independents – the majority of the state’s voters – say they like him, while only 11 percent have an unfavorable opinion. The poll has a margin of error of 4.2 percent.
“Despite the fact that his election in January was a crushing blow to both the state and national Democratic party, 41 percent of Democrats say they view Brown favorably, and 32 percent, unfavorably.”
This compares to Senator John Kerry, the former presidential candidate and, as he never fails to remind one, a Vietnam War veteran and, as he doesn’t like to remind most people, a former anti war protester. “In contrast, Kerry was viewed favorably by 52 percent of those polled and unfavorably by 37 percent of the respondents.”
Scott Brown also polls better in Massachusetts, the bluest of blue states, than President Barack Obama. “And in a sign that Obama is a polarizing figure even in Massachusetts, 54 percent of the respondents view him favorably and 41 percent unfavorably, according to the polling data.”
The reason for Scott Brown’s relative popularity seems to stem from both personality and politics.
Brown lacks the attitude that his Senate seat is a birthright, unlike the late Senator Teddy Kennedy. Senator Brown also lacks the haughty demeanor of John Kerry; the standard joke in Massachusetts is that Kerry’s favorite phrase is, “Do you know who I am?”
At the same time, Scott Brown has pretty much followed his campaign promise to be an independent center-right voice for Massachusetts in the United States Senate. That has certainly surprised Republicans and Independents, who have not had such a Senator in living memory. Even the plurality of Democrats appreciates Brown’s honesty, his down-to-Earth attitude, and his independence.
Senate Republicans have been smart in not pressuring Brown to hew to the party line too openly. It does not take a political genius to know that, even though Brown may occasionally vote to the left of most Senate Republicans, he is a big improvement over his predecessor. Brown may even provide the death knell of financial reform legislation that many have criticized as giving too much power to the government over the economy.
Massachusetts Democrats’ hopes of defeating Scott Brown in 2012, when his term is up, may, therefore, be in vain.
Brown outpolls Kerry, Obama, Matt Viser and Frank Phillips, Boston.Com, June 28th, 2010