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Scott Brown leads potential candidates for governor in 2014, UMass poll says 

Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts, converses during the Lincoln-Reagan Luncheon at the Hanover Inn in Hanover, N.H. on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Brown lost his seat in November to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, and has hinted that he might consider a Senate run in New Hampshire, but he's also considered a contender for the governorship. He has family in the state and owns a house in Rye.
Valley News - Libby March

Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, a Republican from Massachusetts, converses during the Lincoln-Reagan Luncheon at the Hanover Inn in Hanover, N.H. on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Brown lost his seat in November to Democrat Elizabeth Warren, and has hinted that he might consider a Senate run in New Hampshire, but he's also considered a contender for the governorship. He has family in the state and owns a house in Rye. Valley News - Libby March Purchase photo reprints »

Former U.S. Senator Scott Brown ekes out a lead over former Congressman Joseph Kennedy II in a poll of potential candidates for Massachusetst governor in 2014, according to a University of Massachusetts Amherst poll released Tuesday.

Brown would be in a virtual tie with Kennedy, 42-41, the poll says.

“A Kennedy-Brown match-up poses an intriguing twist on political history in Massachusetts,” said Ray La Raja, associate director of the UMass Poll in a statement. “On the Democratic side, you have political and economic aristocracy against a Republican with an image as the guy-next-store in the pickup. That’s a far cry from a century ago when the Democrat Kennedys were seen as the Irish upstarts against the GOP Brahmins.”


The 500 poll particpants were asked about their likely vote in several head-to-head contests between likely candidates Brown, Kennedy, former state Sen. Richard Tisei, State Treasurer and Receiver Steve Grossman, U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano and former Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance Charlie Baker, who ran for governor in 2010.

The poll was conducted May 30 to June 4.

Gov. Deval Patrick announced months ago that he will not seek a third term in 2014.

“Voters continue to have good feelings for Scott Brown, even after his 2012 Senate loss,” La Raja said. “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.”

“Although he’s been out of office since 1999, former Representative Kennedy’s popularity demonstrates the continued electoral relevance of the Kennedy name in the minds of the state’s voters,” said Tatishe Nteta, associate director of the UMass Poll, in a statement.

Brown leads Grossman by 29 points (55-26), and Capuano by 12 (45-33). Kennedy, who served in Congress for 12 years beginning in 1987, shows leads of seven (40-33) and 23 points (48-25) over Tisei and Baker, respectively.

“Keep in mind that the campaigns haven’t begun, so voters gravitate toward names they know and like. Newcomers still have a chance as the campaigns heat up,” La Raja said.

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