If a special election for Sen. John Kerry's seat were held today, Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) would win easily, according to a WBUR poll.
The senator, who was defeated by Elizabeth Warren last month, dominates potential Democratic challengers, including Gov. Deval Patrick, state Attorney General Martha Coakley and Reps. Ed Markey and Mike Capuano. Brown's favorability rating, at 58 percent, is far higher than any of his possible rivals. He leads a generic Demcorat 47 to 39 percent.
Should President Obama nominate Kerry as the next secretary of state, a special election will be held for the veteran Massachusetts Democrat's seat sometime in 2013. (Until that election, Patrick would appoint a placeholder to the seat -- possibly former governor Michael Dukakis.)
Brown won his seat in a 2010 special election against Coakley after the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, then lost it in an expensive race with Warren, a Harvard Law professor and former Obama administration adviser.
Not included in the poll: Rep.-elect Joe Kennedy III or Vicki Kennedy, Sen. Kennedy's widow. Patrick has said that he would not run for the seat.
The survey of 500 registered voters was taken by the Mass Inc. Polling Group.