Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) would easily dispatch possible Democratic challengers in his reelection bid, according to a Western New England College poll. Brown would beat Rep. Mike Capuano 51 percent to 38 percent and Obama adviser Elizabeth Warren 51 percent to to 34 percent. You could easily see the race tightening, but the Republican majorities won by William Weld in 1990, Paul Cellucci in 1998, Mitt Romney in 2002, and Brown in 2010 were in the low 50s. That's also about the size of the combined vote for Republican Charlie Baker and Democrat-turned-independent conservative Tim Cahill in last year's gubernatorial election.
Interestingly, despite Tea Party discontent with Brown -- pronounced enough that there was talk of a primary challenge after the senator broke with his party on a few votes during the lame-duck session -- he has an 88 percent approval rating among Republicans and a 64 percent rating among independents. Even 42 percent of Democrats approve of his performance in office. Among registered Republicans, Brown beats Capuano 96 percent to 2 percent. It's early, obviously, but this isn't where the Democrats expected to be in this race a year ago.
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