Uncle Teddy's seat there for JPK's asking

Joe Kennedy II preferred by voters to take Teddy's coveted slot

Published September 17, 2009 6:13PM (EDT)

Will Joseph P. Kennedy II, nephew of the late Ted Kennedy, reconsider his decision not to run for his uncle's vacated seat in this January's special election? If a new Suffolk University poll is any indication, he ought to at least think about it.

"If Joe Kennedy runs, Joe Kennedy wins," David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said in the PRC's write-up of the poll results. "Across every demographic, Kennedy was strong. In fact, fifty-four percent of Martha Coakley Democratic Primary voters said they would vote for Joe Kennedy, if he ran." Five-nine percent of Massachusetts Democrats polled say they would have voted for him, and 62 percent hold a favorable view of him.

Polling among announced candidates shows Coakley--who has a strong, 53 percent approval rating--leading by a mile:

Voters were asked to choose from among potential Democratic Primary candidates, some of whom have since withdrawn from the fray. They chose Coakley (47 percent), Capuano (9 percent), U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (6 percent) and City Year founder Alan Khazei (3 percent). Thirty-three percent were undecided. Voters who chose Lynch were surveyed again after he dropped out of the race on Tuesday.

The Boston Herald's Ira Kantor has more.

By Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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