Poll: Coakley trails Joe Kennedy in Senate race

John O'Brien Sep. 17, 2009, 2:00pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley is not the first choice for Democratic voters who will be asked to choose a replacement for the late Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat, a poll released Wednesday shows.

Fifty-nine percent of Democrats in a Suffolk University/7NEWS poll said they would vote for Joe Kennedy, Ted's nephew who is a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. Unlike Coakley, Joe Kennedy has not made public any plans to run for the seat in a Democratic primary in December.

"If Joe Kennedy runs, Joe Kennedy wins," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.

"Across every demographic, Kennedy was strong. In fact, 54 percent of Martha Coakley Democratic Primary voters said they would vote for Joe Kennedy if he ran."

Coakley shows a 53-percent approval rating as attorney general. The general election for Ted Kennedy's seat will be held in January.

Kennedy passed away Aug. 25 and had been in office since 1962.

Coakley, 56, has been the state's attorney general since 2007 and has also been a district attorney. She received her law degree from Boston University.

Coakley holds a large lead over everyone else but Joe Kennedy, as well as a 54-24 lead over Republican state Sen. Scott Brown.

Five-hundred registered voters were polled, 39 percent being Democrats, 15 percent Republican and 44 percent independent. The margin of error is +/- 4.4 percent.

From Legal Newsline: Reach John O'Brien by e-mail at jobrienwv@gmail.com.

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