UMass-Amherst Poll: Governor Scott Brown, Governor Joe Kennedy II, Or Nothing

Too bad there's little to suggest that either intends to run for governor next year.

Massachusetts voters can picture a Governor Scott Brown. They can equally envision a Governor Joe Kennedy II. (The former congressman, not his son the current congressman.)

Governor Charlie Baker, or Governor Steve Grossman? Not so much.

So says polling released today from UMass-Amherst. As shown in the chart below, the survey matched Baker, Brown, and Richard Tisei as potential Republican nominees, in head-to-head match-ups against Grossman, Kennedy, and Michael Capuano. Brown beats Capuano and Grossman handily; Kennedy beats Baker and Tisei; and the powerhouse Brown-Kennedy clash is essentially a tie.

Too bad for the Commonwealth that there’s little evidence to suggest either Brown or Kennedy intends to run in the open gubernatorial contest next year.

It’s easy to chalk these early surveys up to name recognition, and that’s probably fair in this case. Nevertheless, these are pretty paltry showings for Baker, the 2010 (and likely 2014) Republican nominee, and Grossman, the state Treasurer who is openly talking about running for governor.

And note that matching the two of them against each other results in a virtual tie—but with nearly half the respondents unable to make a choice, the largest non-response of all nine theoretical contests. Is it possible we could have an election where voters are even less interested than the current US Senate yawner?