Scott Brown, the Republican senator from Massachusetts who won Ted Kennedy's old seat in a massive upset, seems to have a decent shot at re-election:
Brown is one of the most popular Senators in the country, with 53% of voters approving of his job performance and only 29% disapproving. He continues to have incredible appeal to independents, with whom his approval spread is 61/25. He also breaks nearly even among Democrats with 35% approving and 41% disapproving of what he's done so far. The only other Republican Senators PPP's polled on this year with that much appeal to Democrats are Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, and Lindsey Graham. What sets Brown apart from that trio is he's managed to generate that popularity across party lines without antagonizing voters in his own party- Republicans give him a 74/13 approval.
Given his comments at the hearing today and his political realities, Adam Bink thinks Brown might vote for DADT repeal:
If you read between the lines, Scott Brown may be a very real possibility (he announced his opposition to repeal over the summer, but has since said he would pay close attention to the report). His phrasing and even substance of questions, his body language, all are that of someone positioning himself to move.He asked for assurance of Secretary Gates, “you will not certify you feel the process can move forward without damage to safety, security of men and women serving, and that effectiveness to fight will not be jeopardized?” He mused about how he’s never asked whether veterans who have died in the line of duty, or gravely injured, whether they were straight or gay, and how he didn’t care. He asked a number of other thoughtful questions on timing, which units would be “integrated” first. He was even one of only four Senators left, with all three others (Levin, McCain, Lieberman) being a lot more out front on this issue than he. In other words, if I were someone concerned about my upcoming re-election who wanted to painstakingly make a case for why I’m switching positions, and ask for the kind of assurance that would make him and his constituents/supporters comfortable in their shoes with this, I would do exactly what Scott Brown did today.