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Elizabeth Warren Surging In Massachusetts Senate Polls

The Massachusetts Senate race has been neck and neck for much of the summer, but it now appears that Elizabeth Warren is pulling ahead of Scott Brown, even if just slightly:

Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren holds a four point lead over Scott Brown in the high-stakes Massachusetts Senate race, but the contest is still within the margin of error, according to a Suffolk University/7News poll out Monday night.

Warren was backed by 48 percent of those surveyed, while Brown received 44 percent. Eight percent of people polled were undecided or opted for another candidate.

It’s the latest in a series of polls that has Warren up over Brown.

Over the weekend, the Western New England University Polling Institute found Warren leading Brown, 50 percent to 44 percent, while the left-leaning Public Policy Polling firm found this week Warren to be up over Brown, 48 percent to 46 percent. The Harvard Law School professor gave a prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month and she has launched an aggressive new ad buy.

According to RealClearPolitics, Warren has led in every poll taken over the past month. The last poll in which Brown led was a Public Policy Poling poll taken in mid-August. Presently, the RCP Average stands at +3.5 in favor of Warren, and you can see the extent of her spike in the chart:

Clearly, Warren is getting some real benefit from her speech and the ad buy. I wouldn’t write Brown off just yet, but I’ve always suspected that it would be difficult for a Republican to win in Massachusetts in a Presidential election year. The polls seem to be confirming that.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. I only hear a fraction of the news from the west coast. Scott Brown seems like a nice guy, and plenty moderate (dare I say liberal?). Just the same, I think Warren would be more fun in the Senate. And of course I’d be less worried about her being pulled into Republican party votes.

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  2. Andy Gaboury says:

    I’m a Mass voter and this is a tough choice. Scott Brown is the kind of Republican I tend to like and that the GOP needs more of: moderate on fiscal issues, center-left on social stuff. But with the Senate staying tight I can’t imagine voting for him right now. Warren seems like a good choice but it’s more about preventing a GOP Senate for me.

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  3. And this answers the question of why there aren’t more Republicans like Brown. It doesn’t matter how much people think Republicans need to be more like him if no one actually votes for him.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  4. Rob in CT says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    Well, it’s MA. Surely there are states that are more purple/lean-red where a Brown would be a really strong candidate?

    I think there is a feedback loop here. Brown takes some hits because of what the rest of the GOP is like (“it’s more about preventing a GOP Senate for me” says it well). Which, in turn, means there are fewer Browns.

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  5. Ben says:

    All of my friends are Massachusetts liberals or at least left-leaning and they all like Scott Brown quite a bit, but are not going to vote for him because even if Brown is reasonable, they don’t want to hand the senate over to a Republican leadership that is decidedly unreasonable. Unfortunately, it must seem pretty unfair to Brown and other moderate Republicans that even though they may vote the way that their liberal constituents wish on most issues, they’ll still get booted out of office unless they’re running against an evil witch like Martha Coakley.

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  6. OzarkHillbilly says:

    I guess Mitt has coattails after all.

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  7. CSK says:

    Another poll quoted over the weekend–in one of the western Mass. papers–showed that Brown had a 57-35 lead over Warren with registered independents. And Warren still hasn’t been endorsed by the mayor of Boston. He probably will endorse her, eventually, but he’s really holding off on it. There’s apparently some sort of long-running feud between his camp and hers. Warren also doesn’t relate well to white blue collar ethnic voters the way Teddy Kennedy did. Since his death, electoral politics in Massachusetts have become a lot more complicated.

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  8. OliviaC says:

    Warren is quite a bit smarter than Brown and now that Brown has served a purpose not easily enlarged upon it’s easy to send him packing.

    So many Republicans thought that Warren’s views on effort, reward and community were out of the American mainstream but it’s one of those takes that brings to mind the idea (Schoepenhauer’s I think) that truth passes through three stages: ridicule, frenzied opposition, culminating in self-evident, traditional regard.

    Her style can wear on a person but she has what Romney lacks: conviction, sensibility and sincerity.

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  9. @Rob in CT:

    My point is that being a moderate didn’t help Brown retain office and if he loses, he’s also not going to have any sort of post political career with conservatives. So what was his incentive to be moderate? He’d personally have been far better off spending the last two years as a raving looney and then hitting the wingnut welfare circuit.

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  10. Me Me Me says:

    As of this morning Scott Brown is going to have to start running against not just Warren but also the former governor of Massachusetts.

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  11. Ben says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You are assuming here that every Republican at their core would rather be a raving loon, and they only debase themselves into being a moderate in order to get elected. Couldn’t it simply be the case that he’s a moderate guy, with reasonably center-left social views? And that he doesn’t need an incentive to vote the way he has?

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  12. Calling what’s happening a “feedback loop” is pretty apropos. But let’s not forget that even if Brown was reelected, his party hates him the same way they hated the senators from Maine as well. Simply put, they don’t like anyone who doesn’t toe the party line on literally everything. Reagan used to say that someone who agrees with you 80% of the time is your friend, and not your enemy; the party of Reagan, who uses his name so often, would do well to remember that and not push for such dogmatic intellectual purity.

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  13. mantis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    My point is that being a moderate didn’t help Brown retain office and if he loses, he’s also not going to have any sort of post political career with conservatives. So what was his incentive to be moderate? He’d personally have been far better off spending the last two years as a raving looney and then hitting the wingnut welfare circuit.

    His loss is not yet assured, but it absolutely would have been had he taken your advice. It’s clear that Brown has every intention of winning reelection, and governed accordingly.

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  14. Trumwill says:

    @Christopher Bowen:

    But let’s not forget that even if Brown was reelected, his party hates him the same way they hated the senators from Maine as well.

    I’m not sure that’s true. Brown seems to have gotten an unusual amount of support for a liberal-state Republican in a way that Snowe and Collins don’t.

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  15. @Trumwill: I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that he had Tea Party support. I think he’s lost a lot of that. He’s not as hated yet, but he also hasn’t participated in some of the votes that the ladies in Maine have.

    Ultimately, I’d honestly not mind electing them both. I like Brown, and I also like Elizabeth Warren. Can we give Massachusetts three senators, and take away one of Missouri’s?

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  16. @Ben:

    You are assuming here that every Republican at their core would rather be a raving loon, and they only debase themselves into being a moderate in order to get elected.

    It’s more a case of assuming that every politician at their core would rather be important, and debases themselves into whatever it takes to remain important. Brown would no doubt most like to remain a senator. But failing that, I’m sure he’d rather be “national news talking head” than “guy who was Senator for two years and was never heard from again”.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Christopher Bowen:

    Can we give Massachusetts three senators, and take away one of Missouri’s?

    Take Blunt, he’s not very sharp.

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  18. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    It’s more a case of assuming that every politician at their core would rather be important, and debases themselves into whatever it takes to remain important.

    Couldn’t agree more.

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  19. Rick Almeida says:

    @john personna:

    And of course I’d be less worried about her being pulled into Republican party votes.

    It is really difficult to understate the importance of this.

    Senators cast hundreds of procedural votes each Congress that can have significant impact, and Representatives cast even more. These votes are almost all party-line votes, and because it’s not at all sexy to report on a vote on instructions for a motion to recommit an amendment , nobody ever notices.

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  20. neil hudelson says:

    If warren is at 3.5, I would assess her leading actually larger. Undecideds break for the challenger. The percentage of break depends on the type of election–city elections the break will be 3:1 or 4:1. Congressional it’s around 1.5:1 (with the caveat that every race is of course unique). Having only done media consulting on senate campaigns–never field or polling work–I’m not sure what the average would be in a Senate race. I’m guessing it is also around 1.5:1.

    Brown is in trouble right jowls (nut there are still many weeks to go, of course)

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  21. neil hudelson says:

    @neil hudelson:

    Right jowls? One of the funnier autocorrects I’ve seen.

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