Sunday, September 30, 2012

New poll: Warren ahead of Brown in Mass., but race still very tight

By Michael J.W. Stickings

One of the most closely-watched Senate races this year is taking place in Massachusetts between incumbent Republican Scott Brown, who is trying to straddle the internal Republican divide between the extremist Tea Party and the somewhat more moderate establishment, and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, a progressive favorite who isn't exactly the most dynamic campaigner.

It looked early on like Brown had a small but clear advantage, reflected in the polls, as he appeared to be the sort of pragmatic Republican who has done well in the state (like former Govs. Weld and, yes, Romney), but Romney's unpopularity, not to mention the Republican Party's generally, along with his own Romney-like shiftiness on the issues, has pulled him down somewhat, and Warren's effective campaign, highlighted by her prominent appearance at the Democratic convention earlier this month, has helped her pull even and even into a small lead.

Following on a poll a couple of weeks ago that showed Warren with a 6-point lead, the Globe finds a similar result:

With Elizabeth Warren and Senator Scott Brown preparing for their second debate Monday night, Warren appears to be inching ahead in the highly competitive race for Senate, as Massachusetts Democrats energized by the presidential race begin to fall in line behind her, according to a new Globe poll.

Warren, a Democrat, leads Brown, a Republican, 43 percent to 38 percent, a shift from the Globe's last poll in May, when Brown held a 2-point lead. But the race remains within either candidate's grasp, with 18 percent of voters still undecided, said Andrew E. Smith, the Globe’s pollster and the director of the University of New Hampshire ­Survey Center.

And the trend is clear:

This survey is the sixth of eight public polls taken this month that show Warren ahead.

Warren's lead is within the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percent, meaning a spread of as much as 8 percentage points between the candidates would still statistically count as a dead heat. Still, the survey is sobering for Brown six weeks before the election.

"It's trending away from Brown," said Smith. "Brown right now is not doing well enough among Democrats to offset the advantage that ­Warren has," said Smith. "That's just such a big obstacle to overcome for any Republican candidate" in Massachusetts.

The large number of undecideds means this race is far from over, but obviously it helps Warren to have a surging Obama at the top of the ticket.

And Brown, now in ugly attack-mode, isn't helping himself by going racist as he finds himself in an increasingly desperate situation.

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  • One thing that is never mentioned is that multiple poll results greatly decrease errors. Warren is looking good. Over at RCP, the only poll she's lost was almost 3 weeks ago, and was even an outlier then. More recently, Rasmussen has them in a tie. I don't mean to go all 2004 on you, but I really question Rasmussen still not using cell phones. Regardless, there is a clear trend. I will never get over-confident. I'm not sure we won't all be dead before the election, so I certainly wouldn't say that Warren is going to win. But it does look good. As it should.

    By Anonymous Frankly Curious, at 5:08 PM  

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