Poll: Warren moves ahead of Brown in Mass. Senate race
September 17th, 2012
11:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Warren moves ahead of Brown in Mass. Senate race

(CNN) - Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts appears to have received a slight bounce after her big speech at the Democratic National Convention, according to a new poll released Monday.

The Suffolk University/7News poll indicates Warren has a four-percentage-point margin, 48%-44%, among likely voters over Republican incumbent Sen. Scott Brown.

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The survey was conducted September 13-16, more than a week after Warren gave a rousing address ahead of former President Bill Clinton at the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"The Democratic National Convention appears to have connected the dots for some voters in Massachusetts," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. "Warren benefited not only from her own speech, but from the oratory of others, both inside and outside of Massachusetts."

The survey comes one day after a poll by Western New England University indicated Warren has a six-point advantage among likely voters, 50%-44%. Like the Suffolk poll, the margin falls within the poll's sampling error.

Warren and Brown have been in a dead heat for the better part of a year in their Senate contest, one of the most expensive and closely watched congressional races this year. In a May survey by Suffolk, Brown had a one-point edge over Warren, 48% to 47%. The incumbent is defending the seat he won in a 2010 special election to replace the late Ted Kennedy.

Before her campaign, Warren was best known as a watchdog of the government's corporate bailout program, a top financial adviser to President Barack Obama and the force behind a high-profile agency borne from the 2010 Wall Street reform legislation, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She now tries to paint herself as the candidate best equipped to fight for the middle class.

"For many years now, our middle class has been chipped, squeezed, and hammered," she said in her convention speech. "People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged."

For his part, Brown didn't make a high-profile speech at the GOP convention last month, and he is less than shy about asserting his independent spirit as a Republican in typically Democratic Massachusetts. In a fund-raising appeal Monday, Brown pointed to a recent negative ad by Warren's campaign, the first of her Senate bid, and one to which he responded with his own spot last week.

"Instead of talking about things that matter, like jobs, she's being dishonest about who I am and what I stand for," Brown says in the commercial. "Don't be fooled by Elizabeth Warren's negative attacks. Like a lot of you, I came from nothing. I'm on your side, fighting for the middle class."

The Suffolk poll revealed that while Brown's favorability rating has hardly changed since May, Warren saw a significant increase in the number of voters who say they hold a favorable view of the Democratic candidate. Fifty-two percent have a positive view of Warren, up from 43% in May.

Also notable, 19% of voters who support President Barack Obama said they would cross parties to vote for Brown - a number that has decreased from 24% in May.

The survey, however, indicated some good news for Brown. Fifty percent of voters preferred having a member of each party representing Massachusetts in Washington DC, while 45% said it didn't matter.

"Call it the party-parity-paradox," said Paleologos. "Likely voters of all parties see a benefit to having Democrat John Kerry and Republican Scott Brown representing Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate."
The two face off in their first televised debate Thursday.

Suffolk University Political Research Center interviewed 600 likely Massachusetts voters by telephone September 13-16, 2012. The sampling error is four percentage points.

Filed under: 2012 • Elizabeth Warren • Massachusetts • Polls • Scott Brown • Senate
soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. Duke

    If Gov Romney's comments upset you then guess what? You are a 47 Percenter! Congratulations You've accomplished a lot in your TV, celebrity worshiping life. I'm so happy Romney believes that so many Americans are dependent upon the government, the tree needs to be shaken! GO MITT, the country needed to hear the facts. I know, the truth hurts.

    September 18, 2012 10:01 am at 10:01 am |
  2. oronowoman

    This is America and if you don't care for all then you have no business running..

    September 18, 2012 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  3. gt

    can you find a pictures of warren where she doesnt look so homely...

    September 18, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. atest

    How many percentage of people does our current president worry about? I am sure he must not be worrying about more than 20-30% otherwise he would have increased deficit so much and create job situation so bad.. I feel it might be much else employment would not be that high?

    Democrat please don't resort to cheap tactics like this.. sending somebody in Republican fundraiser to get points. This way even if you win you would loose people perception about politics.

    September 18, 2012 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
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