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. Name w.bullock

    Play game vote for warren but brown will win for repbulic

    September 17, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  2. PTNY

    Congratulations, Baby!


    September 17, 2012 11:25 pm at 11:25 pm |
  3. Texas Observer

    Great. Good for her, et's put an end to this Tea Party Fiasco wherever possible. I hope it's Turn Off the Lights the Tea Party's OVER!!!

    September 17, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  4. judy

    good now let's vote all these repos out so we can move government and this country forward. Obama /Biden 2012

    September 17, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  5. Mike

    This was always going to happen as voters got to know Elizabeth Warren more. Scott Brown is just like Romney, pretending to be independent/moderate to win in Massachusetts, but will change colors as soon as it becomes politically expedient.

    September 17, 2012 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  6. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    Go Warren, go!

    September 17, 2012 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  7. Name s kel


    September 17, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  8. bb

    "People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here's the painful part: They're right. The system is rigged."

    It is rigged, and people that lie about their heratige to get ahead in their profession is just proof of how Dems take advantage of it. How can people take this liar seriously?

    September 18, 2012 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. SafeJourney

    Go Elizabeth, we have your back

    September 18, 2012 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  10. relians

    go liz!

    September 18, 2012 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  11. Iamnotfooled

    Good Job Elizabeth. Go Democrats. Let's go for 60 Senators! Obama- Biden.

    September 18, 2012 04:46 am at 4:46 am |
  12. Gurgyl

    This election is all about Rich v/s American Middle Class. Any sane votes for ELIZEBETH. Period.

    September 18, 2012 06:32 am at 6:32 am |
  13. R

    Elizabeth Warren I am impressed by you intensity in wanting to serve all Americans and desire to change Washington into a place where both parties can seriously work together and get things moving. That is the leadership I look forward to coming from Massachusetts.

    September 18, 2012 07:24 am at 7:24 am |
  14. Mike Texoma

    Glad to see warren doing well. Good woman. And smart.

    September 18, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  15. Rick McDaniel

    The Democratic dictators will do whatever they have to, to take control. They will stop at NOTHING!

    September 18, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  16. wreck

    Like the SNL skit says: "Obama: I have a secret weapon, it's Mitt Romney"

    September 18, 2012 08:12 am at 8:12 am |
  17. Maryellen


    September 18, 2012 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
  18. Willa45

    There are many reasons why I won"t vote for Mitt Romney,... being part of his hyped up demographic would not be one of them. Perhaps it's because someone who wants to be President has to think first before he opens his mouth.

    September 18, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  19. pjoe

    "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."

    So they think they are victims??? Hmmmm.

    September 18, 2012 08:21 am at 8:21 am |
  20. Norma Vessels

    Elizabeth Warren needs to win for Massachusetts .. more Democrats need to win for all of us. The Republicans in the House and Senate have proven that they aren't working for us, they are blocking progress our President has set before them. The Republicans don't care .. but we do. We care that we're paying them to disregard what we need .. jobs.

    September 18, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  21. CitizenKK

    i'm a native american, i'm an african american, i'm an asian american....dopey liberal.

    September 18, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  22. Ancient Texan

    Texas Observer- The Tea Party is so much larger than you think, just watch the turnout in November.

    September 18, 2012 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  23. Ancient Texan

    Warren.....Pelosi Part II.

    September 18, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  24. Amber

    I completely agree with Romney...people are getting offended by facts. Sorry if it hurts your fragile feelings but look at the numbers. Liberals are so extreme, they can't look at the big picture.

    September 18, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  25. GI Joe

    Bullock - learn english before you try to butt into our politics.

    September 18, 2012 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
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