Former White House financial reform adviser Elizabeth Warren has jumped to a healthy lead over incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race, according to the new University of Massachusetts-Lowell/Boston Herald poll.
The numbers: Warren 49%, Brown 42%. In the previous survey from late September, Brown had a narrow lead of 41%-38%. The new survey was conducted from December 1-6, and has a ±5.3% margin of error.
Brown was elected to the Senate in a special election in January 2010, following the death of Sen. Ted Kennedy, in a stunning upset against Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley. However, a major challenge for him going into 2012 is that he is a Republican senator in a deep-blue state, which is expected to vote Democratic by a wide margin in the presidential race.
The Herald reports:
The UMass-Lowell/Herald poll reveals Brown’s popularity has dropped significantly since Warren essentially wrapped up the Democratic nomination and a pro-Warren interest group, the League of Conservation voters, began a blitz of negative ads against Brown. Brown’s job approval rating has dropped eight points to 45 percent in the last two months.
And less than half of Massachusetts voters - 48 percent - now say they have a favorable view of the Republican from Wrentham, down from 52 percent in the UMass-Lowell/Herald poll in late September. The percentage of voters who say they have an unfavorable view of Brown has increased from 29 to 35 percent, according to the poll.
But Warren has also apparently suffered from a Karl Rove-led TV attack ad campaign, which focuses on her stated support for the Occupy Wall Street movement. Just 18 percent of voters had an unfavorable view of Warren in late September, and that number has now jumped nine points to 27 percent. Warren’s favorable numbers have increased only slightly, from 30 to 34 percent.