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New poll shows Scott Brown in lead

New poll shows Scott Brown in lead

There have been several polls released recently, showing everything from a virtual dead heat to Elizabeth Warren ahead by low single digits.

This was a contrast to pre-DNC polls, which showed Brown ahead by low single digits.  Clearly Warren received a convention bounce, almost entirely from increased support from Democrats.

Warren supporters in the left-blogosphere have all but declared victory.  The question, however, was whether Warren’s convention bounce would last.

A U.Mass-Lowell/Boston Herald poll released tonight indicates that perhaps Warren’s lead is not so clear, or that her bounce has faded.  Brown is up 50-44 among registered voters and 49-45 among likely voters:

U.S. Sen. Scott Brown has moved into a narrow lead over rival Elizabeth Warren while his standing among Massachusetts voters has improved despite a year-long Democratic assault, a new UMass Lowell/Boston Herald poll shows.

The GOP incumbent is beating Warren by a 50-44 percent margin among registered Bay State voters, a turnaround from the last UMass Lowell/Herald poll nine months ago that had the Democratic challenger leading by seven points. Among likely voters, Brown is leading the Harvard Law professor by a 49-45 percent margin, just within the poll’s 5.3 percent margin of error.

“I wasn’t too sure of him at first but he’s been very independent,” said Jo Ann Dunnigan, a longtime Democrat and President Obama supporter from Fall River who participated in the poll, conducted Sept. 13-17….

The poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates, shows nearly one in three Brown backers say they could change their mind before Election Day, compared to just 19 percent for Warren. But the poll, which started a week after the Democratic National Convention, finds no evidence of a “bounce” for Warren.

There also is some troubling news for the well-financed Warren campaign. Despite spending millions of dollars to tarnish Brown’s image, the GOP incumbent’s popularity has actually increased in the last nine months….

The poll also shows Brown continuing to hold a huge lead among self-described independent voters, 58 to 35 percent. He has also pulled even on an issue Warren has sought to make her own — fighting for the middle class. Asked which candidate would look out for the interests of the middle class, 46 percent of registered voters said Warren and 44 percent said Brown.

Self-described Democrats accounted for 28 percent of the poll respondents, and Democratic-leaning voters made up 55 percent of the poll.

[I note that PPP which showed Warren ahead by 2 had a higher percentage of self-identified Democrats, 38%.  According to the latest data, 35% of voters are registered Dems, but over half unaffiliated, with the electorate trending unaffiliated.]

Brown is a very likable guy who appeals on his own merits to voters.

I remain convinced that when the glow of the DNC bounce fades, so too will Warren’s campaign.

Her rise is a result of money and party affiliation, not because she appeals on her own merits to voters.  It will be hard for her to maintain that charade for several more weeks.


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Don’t get cocky, kid.

I’ll still send another donation next payday.

Brown’s been very adept at getting out front whenever there is a controversy over other Republicans, like Akin or Romney’s recent 47% tape, to distance himself, so he can’t be lumped in with the eeeeevil conservatives on many issues.

Are there to be debates? It seems to be that those of Warren’s nature – far-left academics – tend to be arrogant and condescending in discussions, even when they have no knowledge at all of the subject. That won’t come over very well with undecided voters, I suspect.

Independents are the largest registered group in MA, slightly above Democrats, but most lean left anyway. Republicans are around 22%, if memory serves, so start from behind. If a nationally-known Harvard Democrat can’t forge a lead by now over a first-term two-year incumbent, she’s not going to.

    casualobserver in reply to Estragon. | September 20, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I addition to keeping a distance from the far right, Brown has a number of ads running where he is being endorsed by Democrats, such as a past mayor of Boston. Could you not imagine a Democrat having to behave the same way to get elected in a red state? Or would you also berate that Democrat?

And remember that in Massachusetts, the old Edwin Edwards boast isn’t even in play – getting caught in bed with a dead girl or live boy might actually increase his vote share.

ShakesheadOften | September 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

PPP has ZERO credibility as far as I’m concerned.

“I wasn’t too sure of him at first but he’s been very independent,” said Jo Ann Dunnigan, a longtime Democrat and President Obama supporter from Fall River who participated in the poll, conducted Sept. 13-17….

Translation: He isn’t an actual Republican and he certainly isn’t conservative so I might even think about voting for the homophobic, paternal, GOP lackey…

If all things were equal among MA voters, Brown would win by a landslide.

But that is just not the case. Most MA voters eagerly buy into the liberal democrat dogma and it take an extraordinary effort to overcome this bias. Brown did it in 2010 and hopefully he will again in November.

The fake Indian has absolutely nothing to recommend her to rational minds. Let’s hope for the best!

    casualobserver in reply to GrumpyOne. | September 20, 2012 at 12:11 am

    What would need to be equal?

    Most I know here in MA who are religiously liberal focus heavily on social matters, but not so much on others. After all the talk of how liberal this state is, it isn’t the worst by far of all the 6 states I’ve lived in. New Jersey was the worst (early 90s). And I’ve known two academics from very liberal enclaves – Berkeley and Madison, WI – who were shocked to find MA still had a degree of the ‘Yankee common sense’ and wasn’t so outwardly alternative and anti-establishment. As well, my brother in GA has a very similar state tax scale as I do in MA. Go figure…..

    The truth is somewhere in between the idea of the state being wildly and radically liberal and hard core pragmatic. While many like some of the feel good aspects of modern progressive ‘ideal world’ speak, they still have a strong vein of ‘leave me alone’. Communities still get involved in loud and energetic ways when regulations and laws are too intrusive. Some communities like to pose as highly progressive (like voting for town resolutions against the Iraq war) while others see how silly that is.

    California, it ain’t.

      I have to concur with this as a MA resident myself. The whole state is by no means a liberal enclave. There are only a handful of reliably deep blue areas…anything within the 95/128 beltway, a swath extending northwest of Boston out to Concord/Acton, anything along and west of the Connecticut River (large area, very low population), and some (not all) of the old decayed mill towns. Republicans have had good luck in getting Regan Dems in decent sized cities such as Quincy, Taunton, Lowell, Haverhill, Fitchburg, and even Worcester.

      Yes, MA had the “Taxachusetts” label (and deservedly so) under the Dukakis administration, however since then, our taxes really haven’t gone up much at all. What happened is all the other states caught up to us so now MA sits somewhere in the middle. The Legislature is still spooked from those days (Dukakis was followed by 15 yrs of Republican govs) and they are very, very hesitant in passing widespread tax increases. They see residents in town after town voting down property tax increases even for new schools.

      Even more shocking, this year, we had record numbers of mosquito pools testing positive for Eastern Equine Encephalits, a deadly virus. There was no hesitation whatsoever in doing large scale aerial pesticide spraying across southeastern MA, not even Deval Patrick opposed it. It had widespread support from local Boards of Health and residents. Even residents outside the spray areas were begging for it in their towns. You would think in such an environmentally “progressive” state that this would never happen, but only a tiny minority of environmentalists were vocally opposed and they were essentially ignored much to their digust.

        casualobserver in reply to nateb0876. | September 20, 2012 at 11:18 am

        You are right. There are dependable progressive pockets, but there is still diversity. In the Connecticut River area, Northampton/Amherst north to VT is reliably Dem, but when you get closer to Springfield (Agawam, Wilbraham, and especially Longmeadow) the GOP has a much greater chance. And the media is fully progressive – I still remember a two day repeat of video (news) and articles about Scott Brown who was on a brief hike with an entourage in the Mt. Holyoke range to commemorate some impact from federal dollars he swung the way of the park (the hiking trails). He was accosted on the bottom of the trail en route to the Vistor’s Center by a loon who was protesting his vote on something (don’t recall). The point – it played for days. Nothing said about his reason for the hike – the distribution of federal dollars. Pitiful.

        Also, you forget that the Cape can be a stronghold for the GOP, with the exception of P’town. I lived there for about 5 years, through a few election cycles, and was surprised how much support there could be – and not just the evil, middle-class killing wealthy residents (sarcasm).

        Yet the state can still be schizophrenic, politically. I work in the energy industry, and for all the progressive chest pounding here there is an amazing amount of resistance to nearly any energy project of scale. More than a few utility scale projects (wind, solar, biofuel, even natural gas) have been scrapped to avoid the costs of the fight. Cape Wind is a world-class example of how this state reacts. I’m not taking sides either way, just pointing out how unpredictable and odd it can be. Somehow buying power generated in VT, NY, and even Quebec is preferable to having it generated locally (with all the associated taxes paid). And renewable is a must to many, just not here! Go figure.

          Cape Wind is interesting because it shows a deep divide even within liberal subgroups. You have the renewable energy crowd in a battle with the save the birds and fish crowd, and throw in some NIBYism for good measure. Ted Kennedy was a classic example…big environmentalist, but God forbid those windmills could be seen from the family compound.

          I’d love it if some debate moderator would ask Elizabeth Warren what she thinks of the aerial mosquito spraying and if she would support it occuring more frequently in larger areas of the state. Tonight’s debate would be perfect timing given there’s been 2 new cases of EEE outside the spray area this week alone. Love to see a Cambridge liberal weasel her way through that one. But it won’t happen.

          casualobserver in reply to casualobserver. | September 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

          @nateb0876 – What are the odds Jon Keller will be a fair moderator? I don’t know either way, but my hunch is Warren won’t be put on the spot. At least not deliberately. Expect Warren to make personal attacks on Brown. Expect there to be endless claims post debate of any Brown counterpunches to be sexist, etc. Her campaign has committed to attack and gain the upper hand again. I cannot even listen to her speak at this point, after she started the completely insane thread about the use of roads putting business builders in debt to ….whoever – the collective? the government? There was nothing different in what she said and a normal person’s interpretation of a vigorish. Just because you paid me and I provided you with a ‘much needed service’ (protection in one case) doesn’t mean you don’t owe me more….you are forever indebted to me….

          Of all the places I’ve lived, this one is the most screwed up energy-wise. Of course, modern grid designs deliberately make sourcing power within the region easy, but why depend so much on other states and countries?

          Oh there’s no doubt she comes across that way, I mean they made a strategic decision to keep her from talking in her latest ads!! That tells you all you need to know about her.

          When I first heard her speak, Shannon O’Brien immediately came to mind….the one who lost to Mitt Romney for governor. She always had this condescending, elitist tone in her voice during the debates and almost seemed to look at Romney as beneath her. Warren is the same way. Remember how she answered the reporters questions about her daughter mailing out voter registration forms to welfare recipients? She had to teach the unwashed masses about the law. It was nauseating to listen to!! Warren is good around people who think like her. But to the rest of us who don’t live in Cambridge, we are the unintelligent students and she is there to educate us. That’s her attitude and I think it will turn people off bigtime. I’ve looked at a couple of crosstabs on these polls and it’s interesting that Brown was winning the 18-26 crowd, while Warren was winning with seniors. This may be a sign of what I’m saying here….students already have professors treating them this way, they don’t want a Senator doing the same.

As the pendulum swings and as Warren’s campaign has already talked about shifting strategy, many here expect the personal attacks on Brown to escalate significantly.

1. I can’t figure out if Brown is a political genius or a lucky dope with whom the law of averages will catch up.

2. According to the Herald link:

The GOP incumbent holds a 20-point lead among male voters, a huge advantage heading down the stretch. Warren, however, has not built up a similar advantage among female voters, holding just a seven-point lead over Brown. In the December 2011 poll, Warren held an 18-point lead among women.

That could reflect a major effort by Brown to target female voters, including a TV ad in which he folds laundry.

That might explain the ridiculous Warren-on-a-motorcycle ad featured at LI recently.

3. Brown’s support is described as softer than Warren’s. That makes sense because Brown is persuading left-leaning independents to vote Republican.

4. Bill’s RealClearPolitics link includes this poll, which breaks out the vote by regions. Brown’s support is strongest in Central MA. In fact it’s been claimed that there is a legitimate GOP Congressional district here, painstakingly gerrymandered away by the Democrats.

5. I suspect that the kind of Real Conservative™ who bashes Massachusetts and New England—on a Rhode Islander’s blog—is precisely the sort who alienates independent voters. If it turns out that Romney loses because undecided voters break for Obama, I will have much more to say.

    casualobserver in reply to gs. | September 20, 2012 at 8:56 am

    GS – the analogy of how a midwestern/southern conservative disdains a northern liberal applies in reverse. I can remember when Ted Kennedy would speak (late 80s) a number of my friends and family in the South would shriek in horror just at the sight and sound. Same for a Sarah Palin, or a Fred Thompson in the north (I chose those two just for their distinct accents and political persuasions).

Could it be that Chief Sitting Stupid is in heap-big trouble?

Remember, this is the state that reelected, time and time again, the biggest fraud and morally corupt politician of all time, Ted “Manslaughter” Kennedy!

    casualobserver in reply to Qtaug. | September 20, 2012 at 9:03 am

    Even though the love affair continues with the Kennedy clan, for many it is viewed as more of a media obsession that a true nostalgic urge by the folks. And even though Kennedy 3.0 (Joe Jr.) has an almost 2 to 1 money edge thanks to national contributions, he is still not leading Sean Bielat significantly for Barney Franks….um, slot.

Any lingering bounce from the Democrat’s convention seems to have dissipated. This will likely coincide with Romney returning to a pre-Convention lead over Obama. Romney isn’t out of this yet… but it’s looking like Obama could be heading for the door.

    casualobserver in reply to McCoy2k. | September 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Yes, but the media is not finished with either Brown or Romney, yet. Especially with Romney, I fully expect a fabricated ‘gaffe of the week’ from here on out, as well as who knows what surprise. I often think one reason Romney stays more low key and cautious is simply to avoid giving that kind of ammunition to the Dems/media. In the last few weeks, say after the first debate, it may matter less. Here’s to hoping he gets his wind and really starts to make the distinctions loudly and aggressively. It seems to have started, but, again, in a mild way.