Democrat Elizabeth Warren has opened up her largest lead yet in her bid to defeat incumbent Senator Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race.
A Suffolk University poll of likely voters released Tuesday has Warren, a Harvard professor and former Obama administration official, leading the freshman senator 53 to 46 percent. The margin represents an increase of three points from her four-point lead in a September Suffolk poll.
The result is in line with a Rasmussen poll of the race released last week that had Warren leading Brown 52 to 47 percent. But it differs from a Boston Globe poll that had Brown leading Warren by two percentage points. The Suffolk poll is consistent with the Real Clear Politics average of the polls in the race, which shows Warren up by 4.5 percent — 50.5 to 45 percent.
Warren has gained momentum in recent days, say political observers and non-partisan handicappers. Some analysts have moved the race from “Toss-up” to “Leans Democratic.”
She has raised a surprising amount of money and actually outraised Brown in the last quarter. The two candidates have agreed to not involve SuperPac spending in the race. This pact has largely benefited Warren as it meant Brown’s allies, including Karl Rove’s Crossroad GPS, have stayed on the sidelines, not utilizing millions of dollars in negative ads to help Brown come back from behind.
The contest between the two opponents has at times turned bitter and very negative, with Brown slamming Warren for misrepresenting herself as Cherokee in order to gain advantage to get hired and Warren accusing Brown of siding with the special interests against the working people.
Brown remains personally popular in Massachusetts, but the state’s Democratic tilt may prove too difficult for the senator to overcome.
There is still time for things to shift in the race, with the two candidates still expected to meet for a fourth and final debate scheduled for some time this week. The debate was originally scheduled for Tuesday but Hurricane Sandy altered those plans.
Warren has proposed to hold the debate Thursday November 1st, but Brown has yet to propose an alternate date. With Warren seemingly holding a narrow advantage, it is clear Brown needs a win in the debate to close the margin.
The Suffolk poll of 600 likely voters has a 4 percentage margin of error and was conducted from October 25 to October 28.
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