Mass. Poll: Democrats Pose Problems for Brown

Monday, 03 Oct 2011 10:50 AM

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President Barack Obama’s approval ratings may be way down across the country, but are still high enough in Massachusetts to pose potential problems for Republican Sen. Scott Brown, who is in a statistical dead heat with his main Democratic rival.
A new Boston Herald-University of Massachusetts-Lowell poll shows Brown with a narrow 41 percent to 38 percent lead over Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren, who has yet to win the party nomination, but was anointed last week as the top Democrat in a field of six candidates by Obama political strategist David Axelrod.
The president’s approval rating sits at 61 percent in Massachusetts, according to the poll of 1,005 registered voters taken Sept. 22-28 by Princeton Research Survey for the Herald and UMass-Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion.
Survey participants indicated that if the presidential election were held today between Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Obama would win the state with 57 percent to 33 percent of the vote.  
The president’s rating aside, the Herald reported Monday that survey respondents said they like Warren’s background as a consumer advocate who stands up for the middle class. But they also indicated a preference for other Democrats over Brown, especially former Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy II or Gov. Deval Patrick.
Both have passed on the race, but in a trial matchup Kennedy pulled 45 percent to Brown’s 37 percent, while Patrick was favored 43 percent to 36 percent.
Survey respondents also placed state Attorney General Martha Coakley in a dead heat against Brown even though she lost to him in last year’s special election to succeed the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. Like Kennedy and Patrick, Coakley has decided not to run for the Senate in 2012. 

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