According to a new poll conducted by the Boston Herald and the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, incumbent Republican senator Scott Brown is in a virtual dead heat with Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren in next year's race:

Brown is ahead of Warren by a 41-38 percent margin in a general election trial heat, a statistical tie given the poll’s 3.8 percent margin of error. Warren, who announced her campaign just last month, faces her first crucial test Tuesday night in a Democratic debate sponsored by University of Massachusetts at Lowell and the Herald.

The Harvard Law School professor and consumer advocate’s message of standing up for middle class voters appears to be a major reason why she has pulled even with Brown, according to the poll of 1,005 registered Massachusetts voters conducted Sept. 22-28.

Read the full results of the poll here. RealClearPolitics gives Brown, who defeated attorney general Martha Coakley in 2010 to finish the term of the late Ted Kennedy, a 3.3-point edge in its poll average and rates the race a "toss-up." The Herald and UMass-Lowell will be holding a Democratic primary debate tonight, which will be livestreamed on the newspaper's website.
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