Elizabeth Warren has taken a 5-point lead in her race against Scott Brown, according to a poll released Sunday by the Boston Globe. The Massachusetts Democrat has 43 percent support among likely voters, the poll says, compared to 38 percent support for Brown, the incumbent Republican senator.
The Globe notes that Warren has gained on Brown since the newspaper polled the race in May, when Brown had a two-point lead. The latest poll was conducted over the seven days following the candidates' first televised debate on September 20. Here's more:
“It’s trending away from Brown,’’ said [pollster Andrew E.] Smith. “Brown right now is not doing well enough among Democrats to offset the advantage that Warren has,” said Smith. “That’s just such a big obstacle to overcome for any Republican candidate” in Massachusetts.
Brown’s hurdle is that even as voters from both parties say they like him personally, regard him as bipartisan, and give him high marks on his job performance, many also say they plan to stick with their political party. And in a presidential year, with high turnout expected, that bodes especially well for Democrats on the ballot in Massachusetts. The party holds a 3-to-1 registration advantage over Republicans in the state.
Smith claims the polls are "trending away from Brown," although the only other poll taken since the September 20 debate was a Rasmussen poll from September 24 that showed Warren and Brown tied at 48 percent. Nevertheless, the party registration advantage for Democrats is real, and an explanation for the Globe's results might be that Democrats who voted for Brown in 2010 in a special election are deciding to "come home." The Real Clear Politics average shows a race that's only separated by two points.
The next TV debate between Warren and Brown is tonight, October 1, in Lowell.