Scott Brown ahead of Elizabeth Warren in new poll

Elizabeth Warren stepped up her attacks against Scott Brown over women’s issues today as a new poll showed her trailing the Republican senator by five points.

The automated phone survey conducted Aug. 16 through Aug. 19 by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm, indicated Brown is ahead 49 percent to 44 percent, the first time he has led in the firm’s polling since June 2011. The poll’s margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

The firm’s last poll in June found the two senate rivals were virtually tied, similar to other polls taken in recent months. The newest poll comes amid heavy advertising campaigns by both candidates.

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Warren this week has been focusing on women, who make up the bulk of independent voters in the state.

At a press conference this afternoon hosted by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a left leaning group, Warren argued that Brown’s vow to repeal President Obama’s health care law and his support for Mitt Romney’s presidential bid would turn back the clock on women’s health and financial security. She said Obama’s health law guarantees coverage for mammograms and cervical cancer screenings that would otherwise be unavailable to some women.

“The Republican agenda for women in America is not just wrong,” she said, standing at the Omni Parker House on Beacon Hill. “It’s dangerous.”