Elizabeth Warren slightly ahead of Scott Brown in yet another new Senate poll
A third new poll has found Elizabeth Warren pulling ahead of Senator Scott Brown, giving the Democratic challenger momentum before their first debate on Thursday.
A Suffolk University/WHDH-TV (Channel 7) survey released late Monday had Warren at 48 percent and Brown at 44 percent, within the poll’s margin of error but the opposite of a similar poll in May. That Suffolk/WHDH survey had Brown at 48 percent and Warren at 47 percent.
Pollster David Paleologos attributed the shift to Warren’s national exposure through her speech at the Democratic National Convention, which allowed her to share a platform with President Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and other party luminaries.
“The Democratic National Convention appears to have connected the dots for some voters in Massachusetts,” Paleologos said in a statement outlining the poll findings. “They’ve linked Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Warren, and congressional candidate Joseph Kennedy, whose district includes southeastern Massachusetts. Warren benefitted not only from her own speech, but from the oratory of others, both inside and outside of Massachusetts.”
Brown, who has made minimal reference to his party affiliation throughout the campaign, did not address the Republican National Convention and spent fewer than 24 hours at the meeting.
The Suffolk poll also found that voters strongly support a ballot question this fall allowing physician-assisted suicide in the case of terminally ill patients, as well as one supporting medical marijuana use.
The statewide survey was conducted Sept. 13 to Sept. 16, beginning a week after the Democrats completed back-to-back conventions with the Republicans.
The poll of 600 likely voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
Its findings mirror two other polls released over the weekend.
A Springfield Republican survey, taken by the Western New England University Polling Institute, had Warren ahead 50 percent to 44 percent, just outside the poll’s 4.6 percent margin of error. Another survey, by Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning group, showed Warren at 48 percent and Brown at 46 percent, within that poll’s 3.3 percent margin of error.
The timing of the polls give Warren a spate of good news as she prepares to face-off with Brown in the first of their four debates. The candidates are scheduled to debate Thursday at the WBZ-TV studios, before meeting again Oct. 1 in Lowell, Oct. 10 in Springfield, and Oct. 30 in Boston.
Speaking with reporters Monday before the Suffolk poll was released, Brown played down the findings in the other two polls.
“You’re going to see polls up and down,” the senator said. “As I’ve said from the beginning, this is going to be a close race, but it’s going to be a race about choices.”Glen Johnson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.