The latest poll in the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts indicates that Democrat Elizabeth Warren holds a six point lead over Republican Senator Scott Brown. Warren led Brown 50% to 44% in the poll of 516 likely voters conducted by WBUR between October 21 and 22. Just as troubling for Brown is the unpopularity of former Massachusetts Mitt Romney in the state, which leans heavily toward Obama. Romney's favorability rating in Massachuetts is a mere 38%, compared to 54% unfavorable.
Brown won the seat he currently occupies by defeating Attorney General Martha Coakley in a January 2010 special election held to fill the seat vacated by the death of Ted Kennedy. That election was marked by lower than usual voter turnout, as 54% of eligible voters cast ballots. In the 2008 presidential election, when the state went for Obama, 62% of eligible voters voted. Massachusetts is set to go for Obama again, and by a very wide margin. The unpopularity of Romney in the state he used to govern, as well as the fact that turnout is usually higher in presidential election years, could spell the end of Brown's brief tenure in the senate.
Conservative media in Massachusetts has attempted to caricature Warren — a professor at Harvard Law School — as an out of touch elitist. Warren has also come under fire for previously claiming Cherokee ancestry despite a lack of evidence beyond what her mother had told her about her family heritage. Although both Brown and the conservative Boston Herald have hammered away at Warren on the matter, Warren has only made headway since the flap began. The charges of academic elitism have likely run hollow in a state where Harvard University is actually located and connected to the broader community, rather than an effective abstract object of ridicule for politicians appealing to anti-intellectuals.
The Democratic Party here considers Kennedy's former seat as a virtual birthright of sorts, and are working in overdrive to do everything it can to win the seat back. Republicans are holding on for dear life, hoping it retain this seat while taking over the senate from the Democrats. The GOP will need to pick up four seats to have a majority in the upper chamber, where they currently trail 53 to 47.
Courtesy of Real Clear Politics: