In the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren now has a seven point lead over Republican incumbent Scott Brown 53% to 46%, according to a recent Suffolk University poll.
The poll is the largest margin afforded to Warren thus far, while still remaining in line with most estimates, except for a Boston Globe poll which has them tied. Even the right-leaning Rasmussen has Warren with a five point advantage.
The poll arrives in the wake of the fourth debate being canceled on Tuesday due to Hurricane Sandy. Brown initially seemed amped last Friday when asked about attending the debate. True to form, he couldn’t resist an opportunity to mention his truck.
“That’s why I have a truck,” he told WBZ. “You know it has four-wheel drive. If [Elizabeth Warren] needs a ride, I’m happy to pick her up, and I’ll be there, providing the electricity is on.”
The three debates proved to be acidic engagements. Brown has attacked Warren for claiming she was Cherokee, and allegedly receiving preferential treatment in her professional career on that basis. Warren has ardently disputed this claim, saying that she was acting under the impression of what her mother told her about her heritage. Early in the debates, Brown also attempted to portray Warren as an out-of-touch elite Harvard professor — a point highlighted in the second debate when Brown snapped at Warren, saying, “I’m not a student in your classroom.”
Warren, on the other hand, has piggybacked onto the anti-Romney sentiment in the state where he was governor from 2003 to 2007. She has attempted to portray Brown as a faux moderate beholden to the extreme wing of a Republican Party that could potentially control a majority of the Senate (the GOP currently trails the Democrats 53 to 47). Brown has attempted to disavow Warren’s narrative, but the ignorant wing of his party hasn’t done him any favors. In the midst of the attacks, a bunch of mouth-breathers were taped mocking Warren's Cherokee claims by doing the tomahawk chop at a rally for him. Brown was also forced to walk back a wild accusation that his opponent's campaign was using paid actors in pro-Warren ads to play relatives of victims who had died from asbestos-related illnesses.
The race has not only shaped up to be one of the more contentious battles, but also the most expensive in the country. According to pre-election fundraising reports the two have raised a combined $65.8 million — more than $15 million beyond the Senate races in Texas and Connecticut. Overall, Warren has raised $38.8 million during the entire election cycle, while Brown has raised $27 million. Brown retained an additional $6 million from the 2010 special election in which he defeated Democratic candidate Martha Coakley.
While some claim the election is still a horse race, if Warren were to hold her current lead, it would give the Democrats one more vital seat to hold the majority in the Senate. A Warren win also means a true progressive voice on the left, a mantle previously carried by the late Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, who once held this very seat.