Poll: Warren Leads Brown in Massachusetts

Poll: Warren Leads Brown in Massachusetts

By Caitlin Huey-Burns - December 8, 2011

Democrat Elizabeth Warren has taken the lead in a head-to-head matchup against incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts, according to a new poll.

Warren, a Harvard law professor and former Obama administration official, leads Brown, 49 percent to 42 percent, among registered voters in a University of Massachusetts-Lowell/Boston Herald poll. In the September UMass/Boston Herald poll, Warren trailed Brown by three points, within the margin of error.

Though he trails overall, Brown -- who won the seat long held by the late Ted Kennedy in a 2010 special election -- has a substantial lead among independent voters, 53 percent to 37 percent. Both candidates win a high majority of their respective bases, but Brown is table to peel off support from 20 percent of registered Democrats. Warren attracts only 7 percent of Republicans.

Brown's favorability and job performance grades remain above water, but his scores have dropped a few points since September. The December poll found 45 percent of voters approving of the job he is doing in the Senate while 36 percent disapprove. In September, 53 percent approved while 29 percent disapproved. Forty-eight percent of voters say they like Brown, while 35 percent have an unfavorable view of him. In September, that spread was 52 percent to 29 percent. Among independents, 59 percent view him favorably while 24 percent do not. Comparatively, 34 percent find Warren favorable while 27 percent do not. Both her favorables and unfavorables have ticked up in the past several weeks.

Warren, a first-time candidate, is still introducing herself to the state, and as a result, 23 percent of voters say they haven't heard of her; only 4 percent say the same of Brown.

The University of Massachusetts surveyed 505 registered voters from Dec. 1-6. The sampling error is plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.

Caitlin Huey-Burns is a congressional reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @CHueyBurnsRCP.

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