Harvard University law professor Elizabeth Warren won an overwhelming endorsement at a convention of Massachusetts Democrats, avoiding a primary challenge in her bid for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Scott Brown.
Warren, who has faced questions in recent weeks over her claims to American Indian heritage, beat back potential primary opposition by winning 95.7 percent of the 3,500 votes at a state convention in Springfield.
“I am not backing down,” Warren told Democrats at the convention. “I didn’t get in the race to fold up the first time I got punched.”
A Boston Globe poll released yesterday showed the race virtually tied, with 39 percent of voters supporting Brown and 37 percent supporting Warren.
Brown, winner of a special election in January 2010 for the seat Democrat Edward Kennedy held before his death in August 2009, is seeking a full six-year term.
Warren served as an adviser to President Barack Obama and helped set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau created by the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. Republican senators made clear they would block Warren’s appointment to head the bureau, and Obama named someone else to the post. In her campaign, Warren has stressed her commitment to consumer protections.
Warren, 62, has faced recent questions about her background after reports that she claimed an American Indian background in directories of law professors. She said family members told her that she had American Indian ancestry.
One issue is whether she received an advantage in landing her professorship at Harvard and other schools by claiming to be a minority.
The Boston Globe poll showed Warren’s approval rating at 48 percent, up one point since the newspaper’s last poll in March. Her negative rating increased nine points, to 32 percent. Brown, meanwhile, had a 60 percent job approval rating.
The Globe poll of 651 likely voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.