Democrat Elizabeth Warren took the lead in her bid to unseat Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts after she delivered a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention, a Suffolk University poll found.
Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, led Brown 48 percent to 44 percent in the poll by the Boston-based school and WHDH-TV. While that falls within the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 4 points, it compares to a May survey that showed Brown ahead of Warren, 48 percent to 47 percent when the margin was 5 points.
The race for the seat occupied by Democrat Ted Kennedy for almost 47 years has become one of the nation’s most expensive and closely watched. Warren, 63, who helped set up the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Brown, 53, who won a special election for the post in 2010, have traded the lead in polls for months.
“The Democratic National Convention appears to have connected the dots for some voters in Massachusetts” who linked Warren with President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton, said David Paleologos, director of Suffolk’s Political Research Center. “Warren benefited not only from her own speech, but from the oratory of others, both inside and outside of Massachusetts.”
The survey also showed a 10-point boost in Warren’s favorability rating, to 52 percent. Brown’s favorability was previously higher in multiple polls for months and is seen as one of his greatest strengths. At 60 percent, his score was virtually unchanged from May.
Brown has been trumpeting his bipartisan record as he fights to retain the seat he won over Attorney General Martha Coakley in the special election.
The telephone survey of 600 likely general-election voters was conducted Sept. 13-16.