Democratic Senatorial candidate Elizabeth Warren is losing ground in her race against Republican incumbent Scott Brown.
This is the verdict of the latest poll from Public Policy Polling released yesterday. PPP is generally regarded as leaning Democratic in its results.
The release from PPP about the results of their poll follows:
PPP's newest poll on the Massachusetts Senate race finds Scott Brown opening up a 5 point lead, 49-44. This is the first time Brown has led in one of our polls since June of 2011. Our last poll, in June of this year, found a tie and the two before that had modest leads for Elizabeth Warren.
Brown continues to do well because of his personal popularity and because voters see him as different from the Republican Party as a whole. 53% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 36% who disapprove. Incumbents with those kinds of approval numbers generally don't lose. Brown's approval has improved a net 14 points from March when he was at +3 (45/42). Warren's numbers are headed in the other direction. On that poll her favorability was 46/33 and now it's 46/43- her negatives have risen 10 points over the last five months while her positives have remained unchanged.
Massachusetts voters see the GOP as a whole as being extreme- 56% think it's too conservative to only 27% who consider it to be 'about right.' But they don't feel that way about Brown- just 30% think he's too conservative to 54% who believe he's 'about right' ideologically. 30% of voters who think Brown's too conservative is less than the 41% who think that Warren is too liberal. Additionally 49% regard Brown more as someone who has been 'an independent voice for Massachusetts' compared to 38% who feel he's been more a 'partisan voice for the national Republican Party.'
Brown has the lead on Warren thanks to a 58-32 advantage with independents, comparable to what he won against Martha Coakley in 2010. He has Republicans strongly unified around him (91-7) and he's pulling a pretty decent amount of Democratic support, 20%, with just 73% of her party's voters committed to Warren at this point.
Things are going well for Brown right now but there's still one major data point in this poll that could spell trouble for him down the line. 53% of voters would like Democrats to have control of the next Senate, compared to 36% who want the Republicans in charge. Brown is winning in spite of that because only 76% of people who want a Democratic majority are currently planning to vote for Warren. If Democrats in the final 11 weeks of the campaign are effective turning it into a referendum on which party they'd like to have control of the Senate for the next two years, Warren might be able to get the race headed back in her direction.
The race remains close but Scott Brown is proving to be pretty resilient despite his state's heavily Democratic electorate.
Full results here.