FURTHER UPDATE: PPP’s details are out. They tweeted the wrong topline earlier: it’s Warren up 50-44 (not 51-45). Still a 6 point edge. The poll was taken Oct 9-11, so after Obama’s awful debate performance, and also after the first two senatorial debates; apparently some respondents may also have seen last night’s debate, though it’s unclear how many. The big news is this:
The big change over the last month is that Brown’s image is finally starting to take a hit. His approval rating is now a +7 spread at 49/42, down a net 14 points from mid-September when he was at 55/34. There’s an increasing sense that he’s been more a partisan voice for the national Republican Party (45%) than an independent voice for Massachusetts (44%). That’s a 10 point shift from our last poll when voters thought 49/40 that he’d been more of an independent voice.
The biggest thing that continues to make it very hard for Brown to win this race is that 52% of voters in the state want Democrats to have control of the US Senate to 35% who want the Republicans in control. Warren is now winning the Democratic vote 82/13, erasing most of the crossover support that Brown had earlier in the year.
Personally, I think that Brown’s image is suffering at least as much because of his own decision to sling mud rather than talk about real issues, as opposed to Warren’s advertising. It’s not very “senatorial” to impugn your opponent’s family and make sh!t up about work she did many years ago. But that’s just a gut sense.
UPDATE: PPP has just tweeted their topline: “Elizabeth Warren leads Scott Brown 51-45 in our new Massachusetts poll.”
They haven’t released numbers yet, but Public Policy Polling just posted this on Twitter:
Our new Massachusetts poll finds both Obama’s smallest lead all year, and Warren’s biggest lead ever
Very interesting. Obama’s shrinking lead here would be consistent with what’s been seen across the country in light of the Debacle in Denver. It would be encouraging indeed to see that Warren is pulling ahead even despite the narrowing presidential race. And that news would be especially welcome in light of the WBUR/MassINC poll that had Brown (somewhat implausibly, I think) with a rather sudden 4-point lead after trailing by 4-5 points in most other recent polls.
David Bernstein has moved this race from “tossup” to “lean D,” somewhat to his surprise. I’d say that’s accurate, particularly coming on the heels of last night’s very strong debate performance by Elizabeth Warren (even the Brown-sympathetic Garrett Quinn opined that “their exchange on the issues of the day for women stole the show in Springfield,” and on that issue, “Elizabeth Warren shined and Senator Scott Brown stumbled”). She seems to be really hitting her stride as a candidate at exactly the right time.
Meanwhile, Scott Brown’s campaign looks increasingly desperate. It seems to have decided that the only way it can win is via dishonest attack ads rather than talking about issues – which, interestingly, is precisely the strategy that Brown so effectively decried when Martha Coakley tried it against him. It is almost inevitably the sign of a campaign that thinks it’s losing.
I’ll update when PPP releases its numbers later today.