David Paleologos and Suffolk have released a new survey on the Massachusetts Senate race, showing Senator Scott Brown leading Elizabeth Warren by nine points, 49% to 40%. Recent polling has had Elizabeth Warren holding slight leads, but Scott Brown has ramped it up a bit for the past month or so, re-establishing a connection with voters and a lead.
This race is just beginning, with plenty of money to be spent, debates to be had, and pendulums to swing. Brown having a nine point lead is probably where handicappers would have thought the race would be at this point when Elizabeth Warren got in, but some positive polling results early for Warren probably got some folks a bit giddy. This is going to be a tough race. Scott Brown is an excellent campaigner with a lot of money to spend, and he will not go easily.
The Suffolk poll does contain some data that will be critical to the eventual outcome. Scott Brown won his race with Martha Coakley by winning independents by a huge spread (about 30 points I believe). That is the number to watch in the polling, and the key to victory for Brown. In this survey Brown leads Warren by 32%, 60% to 28% with independents. Warren must close that gap in order to win this race. Brown has a slight lead with women, and leads with men by 17%. When this race is done I would expect that Brown will have maintained his lead with men, but Elizabeth Warren must do better with females in order to win.
If the Republican Presidential race has taught us anything it is that the numbers can change quickly, and you can expect peaks and valleys in this race too. For today Scott Brown has to like where he sits, but he shouldn’t get too comfortable. For Elizabeth Warren there is lots of work to do, and a lot more face time with voters in her future. The Suffolk cross tabs are here. The Suffolk press release is here.