With less than two months left before Election Day, the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts between Republican Senator Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren is entering its final stretch. In Western New England University’s Polling Institute’s latest poll, Warren has a 6 point lead over Brown.
Tim Vercellotti is the Institute’s director. He says the poll shows both candidates with strong support – close to 90 percent – from the base of their respective parties, though Senator Brown currently leads Warren among Independent voters by 22 points. Vercelotti says that still may not be sufficient for Brown if enough Democrats turn out for Warren.
“Brown’s got to rely on a strong performance among independents while holding onto the Republicans, whereas Warren, if she turns out enough of her base, could win mostly with Democrats, and some support from Independents.”
Vercellotti says Warren may have received a boost from her speech at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month. But he says the poll found 17 percent of likely voters could still change their minds before Election Day. That puts a significant number of voters in play for both campaigns, with a focus on those who may split their ticket between President Barack Obama, and Senator Brown, which could give the Republicans control of the senate.
“For Elizabeth Warren, she’s got to lock up her base, she’s got to remind Democrats of the risk of splitting their ticket, the perceived risk to Democratic interests if the Republican Party were to take over control of the Senate. Scott Brown, on the other hand, needs to remind voters of his ability and interest in working across party lines.”
Vercelotti says women voters are also in play, and will be a critical demographic for both campaigns.