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Warren Takes Slight Lead in Massachusetts Senate Race

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published

Democrat Elizabeth Warren has inched ahead of Senator Scott Brown in the Massachusetts senate race, according to the latest poll released by the Boston Globe. The race is still incredibly tight and will likely be decided by independent voters.

Statewide polls in Massachusetts have focused on how close the race is between Warren and the Republican incumbent. The latest from the Globe indicates that Elizabeth Warren has gained significant ground on her opponent. She currently has a 43-38 lead, which statistically means that the race is still a dead heat because of the margin of error. However, eighteen percent of voters have yet to decide who they are going to cast their ballot for.

Warren’s campaign has to be satisfied with the most recent poll numbers, especially since the news comes over week after the US Senate candidates took the debate stage for the first time and right before both are scheduled to debate each other again. Six out of the eight polls conducted statewide in September have shown the Democratic challenger with a small lead.

The one factor that is hurting Scott Brown the most in the current election is the ‘R’ next to his name. Brown is a moderate Republican who voters look on favorably because they like him personally and view him as being bipartisan. However, the Globe’s poll reveals that many likely voters have decided to stick with their political party this election season.

Even though she started out trailing in the polls, Elizabeth Warren has the advantage since there are substantially more Democrats in the state than Republicans. The same poll shows a twenty-seven percentage point advantage for President Barack Obama over his GOP opponent Mitt Romney. In both races, the Republican candidates hope to gain some ground in upcoming debates.

Eighteen percent of the electorate in Massachusetts have yet to decisively choose between the two senatorial candidates. This means independent voters are just as important in the 2012 race as they were in the special election in 2010 when Scott Brown surprised many political pundits and analysts when he beat Martha Coakley to succeed the late Ted Kennedy.

Independent voters were already in a position to be a key demographic to appeal to from the beginning. With only six weeks remaining before Election Day, the fact that there are still so many undecided voters will make the senate race is Massachusetts an important one to watch. Republicans can’t afford to lose any seats if they wish to gain majority control in the US Senate.

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