LEOMINSTER, Mass. — With 37 days left until the election, the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts is very close as the candidates prepare to debate for a second time Monday.
A new survey shows Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren with a slight edge over Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown. The poll from The Boston Globe has Warren leading Brown, 43-38 percent.
Both candidates campaigned in Leominster Saturday, appearing about an hour apart to greet voters at the Johnny Appleseed Festival.
Warren was the first to make her way through the festival, walking briskly from booth to booth. She paused along the way as people approached to meet her or take photos.
Sen. Brown came through about an hour later. He strolled through the booths, as people stopped him, asking for photos or autographs.
Voters engaged both Brown and Warren enthusiastically. Those that didn’t interact directly with Warren or Brown definitely had their opinions of the candidates.
Take Lisa Bobka of Lunenberg. She’s an independent and said she’ll vote for Brown in November.
“I woke up,” Bobka said. “I voted for Martha Coakley last time and as soon as I did I knew I was wrong and started educating myself. He’s a moderate, he believes in women’s rights, and I just think we have a winner on our side. A man of the people.”
The story’s different for John Novelli of Leominster. He said he typically votes Democrat, and is leaning toward Warren.
“She might understand that there’s people that are very hard struggling out there. I think that Scott understands too, but not as much as Elizabeth does,” Novelli said.
But there were still several undecided voters here. Joan Millette was one of them. She voted for Brown in 2010 but said she’s leaning toward Warren now.
“It’s not really him in particular, it’s just more like the negative stuff that’s been coming up in the news,” Millette said. “Again, I really haven’t made up my mind 100 percent, so I’m really just keeping an open mind at this point.”
Jenna Quigly is another voter who still hasn’t made up her mind.
“I think I’m probably going to wait until the last minute and see,” Quigly said. “I’m kind of leaning towards him in some ways, so I have to kind of wait and see how I feel at the last minute.”
Quigly said she usually votes for Democrats but feels that neither candidate have given her enough specifics.
“I don’t know, I feel like [Warren] has a lot to say, but nothing real distinct as to how to improve the quality of life for people in Massachusetts,” Quigly said.
For all the voters I spoke with, that’s the biggest question: Who has the better plan for improving the economy?