WBUR Poll: Brown Leads Warren By 4 Points

BOSTON — A new WBUR poll (PDFs — topline, crosstabs) finds a turn in the U.S. Senate race. Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown now leads his Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, 47 to 43 percent. The survey of likely voters, conducted Oct. 5-7, has a 4.4 percent margin of error.

In WBUR’s last Senate poll, conducted in September, Warren led brown by two points.

Working Across The Aisle

Click for the poll’s topline results (PDF).

Click for the poll’s topline results (PDF).

Brown has poured beer for customers at Doyle’s Cafe in Jamaica Plain, but the long table near his autographed picture is definitely Elizabeth Warren territory. Amy Trueblood, of West Roxbury, doesn’t buy Brown’s claims of working across the aisle.

“He says he’s bipartisan, but that’s only compared to all the Republicans that are in Congress,” Trueblood said. “Currently, they’re so extreme that any movement away from the far right makes you look like you’re bipartisan, but I don’t see that he’s really going to be as independent as he claims that he is.”

But Trueblood is in the minority. Massachusetts voters cherish their reputation for balancing their support between Democrats and Republicans, and Brown benefits from his record as a candidate willing to vote against his own party.

The latest WBUR poll finds that 60 percent of Brown’s supporters thinks it’s “very important” that the candidate they support “will compromise with the other party more often when in the Senate.” Only 41 percent of Warren supporters think that’s an important consideration.

Trust Issues

Throughout the year, Brown has tried to portray Warren as someone voters can’t trust. It began with questioning her motives for listing herself as Native American in a law school registry. And the WBUR poll finds that this is working to Brown’s advantage with a sizable minority of voters. Thirty-one percent of Brown’s supporters see the issue as “very important.”

In recent weeks, Brown has broadened his attack on Warren’s credibility. He has questioned her role in advising an insurance company defending claims of victims of asbestos contamination. That’s an issue that resonates with Jason Cherson, of West Roxbury.

“I like Scott Brown because I think he’s honest. I think he tells the truth. I think Elizabeth Warren, I think she tells lies,” Cherson said. “I just can’t believe anything that she is talking about as far as being a lawyer, attorney for the asbestos people. She’s an attorney for big business.”

Warren actually helped Travelers Insurance set up a trust fund for victims of asbestos contamination.

Cherson also sees Warren as an outsider.

“She’s only lived here, I think, for two years in the state, and I just don’t believe anything she says,” Cherson said.

Warren has actually lived in Massachusetts for the past 17 years*. But the perception that she is an outsider could work against her among some voters. Thirty percent of Brown supporters say the candidate that “seems more similar to the people” they know is “very important.” But 31 percent of Warren supporters say the same.

Warren’s biggest advantage remains among people who consider which party “will control the U.S. Senate after this election,” Seventy-one percent of Warren supporters say that’s “very important.” But for now, that’s not important enough in most voters’ minds to offset their preference for Scott Brown.

Correction: An earlier version of this online report incorrectly stated that Warren has lived in Massachusetts for seven years. She has lived here for 17 years.

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  • Spencerblair

    Liawatha in trouble?

  • 7thFleetVet

    Elizabeth Warren is a liar and Fake American Indian.
    Barack “Fair Share” Obama is an incompetent fraud.
    Don’t let the corrupt Main Stream Media re-elect the corrupt, lying and weak failure known as Barack Hussein Obama.

    Vote for Scott Brown 2012

    Vote Romney/Ryan 2012

  • Moses871

    Looks like Fauxcahontas is riding President Big Bird’s coat tail feathers!  LOL

  • Moses871

    Looks like Fauxcahontas is riding President Big Bird’s coat tail feathers!  LOL

  • phnx

    It seems that any opposition to Obama is automatically labeled racist by the left.  Any opposition to Warren, based on her lies concerning seeking advancement by falsely claiming minority status, or her claims to work for the “little guy”, while actually taking six figure salaries from industry to fight the little guy, is also automatically labeled as both racist and sexist by the looney left.  Does the left have any other cards to play than these tired worn out talking points?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Esolen/1184164082 Tony Esolen

    Massachusetts voters like to split their allegiance between the parties?  Uh, since when?  They haven’t had an R senator since the liberal Brooke, 40 years go, was it?  They haven’t had an R Congressman (!) in at least ten years, maybe more.  But I will give them one thing: a lot of them don’t like the Hahvahd snobs, and that is exactly the sort that Liz Me Heap Big Injun Squarren is.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fred.binski Fred Binski

    If the people of Massachusetts elect Warren the fraud they are more out of touch than I could have imagined.  Although thye did elect Ted ‘drive off the bridge, I spend half my time drunk’ Kennedy for many years.

  • specialkkc

    Elizabeth Warren needs Xanax & a good straight jacket.  A nuttier, battier, weirder candidate there has NEVER been.   

    • Alabama Hockey Guy

      you overlooked Pelosi.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tony-Esolen/1184164082 Tony Esolen

    I looked at the internals of the poll.  Men: 215.  Women: 286.  That is a HUGE discrepancy; there is no way in hell that women are going to outnumber men 57-43 in the election.  If you reduce that gap to a couple of votes, Brown is comfortably ahead — and Barack Obama has about a 10 point lead — in Massachusetts, which would vote for Hugo Chavez for President.

  • Reader from TX

    “Massachusetts voters cherish their reputation for balancing their support between Democrats and Republicans”  … really?, seriously? – all 10 representatives to the us house are democrats.  All statewide offices are in the hands of democrats.  Long live the People’s Republic of Massachusetts!  

    • durham kid

       If the Republican party had not turned into the Know Nothings or the 21st Century, they would still hold some power in the Northeast. 

      Scott Brown is the best of the Republicans – but that is not saying much. 

      Stunning that he can get people to question HER credibility – the nice guy doing a good smear campaign!

      Ps. I accidently ‘liked’ your post when I went to hit reply – so you have one less like.

  • Pointpanic

    It just shows how people like Mr. Cherson are too busy arguing about football referees or gawking at the “Jersey Shore” to get the facts about the candidates they support or oppose.

  • Bearman

    Lieawatha is gonna get her Pokahiney kicked.

  • hongryhawg

    Ugh.  Forked tongue finally catches up with white woman.

    • durham kid

      That is simply spin and I am disgusted at Brown for using it and disappointed that the public is buying it. 

      The Native American heritage did NOT get Elizabeth Warren any special treatment  (ask Harvard) and we all talk about our heritage b/c we are proud of it.  I have no proof of my Irish, Italian, English, etc heritage but I tell people all the time.

      The asbestos issue appears to be another red herring – Brown has as ad with plaintiffs who were pleased with the settlement.  If that ad is false, it will quickly be discovered (I am sure Brown’s campaign is working on that front).

      One has to wonder if this is another Swift Boat trick: Bush (the man who got a cushy National Guard assignment to avoid Viet Nam and then did not show up for a couple years) attacking John Kerry on his military record was so ludicrous that  it was unbelievable that people bought it.

      Your comment is hardly up to the usual quality for the WBUR site.

  • durham kid

    Look at so many of the nonsense comments on this site this morning. 

    Normally, the comments from both sides of the aisle (conservative and
    liberal) are reasonable, nuanced and thoughtful -but these are just
    childish – not up to regular ‘BUR posting quality  

    Am I paranoid or has Karl Rove et al sent out his supporters  to try to spin this issue?  cannot believe most Scott Brown supporters are this incorrigible – most
    I’ve spoken to are fairly reasonable (though I am still a solid Warren

    Has anyone else noticed this? 

    • J__o__h__n

      I agree.  The quantity and quality of the comments make it look like this site was targeted.

  • joealbiani

    The fact that Howie Carr and the right wing rag the Boston Herald spend almost every issue attacking Elizabeth Warren and praising Scott Brown, almost never on any substantive issues, is enough to tell me where Scott Brown is on almost every issue. He will vote for Mitch McConnell for Senate president and the Head of every committee will be one of an assortment of Neanderthals that oppose almost everything. All he can do is parrot their ridiculous Native American questioning as if there is any doubt that Elizabeth Warren is as smart as they come. Does anyone think that she ended up arguing before the US Supreme Court on major issues was because of who her great grandmother was? Is that why she took on Wall Street to such an extent that they got all their GOP  water carrying lackies in the Congress to put the kibosh on Elizabeth Warren to head the watchdog agency she created. Does anyone, other than Howie, the Herald and Brown, think she would not have risen as far and fast as she has on her own obvious abilities?We would be lucky to have such a voice representing us in the Senate.


  • FrancisMcManus

    Scott Brown is not running on what he’s done for Massachusetts nor what he wants to do with six more years in office. 

    Scott Brown is running on a smear campaign attacking Warren’s strengths with vicious lies about her family heritage, about her expertise in bankruptcy and middle class family economics, about her professionalism and personal integrity.  He must be desperate, right? 

  • Loug

    **Warren actually helped Travelers Insurance set up a trust fund for victims of asbestos contamination.**

    Warren ACTUALLY helped Travelers limit their liability, and helped them achieve future indemnity/immunity.

    Jeesh, how bias can one news story be?

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