MA Poll: Warren: 53, Brown: 46

Posted: Oct 30, 2012 4:15 PM

I’m now beginning to think that the Boston Globe poll released on Monday was probably an outlier:

A new poll released today shows Elizabeth Warren leading Senator Scott Brown by 7 percentage points, one of the Democratic challenger’s largest leads in any poll taken in recent months.

The poll, by Suffolk University/News 7, was released a day after a Boston Globe poll showed a much tighter race, with Brown leading by 2 percentage points. The Globe poll showed an exact tie when including responses from voters who did not express an initial preference but said they were leaning in one direction.

The Suffolk poll showed Warren leading with 53 percent of the vote compared with 46 percent for Brown. The poll of 600 likely voters, interviewed by phone, was taken Oct. 25 through Oct. 28 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

“Elizabeth Warren is riding a final wave of momentum to the US Senate,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, in a news release.

Alas, it only gets worse:

The Washington Post, Rasmussen Reports and the Rothenberg Political Report all consider the race to be leaning in Warren's favor. As of Monday afternoon, The New York Times' FiveThirtyEight blog called the seat "safe Democratic" and gave Warren a 95.2 percent chance of winning, with 52.1 percent of the vote to 46.6 percent for Brown.

FiveThirtyEight's election forecasting model uses polling data, demographics and historical analysis to predict election results. The website was started by statistician Nate Silver in 2008 and purchased by The New York Times in 2010.

As I wrote yesterday, Senator Brown pulled out of Tuesday’s fourth and final debate out of respect for the victims of Massachusetts and their families affected by Hurricane Sandy, thus impelling Elizabeth Warren to quickly followed suit. But will the head-to-head matchup be rescheduled? Possibly:

The debate sponsors, a consortium of news outlets, said they were working with the campaigns to try to reschedule the debate, though with the election one week away, time was short. Ms. Warren issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying she believed a debate “should occur” and that she would be available Thursday night, putting the ball in Mr. Brown’s court.

I suspect Republicans in Massachusetts are hoping that the debate will be rescheduled sometime in the next few days. Why? One reason is because it was around this time two years ago -- about a week before the special election in January 2010 -- that Scott Brown muttered his now-famous “people’s seat” rejoinder during a debate against Democratic Senate candidate Martha Coakley. This impromptu remark in some ways tilted the race in Scott Brown’s favor by giving his campaign some unexpected momentum precisely when he needed it. Two years later, however, at a time when many pollsters are now openly asserting that Scott Brown will lose his bid for re-election, what could be more beneficial than chalking up a solid -- and perhaps even game-changing -- debate performance a few days before the election? Nothing. This is why one hopes -- if the weather permits -- the two candidates will have an opportunity to take the stage one final time before the vast majority of Massachusetts voters head to the polls.

Intolerance in Academia
Walter E. Williams