Republican Sen. Scott Brown holds a decisive lead over Democrat Elizabeth Warren in the race for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. According to a new Suffolk University/7NEWS (WHDH-Boston) survey, the freshman senator garners 49% of the vote — nine points ahead of his main Democratic rival. It’s the first time a poll put Mr. Brown in the lead since last fall. Suffolk University was also the first to show Mr. Brown ahead in 2010 when he upset state Attorney General Martha Coakley.
That upset was driven largely by the independent vote. And the new poll shows Mr. Brown again heavily drawing his support from this group of voters. Among the 52% of respondents who identified themselves as independent, 60% supported Mr. Brown while only 28% supported Ms. Warren.
The survey suggests there’s a reason independent voters favor the Massachusetts senator. And it has to do with the perception of Ms. Warren as a liberal Democrat. When asked what word first came to mind when respondents heard the name Elizabeth Warren, “liberal” was a top reply. On the other hand when asked what came to mind when they heard the name Scott Brown, “independent” and “fair/fair person” were among the top responses.