US Senator Scott Brown has regained a lead over Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren in a new WBUR-MassINC poll, after a string of polls showed Warren with the lead. The poll is the first since Brown and Warren’s second debate at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Oct. 1.
The telephone poll of 502 likely voters, taken Oct. 5 through Oct. 7, showed Brown leading 47 percent to 43 percent, within the 4.4 percent margin of error. The lead drops to 3 percentage points — 48 percent to 45 percent — with the inclusion of respondents who say they have not fully made up their mind but are leaning to one candidate.
A WBUR poll taken Sept. 26 through Sept. 28 showed Warren with a 2 percentage point lead, which grew to 4 percentage points with the inclusion of leaners. In all, seven of nine previous polls had shown Warren with a slight lead, including a Springfield Republican poll released over the weekend. A Boston Globe poll, which surveyed voters between Sept. 21 and Sept. 27, gave Warren a 5 point advantage.
But this was the first poll taken after the Oct. 3 presidential debate between President Obama and former governor Mitt Romney. That debate has helped boost Romney’s campaign, which may be affecting races lower on the ballot.
Obama leads Romney by 16 points on the newest WBUR poll. It’s a sizable advantage, but down from the 28-point lead he held in the previous WBUR poll.
If that trend continues, Brown would be helped because he would have to persuade fewer voters to split their tickets between a Democratic president and a Republican senator. Though Brown is helped by a strong performance from Romney, he has kept a distance from the nominee as Brown attempts to win over voters who like his independent message but may be turned off by the national Republican Party.
Brown and Warren will debate in Springfield this Wednesday.