BOSTON (CBS) – The race for U.S. Senate in Massachusetts just became more exciting.
The first poll since Elizabeth Warren announced her candidacy shows her beating Scott Brown by two points.
Massachusetts is a place where Republican victories are few and far between, and the GOP in Washington is always a handy boogie-man. And that, even more than any potential opponent, could be Scott Brown’s biggest problem.
WBZ-TV’s Jon Keller Is At Large
Brown has been eager to define himself as an independent voice since he first ran for the Senate, and the new poll shows he’s persuading nearly half the voters of that, despite voting with his party most of the time.
But the survey also carries a warning sign for Brown: A distinct upward trend since the last major poll in the percent of voters who see him as too conservative.
Why is this bad news for Brown, and an opportunity for Elizabeth Warren or whoever the Democratic nominate? Republicans in Washington have long been hated by Democrats and Democratic leaning independents in Massachusetts.
Consider the 1996 Senate race, where moderate GOP Governor Bill Weld challenged shaky incumbent John Kerry, who fought back by tying Weld to unpopular D.C. Republicans.
A preview, perhaps of Brown’s nightmare scenario.
Don’t forget, Scott Brown used an unpopular Democratic establishment as his foil when he won the Senate seat. Now it’s his turn to carry party baggage, if Warren or another challenger can manage to hang it around his neck.