BOSTON (CBS) – How is the renewed controversy over Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s claims of Native American ancestry playing with voters around the country?
It came up only briefly in the WBZ Senate debate, and a new Politico/Morning Consult poll shows her recent release of a DNA test confirming a distant link left most voters unmoved, with 16 percent saying it gave them a more favorable impression of Warren, 24 percent reporting a less favorable view, and 49 percent saying it made no difference to them.
The rest had no opinion.
But the ancestry issue may be the least of Warren’s problems as a potential national candidate.
The poll found this self-styled champion of beleaguered working and middle-class voters is struggling to win support from those income groups, with unfavorable ratings ten points higher than her favorables among people earning between $50,000 and $100,000. She’s even underwater with folks earning less than $50,000.
And what about Warren’s status as a feminist icon, supposedly cemented by her silencing on the Senate floor as the hands of Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who intoned that “she was warned, she was given an explanation, nevertheless she persisted,” a line that instantly became a T-shirt?
If women are to form the core of a Warren white house run, the senator has her work cut out for her.
Warren’s favorability ratings is actually higher among men than women in this new poll, as is her unfavorability. And while her rock-bottom ratings among independent women could be overcome by a tidal wave of support from Democratic women, 50 percent isn’t likely be nearly enough.