Poll: Warren ahead in Mass. Senate contest

A new independent poll gives Democrat Elizabeth Warren a lead over Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) in the race for his Senate seat, making this the third poll showing her ahead in two days.

According to the Suffolk University/7News poll, Warren has a four-percentage-point lead among likely voters, with 48 percent support to Brown's 44 percent support. That's a reversal from the last Suffolk poll, conducted in May, which gave Brown a one-percentage-point lead over Warren.

The poll follows one, from Western New England University, that gave Warren a six-percentage-point lead, and another, from Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, that gave her a two-percentage-point advantage over Brown -- both released on Sunday.

Brown and Warren have been running neck-and-neck for the majority of the race thus far, with Brown buoyed in the deep-blue state by his personal likeability. That's evident in this poll, with a full 60 percent of likely voters saying they have a generally favorable opinion of the incumbent -- a slight increase from his favorables in the last poll.

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But Warren is generally viewed positively, too, with 52 percent of likely voters saying the same of her. That's a jump of nine percentage points since the last poll, indicating she may have received a bit of a boost from her speech at the Democratic National Convention.

And it seems like attacks launched by both of the campaigns that have made a loud clamor in the media during the campaign are failing to stick. Brown blasted Warren for being unable to prove her claimed Native American heritage, which the Brown campaign said she used for personal gain in her academic career. But while 79 percent of likely voters had heard of the controversy, only 32 percent believe she benefited from using minority status.

And Warren has attacked Brown for what she says are attempts to weaken financial regulations -- but a majority of voters don't believe that voting for Brown would be a vote in favor of Wall Street.

There's bad news for Brown in more than just Warren's lead, though -- only 19 percent of voters indicated they'd be willing to split the ticket and vote for Brown while voting for Obama, a drop from the 24 percent who said they would in May.

The spate of new polls putting Warren ahead come as she begins to retool her advertising strategy, releasing a new, tougher ad last week that indirectly criticizes Brown. But Republicans won't let this seat go easily, and the Massachusetts GOP targeted Warren for her support of the Occupy Movement on its one-year anniversary with a chilling video highlighting violent Occupy demonstrations.

The Suffolk University poll was conducted among 600 likely voters in Massachusetts from Sept. 13-16, and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.