A Third Poll Brings Good News to Elizabeth Warren

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On the heels of two polls this weekend that put Elizabeth Warren ahead of Scott Brown (though within the margin of error) comes a third poll from Suffolk University and 7 News that puts Warren in the lead. Here’s what you need to know:

The findings: Pollsters found that 48 percent of likely voters would choose Warren versus 44 percent for Scott Brown. The margin of error is 4 percent so, as with this weekend’s polls, it’s basically a tie. Polls come out often, but it’s always interesting to see how the numbers compare to previous polls from the same source. The last Suffolk poll in May put Brown ahead of Warren by a point. As with both of yesterday’s polls, the new results show Warren has the upward momentum coming out of the Democratic National Convention. All three firms found Brown in the lead the last time they conducted a poll. “The Democratic National Convention appears to have connected the dots for some voters in Massachusetts,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, says in the press release. “Warren benefited not only from her own speech, but from the oratory of others, both inside and outside of Massachusetts.”

The caveats: After conventions, a party’s politicians often get a “bump” as voters are reminded of their message, but it doesn’t always last. (Obama’s is already coming down.) We’ll have to wait and see whether Warren can sustain or improve on this one. Also, we’re still a ways out from the election itself, and 8 percent of voters are undecided. We argued yesterday that there’s evidence that a lot of independents will break for Warren, but a lot can happen between now and then, including four debates.

Fun facts: When asked what the first word that comes to mind for each candidate is, the most common word for Warren was “smart.” (5 percent of respondents said this.) For Brown, it was “Republican” closely followed by some form of “honest/integrity.” (About six percent gave each of those answers.)

On the other issues: The poll asks voters about a range of topics, like the presidential election, and, hey, what do you know, it looks like Massachusetts might be voting for Barack Obama this fall! 64 percent favor the president, while 31 percent pick Romney. More interesting is that voters approve overwhelmingly of all three ballot questions. 79 percent favor making auto parts available to car owners and independent repair shops. 64 percent support allowing doctors to prescribe end-of-life medication to certain terminally ill patients. And 59 percent support legalizing medical marijuana. We have more details on all three of those here.