Warren Campaign Makes Gains on Brown

Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Warren’s Senate campaign scored two big victories this week with the release of poll numbers that show her in a dead heat with Republican Senator Scott Brown and the announcement Monday of a high-profile endorsement by Massachusetts Congresswoman Niki Tsongas.

Tsongas, who is currently the only woman in the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, announced her endorsement alongside Warren in Lowell—the site of the first Democratic primary debate on Tuesday and a district that is expected to be a difficult win for Warren given its generally conservative working-class population.

“In the Senate, Elizabeth will fight to level the playing field so that you have a voice,” Tsongas said during her endorsement. “She sees an America that invests in people, with educational opportunities that don’t require a lifetime of crushing debt, where entrepreneurs take an idea and start a business without becoming bogged down in red tape, and a place where our sense of fairness dictates that each of us pay our fair share in contributing to our economic recovery.”

At the announcement, Warren echoed the populist themes that have propelled her campaign forward at a rapid rate since the announcement that she would run two weeks ago.

“I am so proud to have earned the support of Niki Tsongas, a fighter for working men and women across the 5th Congressional District,” said Warren at the endorsement announcement. “Together, we will stand up for our middle class families so that for everyone, this is a country of opportunity, where people who work hard have a chance to get ahead, and our children will do better than we do.”

Tsongas’s endorsement comes on the heels of a recent poll that shows Warren overwhelmingly winning the Democratic primary and deadlocked in the race against the Brown.

According to a poll of 1,000 registered voters, Brown currently leads Warren by 41 to 38 percent, which is within the poll’s margin error. According to the same poll, which was conducted by UMass Lowell and The Boston Herald, Warren holds a commanding lead against her Democratic primary opponents, garnering the support of 38 percent of potential Democratic primary voters. None of Warren’s five opponents earned more than 5 percent of the vote in the poll. 40 percent of Democratic voters, however, say they remain undecided.

These numbers are especially encouraging for the Warren camp because 37 percent of respondents said that they had not heard of Warren. Warren has specifically targeted her campaigning at the middle class, a strategy that, so far, seems to track with polling data. 48 percent of voters said they felt that Brown has not done enough to improve economic conditions for the average Massachusetts resident.

Warren announced her campaign in South Boston—a middle and working class district that went heavily in favor of Brown in the special election that followed the death of long-time Senator Edward M. Kennedy ’56-58. In that race, Brown won an upset victory against Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Warren has touted her modest upbringing throughout the campaign, emphasizing that she is the daughter of a maintenance man and that she grew up “on the ragged edge of the middle class,” a message that her surrogates are beginning to latch onto as well.

“Elizabeth has led the fight against predatory lending practices, while championing the rights of homeowners and consumers,” Tsongas said. “And, as she often says, she ‘came up the hard way ... out of a hard-working middle class family,’ which has helped her understand the economic challenges facing working-class communities like the Merrimack Valley.”

—Staff writer Tara W. Merrigan can be reached at tmerrigan@college.harvard.edu.

—Staff writer Zoe A. Y. Weinberg can be reached at zoe.weinberg@college.harvard.edu.

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