Two new polls showed the white-hot Massachusetts Senate race between GOP Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic Harvard Professor Elizabeth Warren to be neck-and-neck. The race remains essentially tied despite weeks of controversy surrounding Warren's intermittent claims during her professional career that she is of Native American heritage.
A Boston Globe/University of New Hampshire poll of likely voters found Brown getting 39 percent to Warren's 37 percent in a matchup. Twenty-three percent of those surveyed were undecided.
A Springfield Republican newspaper/Western New England University Polling Institute poll of registered voters found Brown getting 43 percent to Warren's 45 percent. Eleven percent of those surveyed were undecided.
Those numbers tracked with a recent Suffolk University poll that found Brown getting 48 percent while Warren, the presumptive Democratic nominee, got 47 percent. Five percent were undecided.
In all the polls Brown's favorability and job approval ratings remain exceedingly strong for a Republican incumbent in a heavily Democratic state.
In the Globe poll, 55 percent of those likely voters polled had a favorable opinion of Brown and 60 percent approved of his job performance. Thirty percent had an unfavorable opinion of him and 31 percent disapproved of the job he was doing as the state's junior Senator. Forty-eight percent of those surveyed had a favorable opinion of Warren while 32 percent had an unfavorable opinion of her.
The Springfield Republican poll, which polled the broader universe of registered voters as opposed to likely voters, found broadly similar results. Brown's job approval-disapproval split in that survey was 51 percent to 32 percent. His favorable-unfavorable split was 49 percent to 32 percent. Forty-one percent had a favorable opinion of Warren while 30 percent had an unfavorable opinion of her.
Both national Republicans and Democrats tried to spin the results, but with five months to go before election day, it's clear that the deepest takeaway is that this race is gonna' be real close.
The Globe poll surveyed 651 likely voters selected by random digit dialing from May 25-31. The poll used live telephone interviews of Bay Staters on landlines and cell phones. The margin of error was 3.8 points.
The Republican newspaper poll surveyed 504 registered voters selected by random digit dialing from May 29-31. The poll used live telephone interviews of Bay Staters on landlines and cell phones. The margin of error was 4.4 points.