Elizabeth Warren (D): 41 (42)
Scott Brown (R-inc): 49 (47)
Undecided: 10 (10)
The weekend had a deluge of polls, so we’re sweeping them all up in one place. We’ll get the bad news out of the way first: After months of polls showing nothing but Elizabeth Warren leads in Massachusetts, we’ve got another poll that shows Scott Brown back in the driver’s seat, making it a cluster of four (although two of them—one from a Republican-friendly think tank and one from Rasmussen—come with agendas). The Western New England Univ. poll gives him an 8-point lead, not much different from their previous poll in October back when it wasn’t clear Warren would be the Democratic nominee and the race hadn’t gelled; Brown currently has 54/28 approvals, while Warren has 37/20 favorables.
I’m not sure what Brown would have done to regain his footing here—if anything, his going along with the Blunt Amendment probably further hurt his standing among independents—so it’s possible Warren’s poll surge in the winter months had a bit of announcement-bump to it that’s since faded. Whatever the cause, it suggests exactly what we’ve been warning for months here: Don’t take this race for granted simply because of where it’s located, as Warren is up against a talented politician and a whole lotta GOP money.
Marist for NBC News. 2/29-3/2. Registered voters. MoE ±1.8%. (no trendlines):
Sherrod Brown (D-inc): 47
Josh Mandel (R): 37
Another day, another low-double-digits lead for Sherrod Brown over Josh Mandel in Ohio. This is Marist’s first look at Ohio, but that’s exactly the same range that PPP and Quinnipiac have been consistently finding all year. Even more encouraging are the presidential numbers, where Barack Obama is actually starting to overperform rather than underperform Brown’s numbers here: He leads all Republicans by double digits, including Mitt Romney 50-38. (The number everyone is obsessed with today, though, is the GOP primary, though Marist, counter to the direction of most of today’s polls, sees a sliver of hope for Rick Santorum in what’s probably his last stand: They find him leading Romney 34-32.)
Marist for NBC News. 2/29-3/2. Registered voters. MoE ±2.0%. (no trendlines):
Tim Kaine (D): 48
George Allen (R): 39
Here’s the good news for the day: The poll giving Tim Kaine the largest lead he’s seen yet in the Virginia Senate open seat race to replace Jim Webb. Kaine’s sporting a nine-point lead (previously having had his biggest lead at 5, in PPP’s last poll). Not that I don’t think that Kaine has a small advantage here, but this poll might actually be too-good news for the Democrats … check out the presidential numbers on top of that, and you might want to mentally subtract a few points from the size of Kaine’s margin. Barack Obama leads Mitt Romney 52-35, with similar leads against the other GOPers. (They also find that adding Bob McDonnell to the ticket only gives Romney a net gain of two points, just the same as they found adding Rob Portman to the ticket accomplishes in Ohio.) As for tomorrow’s anticlimactic primary (anticlimactic because Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich couldn’t even manage the task of getting on the ballot), Romney leads Ron Paul 69-26, though Romney would lead Santorum 36-28 in a hypothetical race.
Bob Etheridge (D): 26 (21)
Walter Dalton (D): 19 (10)
Bruce Blackmon (D): 5 (–)
Gardenia Henley (D): 4 (–)
Gary Dunn (D): 2 (–)
Bill Faison (D): 2 (2)
Undecided: 41 (33)
Public Policy Polling released numbers in the North Carolina Democratic gubernatorial primary, which popped into existence only last month with a surprise retirement announcement from Bev Perdue. North Carolina’s filing deadline just passed, so what you see is what you get, in terms of the field. The two heavyweights here, ex-Rep. Bob Etheridge and Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton are closely knotted, although in a meaningless way as “Undecided” is the runaway winner for now. Interestingly, Etheridge (34/17) is better-known than Dalton (22/16) despite Dalton being elected statewide (though it’s worth noting that Etheridge used to be a statewide elected official in the 1990s, as state schools superintendent). Etheridge’s edge comes entirely from a 50-7 lead over Dalton in the Raleigh/Durham area; Dalton leads in the rest of the state.
The real question here may be what state Rep. Bill Faison thinks he’s doing here; he manages to be little-known and, after a spate of bad press, not-liked by those who know him (10/20) … and, accordingly, he finds himself trailing not one but two Some Dudes. Also, if you’re curious, the Democratic primaries number for four different downballot state races are available.