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A new poll out of Massachusetts shows Sen. Scott Brown with a near double-digit lead on Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.
The Suffolk University survey has Brown up 49 percent to 40 percent with a little less than nine months to go until the November election. Nine percent of those polled remain undecided and 2 percent say they would pick someone else.
The numbers come as something of a shock because previous polls had shown Brown and Warren to be locked in a tight battle for the Senate seat once held by the late Ted Kennedy.
Warren has captured the hearts of liberals in the Bay State—and across the country—but appears to be struggling to win over independent voters, which make up more than half of the Massachusetts electorate. Among that key demographic, Brown leads 60 percent to 28.
"Scott Brown’s popularity and appeal are overpowering the efforts of Elizabeth Warren, who struggles to introduce herself to the larger pool of Massachusetts voters," Suffolk pollster David Paleologos said in a statement accompanying the results. "Warren’s support does not have traction among independents."
Brown appears to be winning the popularity contest among would-be voters. He has a 52 percent favorable rating compared to a 28 percent unfavorable mark. Warren's split on the other hand is 35-28.
Also working against the liberal favorite is that Bay State voters appear convinced that they're better off having a bipartisan Senate delegation representing them. Six in ten respondents said they saw a benefit to having a senator from each party in Washington. (Democrat John Kerry holds the state's other Senate seat.) Even among registered Democrats, 49 percent agreed with that view, while 47 percent disagreed.