Democrat Elizabeth Warren has pulled ahead of Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., in a new UMass-Lowell/Boston Herald poll released Wednesday night, as Bay State voters have begun to sour on the incumbent senator over the past few months.
Warren, a former White House adviser who helped set up the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has a slight lead over Brown, 49 percent to 42 percent. Three percent of voters chose another candidate, and 9 percent were undecided. Brown trails Warren despite a 16-point lead among independent voters.
In late September, Brown held a scant, three-point lead over Warren, 41 percent to 38 percent.
The poll shows Brown's approval ratings among Massachusetts voters dropping sharply. In late September, 53 percent of voters approved of the job Brown was doing, while 29 percent disapproved. Now, just 45 percent of voters approve of Brown's job performance, and 36 percent now disapprove of Brown.
Brown's image also has taken a hit: 48 percent of voters have a favorable opinion of Brown, down from 52 percent in late September. The percentage who view him unfavorably has risen from 29 percent to 35 percent.
Warren's image has taken a slight hit, as well. The percentage of voters who have a favorable opinion of Warren has risen, from 30 percent in late September, to 34 percent now. But the percentage who have an unfavorable opinion has also jumped, from 18 percent in late September, to 27 percent now.
The poll was conducted Dec. 1-6 by N.J.-based Princeton Survey Research Associates, surveying 505 registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.3 percent.