Poll respondents appeared of two minds on two related questions, pointing to the challenge for Brown if the race becomes nationalized. While 58 percent thought it was good for the state to have "an independent Republican like Scott Brown representing us in Congress," and 39 percent disagreed, voters were clearly begrudging about watching Republicans retake the Senate. Forty-nine percent thought the state needed to elect a Democrat to prevent the chamber from going Republican, 47 percent disagreed.
In the interim, Warren's visibility has climbed. Among a broader sample of 500 residents, 40 percent in October said they had never heard of her; that number fell to 22 in the recent survey. Her favorable ratings moved in smaller increments, from 28 percent to 40 percent.
In the larger sample, Warren showed more strength among the more educated. Among college graduates, 47 percent reported a positive opinion of her, while 28 percent of those with a high school degree or less and 35 percent of those with some college education viewed her positively.
Brown, meanwhile, gets 20 percent support among Democrats.
The poll also gives Obama an 18-point lead over former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, at 56 percent to 38 percent. Obama led by 7 percent in October. Romney's unfavorability rating has spiked from 25 percent then to 34 percent now.
Conducted from Jan. 31 to Feb. 4, the poll surveyed 456 registered voters and carries a plus/minus error margin of 4.6 percent. Mass Insight presented the poll to clients this morning at a meeting in Boston.