Warren's Bump

The big story late last week, after the Democratic National Convention ended, was that President Obama had received a monster bump—Nate Silver put it at almost eight points—made all the more dramatic when compared to Republican challenger Mitt Romney's measley plus one.  But Obama isn't the only one leaving the party in Charlotte on an upward path: a new poll today shows Elizabeth Warren pulling even with Scott Brown, the Massachusetts Republican who she wants to replace in the Senate. (Full disclosure: Amelia Warren Tyagi, Elizabeth Warren's daughter, is chair of The American Prospect’s board of directors and is chair of the board of the magazine’s publishing partner, Demos.)

The Republican-aligned firm Kimball Political Consulting shows Warren gaining five points from their last poll on August 21, giving her a slight lead, with 46 percent of likely voters favoring her to Scott Brown, who gets 45 percent. That lead is easily swallowed by the poll's margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent, but the important thing to watch is Warren's movement. The Democratic-leaning pollsters at Public Policy Polling had Brown with a five-point lead on August 21. The race is a genuine toss-up: Warren and Brown have traded leads, though generally the race has stayed in a statistical dead heat.

Fundamentals in this election generally favor Brown. He's a relatively popular incumbent, and more than half the electorate has generally viewed him favorably. But they like Warren about as much. The Kimball poll shows the favorability for Brown and Warren at about 54 and 55 percent, respectively.

It's also true that the race is about to amp up. When state voters watch the debates—beginning next Thursday—many will be meeting Warren the candidate for the first time.

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