For the last month, Elizabeth Warren has been stuck in controversy over her Native American heritage, specifically the fact that she received benefits for it while at Harvard. Republican Scott Brown has made this a major campaign issue, using it to assail Warren’s integrity and ability to honestly serve the people of Massachusetts. At The Washington Post, David Fahrenthold and Chris Cillizza adopt this frame, and present the controversy as a real problem for Warren’s Senate bid:
The episode could have been a minor nuisance for the campaign. In a race in which the economy, jobs and debt are the overriding issues, it’s unlikely that whether Warren is Native American would matter all that much to voters.
But Warren has turned what could have been a small problem into a major story line by not coming out with everything she knew about the episode from the start.
There’s a big problem with this. A huge problem, in fact.
According to all available polling, voters simply don’t care about this controversy. At all. 72 percent of likely voters are aware of the flap over Warren’s heritage, and 69 percent of those say that it isn’t a significant story. That is, it won’t have any affect on their choice in November. For further proof, look no further than the most recent polling out of the Bay State; Brown and Warren are basically tied, and have been for the past month.
Voters correctly understand that none of this significance; I’d love to see a similar sense of perspective from political reporters.