The latest poll in the Brown-Warren US Senate race shows very little movement in the race. While Warren’s favorability ratings rose more than Brown’s, there isn’t anything “game changing” about the numbers in this MassINC poll, which was taken between July 19th and 22nd.
The news that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is endorsing Scott Brown, which happened after this latest poll, may well be a significant development. Bloomberg is a popular figure nationally who is considered to be just the kind of “independent thinker” and “problem solver” Brown wants Mass voters to believe he is. The endorsement does have some potential downsides of course. Bloomberg is a New York mayor not a Massachusetts mayor and he’ll be raising money for Brown from folks with whom Brown needs to create distance. Warren’s camp signaled its focus on both of these problems concisely. According to the New York Times, Warren reacted to the news of the endorsement Thursday by saying “she had never met Mr. Bloomberg, but noted that on the day his endorsement of Mr. Brown became public, she was endorsed by a group of Massachusetts credit unions.” Warren is further quoted as saying. “Today, Scott Brown stands with Wall Street, and I stand with every credit union in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” The endorsement is certainly a good one that will most likely add more to Brown’s campaign coffers than it will to his support among voters.
Another wrinkle in the Bloomberg endorsement is the Mayor’s stated reason. Possibly to blunt Warren’s effort to associate Bloomberg with Wall Street, the mayor made clear that his endorsement of the Bay State Republican was actually about his support for gun control, not Wall Street. “Mr. Bloomberg, through a spokesman, said his endorsement was not about Wall Street at all, but about his desire to reward Mr. Brown for voting against his party and the National Rifle Association on a gun control measure.” The tight rope Brown must walk between energizing his conservative base and persuading moderates in this election is beautifully illustrated by this endorsement. It will be interesting to see if Warren finds a way to use Brown’s support for gun control to discourage conservative voters.