Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., is tied with Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, according to a poll from Public Policy Polling.
Warren and Brown both receive 46 percent of the vote in the poll, which was conducted from June 22 through 24.
The poll shows an increase of support for Brown, who had trailed Warren, 46-41, in the last PPP poll. Brown has increased his support among independents, leading Warren by 24 percent among the group. Brown must win independents handily to hold on to his seat in heavily Democratic Massachusetts.
Brown is rated favorably by 51 percent of Bay Staters, and unfavorably by 38 percent. Warren also is rated positively by voters, with 47 percent seeing her favorably and 38 percent unfavorably.
Polling indicates that Brown has been successful in painting himself as a moderate. Only 34 percent of respondents see Brown as too conservative, while 42 percent see Warren as too liberal, including 53 percent of independents.
The poll is very much in line with other polls showing a very close race. No poll taken since mid-March has shown either candidate with more than a 2 percentage point lead, and the RealClearPolitics average of polls gives Brown a very narrow lead of 0.2 percent.
“This race continues to be a sheer toss up,” said Dean Debnam of PPP. “One thing to keep an eye on is the undecideds. They’re supporting Barack Obama over Mitt Romney by 50 points. That could mean Warren has more room to grow.”
The Massachusetts race could be critical in determining which party controls the Senate in 2013. Democrats and independents aligned with the Democrats currently hold 53 seats in the 100 seat chamber. But Democrats are defending more seats than Republicans, and are expected to face an uphill battle to hold the upper house. That battle becomes significantly easier if Democrats can flip usually-blue Massachusetts back into their column.
The poll of 902 Massachusetts voters has a margin of error of ±3.3 percent.
Image Credit: Donkey Hotey