Brown Should Focus on Economy To Beat Warren, Local Republicans Say

After three polls released last week showed Elizabeth Warren ahead of Scott Brown, while another showed Brown ahead of Warren, Patch surveyed influential Massachusetts Republicans to get their take on the tight race.

Republican Sen. Scott Brown should focus on the economy during the final stretch of his campaign to fend off Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren's rise in the polls: that's the main finding of this week's Red Commonwealth survey of influential Massachusetts Republicans.

Three polls by three separate polling organizations showing Warren ahead of Brown—but barely—were released early last week. 

Further illustrating how tight the race has become, hours after Patch sent the survey out to Massachusetts Republicans, another poll by UMass Lowell and the Boston Herald showed Brown ahead of Warren by 6 points, with a 5.5 percent margin of error, after an UMass Lowell/Herald poll nine months ago had Warren leading by 7.

A majority of influential Massachusetts Republicans surveyed, 58.6 percent, said that Warren's reported rise in the polls is most likely attributable to a post-Democratic National Convention bump that energized Democrats and left-leaning independents, while a few questioned the validity of the polls themselves.

Those surveyed were split on the efficacy of Brown's get-out-the-vote organization compared to Warren's, with 34.5 percent saying it's "somewhat worse" than Warren's, 27.6 saying "no advantage for either," 13.8 percent saying "somewhat better" and 17.2 percent saying "much better."

Focus on Obamacare and Medicare with Seniors, the Economy with Women

Warren led Brown among voters 65 and older by 63-35 in the poll results released last week by Western New England University (WNEU)'s Polling Institute. Asked what they would recommend the Brown campaign do to increase support among seniors, many of the influential Massachusetts Republicans who responded to the survey said Brown should focus on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare, and Medicare.

"Drive home the point that Obamacare must be repealed in order to void the billions of dollars taken from Medicare in order to pay for Obamacare & that Brown—not Warren—will carry out that fight," one respondent wrote.

The WNEU poll also showed Brown leading Warren among male voters 49-44, while Warren led among female voters in the same poll 55-40. Asked which strategy Brown should focus on regarding the gender gap, 62.1 percent said that Brown should try to make gains among female voters. 

Asked how Brown could win over more female voters, respondents said that the incumbent should push back against the 'War on Women' theme used by Warren's campaign and continue to define himself as "pro-choice," while many said that the senator should look past demographic issues and focus on the economy, jobs and tax policies that affect everyone equally.  

"I am a woman, but I'm far more sophisticated, as most women are, to buy into belittling 'women's issues,'" one respondent wrote. "We, men and women, are concerned about the economic future of ourselves and our country. That unites all of us."

Economy Should Take Precedent

Asked what should be the primary issue that Brown should focus on during the final stretch of the campaign, a number of survey respondents said that Brown should go after Warren for her public image, which one respondent described as "an arrogant, lecturing, smarter-than-you college professor," and for her views described as "radicalism" and "extreme Leftist, anti-business."

However, most of the Mass. Republicans surveyed said that the economy should take precedent, with Brown contrasting his views with Warren's. 

"We need jobs, we need to cut the size of government," one respondent wrote. "We need to get the deficit and debt under control. We need to stop demonizing job creators and investors. And we need lower taxes that will in turn produce economic growth and will result in an increase in revenues."

Brown and Warren had their first debate of four last week and almost all of the respondents leaned towards the debates deciding the race, with 62.1 somewhat agreeing it would be the deciding factor in the race and 31 percent strongly agreeing.

With regard to polling numbers, one respondent cautioned to view any results before the election with a skeptical eye.

"Keep in mind how the Boston Globe poll had Brown written off as a 15-point loser a week ahead of the special election in January 2010," the respondent wrote. "The only poll that really counts takes place on Nov. 6."

Red and Blue Commonwealth Survey
Our surveys are not a scientific, random sample of any larger population, but rather an effort to listen to a group of influential local Republican and Democratic activists, party leaders, candidates and elected officials in Massachusetts. All of these individuals have agreed to participate in Massachusetts’ Patch surveys, although not all responded to this story’s questions. Answers have been edited for style, but not for content.

Patch will be conducting Red Commonwealth and Blue Commonwealth surveys throughout the 2012 election season in hopes of determining the true sentiment of conservatives and progressives on the ground in Massachusetts. If you are an activist, party leader or elected official and would like to take part in periodic surveys that last just a few minutes, contact Associate Regional Editor Daniel DeMaina at danield@patch.com.

Note: This article is published across multiple Patch sites in the area.

Bob September 27, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Interesting... R's say go issues and the D's say go D! Where will the lemmings go?
Frampton September 28, 2012 at 11:04 AM
He should continue what he is doing in my humble opinion.
Alan Leo September 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM
Hey Bob, did you read the survey of Democrats? They overwhelmingly said Warren should focus on the issues, and on Brown's record of voting against jobs, health care, and the interests of women, seniors and the middle class. Contrast that with this chestnut from the GOP survey: "Asked what should be the primary issue that Brown should focus on during the final stretch of the campaign, a number of survey respondents said that Brown should go after Warren for her public image." From the first debate, it's clear Brown got the message. When Warren challenged his dismal record, his only response was personal attacks and evasions. Unfortunately for Brown, it's backfiring: His mean-spirited performance in the debates and campaign has erased his "nice guy" appeal -- which was a pretty weak qualification to begin with. As voters learn more about both candidates, they are increasingly deciding that Warren is the one they trust to represent their interests in Washington. That's why she's pulling ahead, and it's why she's going to win in November.
livinforlax09 September 29, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Why should Scott Brown stop pressing on the lying Granny issue? That frankly is a huge concern and she hasn't answered why she did it. I don't believe Harvard's story that it wasn't a factor in hiring her because of course the ultra liberal institution will defend the uber liberal. She is not a good candidate for Massachusetts which is evident the second she opens her mouth.
Bill Gilman (Editor) September 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Claification here livinforlax09 --- there is no evidence that a) Warren is NOT part cherokee or B) that she knowingly lied. In fact, all indications are that she totally believed what she marked off. Far more believable is that Harvard was so desperate to make their grant quotas that they scoured the records of anyone and everyone that applied to see if there was anyone to include in their numbers. But that's just one man's opinion.
Rick O'Shea September 29, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Warren should focus on the fact that Brown is the #1 recipient of donations from the securities and investment industries (see opensecrets.org). That is the same industry that helped tank the economy. Why are they giving to him? Because they want to continue their pirate ways and he is helping them.
Dan D. September 29, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Bill, if it was someone named Bush would you be so eager to give out excuses for her claims? Most of these "issues" are nonsense. What you should be focusing on is whether you believe government should get even more intrusive and force people to pay for more for other peoples stuff, or do you like more personal freedom to make good or bad decisions and to live with the consequences. Ms. Warren seems to be the ultimate big gummint type, and a true blue mindless party following gal. Brown, not so much.
Joe Bill September 29, 2012 at 01:21 PM
This state makes me sick. We have no problem electing people who have driven off a bridge and killed someone, people who have ran brothels for young men, and people who have been associated with multi-million dollar illegal gambling operations. Scott Brown is a reservist and by most accounts an upstanding citizen, yet he finds himself in a dead heat with some fraudulent lefty Harvard Liberal who claims to be a Cherokee, is not licensed to practice law in the state, and whose platform is anti big business when she has represented several big businesses as an attorney. When are we going to wake up?
Iron Mike September 29, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Joe, the voting majority in this state want BIG Government to TAKE CARE OF THEM, issue them marijuana, gay marriage, and abortions-on-demand. Utopia is a tax-free Government Check! Our voting majority has set such low standards of personal responsibility for themselves that they are MOST COMFORTABLE with deeply flawed and sleazy politicians.
A Taker September 29, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Harvard pulled in roughly $1.2M PER CURRENT STUDENT student from their alumni this past year in the form of endowments. I don't think they are desperate for any grant monies.
Bob Rauseo September 29, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Bill Gilman: In one post you clarify facts for a recent poster and then post an unproveable smear on Harvard University. Shoddy editiing. But that's just one man's opinion.
Bill Gilman (Editor) September 29, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Not looking to smear Harvard at all. These colleges are held to pretty high diversity standards. I guess my point is, it was Harvard making the big deal out of Warren's slight native American heritage, not Warren.
david mokal September 29, 2012 at 02:41 PM
@ Iron Mike We have had so many sleezy politions I would feel uncomfortable not having any.
Ron October 01, 2012 at 08:57 PM
She didn't check the box until she applied to Penn State and Harvard. The other colleges that the applied to she must have forgotten when she was young and didn't question. She is the only Professor at Harvard Law that doesn't have an undergraduate degree from an Ivy League School and now it appears that she didn't have a license to practice law in MA, in TX since 92, and withdrew her license in NJ on 9/11. Just seems funny. The explanations don't add up. If she was working in the State Drug lab she would be put in cuffs in her home and carted off to jail.
Brian McCarthy October 01, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Only a person with serious mental issues would vote for The Fake Indian.
Vic October 01, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Brian this state is full of them. Thankfully we have so many mental health facilities nearby.
Dave Gray October 01, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Brown keeps questioning Warren's heritage claims because he has nothing else to talk about. If he talks about his record, he's toast. When I was a kid, my parents told me I was mostly Irish with a little bit of English thrown in. Since that was what my parents told me, I believed it. Can I prove it? I have no idea one way or the other. If Warren's parents told her she had some Native American heritage, why wouldn't she believe them? I'd really like it we could stop all this trash talking about what her parents told her, and start talking about the issues.
Vic October 01, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Did you get a job or special mortage for being a minority?
x October 02, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Dave, Actually your background and citizenship were never verified or proven. Better hope Warren is elected. Reverend E. Raleigh Pimperton III
Iron Mike October 02, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Carefull there Brian - there were colonies of Mass MoonBats at the Tsongas Arena tonight - many being paid $11.oo/hr to wear Warren t-shirts and hold her signs. But NONE of them I questioned hav any clue about how we'll pay down our $16 Trillion National Debt. Many couldn't tell me the difference between Debt and Deficit. But they'll faithfulluy vote for the 'D'!
Dave Gray October 02, 2012 at 02:17 AM
Actually I did. When I got my first mortgage Vietnam Veterans were certified as a minority group through affirmative action.
Dave Gray October 02, 2012 at 02:19 AM
And all this time I thought my birth certificate verified my citizenship. Silly me.
Susan October 02, 2012 at 05:49 PM
but he posed nude in Cosmo for the money, and made BANK off of facilitating predatory loans... so he falls WELL within our wheelhouse.
P.P. Longstocking October 03, 2012 at 04:37 PM
Scott Brown thanked the Tea Party specifically for his win. That same money is pouring into Massachusetts now to steal the election. Elizabeth Warren's heritage has ZERO to do with whether Scott Brown will represent the people of Massachusetts or the Koch Brothers.
Cancel October 03, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Exactly. It's clear Romney is going to lose. We send representatives to Washington to protect and advance our interests. If the Shawsheen floods or we have another natural disaster, who is best going to make sure Mass. gets what it needs? That's what people need to focus on. And the answer in an Obama administration is clearly Elizabeth Warren.
Ron October 03, 2012 at 05:38 PM
The State of MA may have to overturn or throw out hundreds if not thousands of criminal lawsuits because the State Drug Lab was lax in their hiring process and hired someone who lied on her application and then tampered with and tainted evidence. Now they will have to overturn these cases becasue it is the right thing to do or if they can it will cost the state millions to re-try them. I expect that there will be criminals that will walk becasue of it. What does that mean for Lawyers who didn't have a license to practice law in the state. Does the same logic apply? MA Lawyer Weekly recently polled attorneys in the state about whether Warren should be investigated for "possibly" practicing law without a license from the state. 87% of the 1,134 lawyers polled want the Harvard law professor investigated. Do Universities receieve Federal Funding or Grants if they hire someone who has checked the box? The box is on the application. I thnk it's also on the application for college but she forgot? Who is suppoesed to check on it? Can anyone check the box without proof. Anyone know the processes? As tax payers don't we deserve transparancy? Isn't that what one of the campaign promise the "Chosen One" spouting 4 years ago? I have no idea what level (she has admitted that she never had a license in MA) she was involved in the cases or if that means that she was breaking the law. I guess someone would have to look how involved she was.


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