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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New Poll Gives Warren the Edge in Massachusetts Senate Race

BOSTON - A poll released Tuesday by Suffolk University shows Elizabeth Warren with the support of 53 percent of likely voters compared with 46 percent for Senator Scott P. Brown in the hard-fought Massachusetts Senate race.

The lead for Ms. Warren falls within the margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

The Suffolk poll follows one released Monday by The Boston Globe that showed Mr. Brown with 45 percent of likely voters and Ms. Warren with 43 percent. Most polls in recent weeks have given the edge to Ms. Warren.

The candidates were scheduled to face each other Tuesday night for one last time in their fourth and final debate, but Mr. Brown pulled out Monday, saying it was inappropriate to engage in politics while Hurricane Sandy threatened serious damage. Ms. Warren followed suit, announcing that the focus should be on public safety.

Nonetheless, both candidates continued to run attack ads against each other on television, the result of their having already bought the time.

The debate sponsors, a consortium of news outlets, said they were working with the campaigns to try to reschedule the debate, though with the election one week away, time was short. Ms. Warren issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying she believed a debate “should occur” and that she would be available Thursday night, putting the ball in Mr. Brown's court.

While Massachusetts escaped the devastation that the storm delivered to New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, there were still a considerable number of power failures as well as coastal flooding. Mr. Brown scheduled seven stops throughout the state on Tuesday to assess the damage, a schedule announced by his Senate office as opposed to his campaign office to emphasize the official nature of his appearances. Ms. Warren, a Harvard Law professor who does not hold public office, announced she would be visiting flooded are as in Westport and Scituate.

Follow Katharine Q. Seelye on Twitter at @kseelye.