Sen. Scott Brown, the Republican who famously won the seat held by Edward Kennedy, has built an early lead against Elizabeth Warren in what will be a closely watched race nationally.
New polls this week show Sen. Scott Brown (R) of Massachusetts leaping ahead of Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren, as one of the closely watched Senate campaigns of 2012 is about to get under way in earnest.
The race, set to ramp up following Tuesday's Massachusetts primary vote, important for two big reasons: the symbolism and the simple math.
On the math front, Republicans hope to take control of the Senate and holding on to Senator Brown's seat could be key.
Symbolically, the outcome could reveal whether a Republican senator can deepen his roots in a "blue state" that usually votes Democratic, or whether he will be unseated by an unabashed champion of anti-Wall-Street populism.
The latest poll, released Sunday by Western New England University, shows Brown's support at 49 percent of registered voters, compared with 41 percent for Ms. Warren.
That echoes a Rasmussen poll released last week, surveying likely voters, with showed Brown at 49 percent to Warren's 44 percent.