Continued from page 1

Mr. Brown trailed Mrs. Coakley by 49 percent to 47 percent in a Rasmussen Reports Poll released Wednesday, down from a nine-point deficit a week ago.

Sticking to the anti-tea party attacks, the Coakley campaign accused Mr. Brown of lying when he told a Boston Globe reporter that he was unfamiliar with the tea party movement. The campaign pointed out that he had addressed tea party gatherings and even provided links on his campaign Web site to videos of the events.

“He should be honest with Massachusetts voters and admit to his ties to the far-right tea party and to his lock-step Republican record,” said Coakley campaign spokesman Corey Welford.

Mr. Brown disputed the newspaper story. He released an audio recording and transcript of the interview, which showed him questioning the reporter’s characterization of the tea party movement as a campaign to “take over the country.”

Kennedy’s widow, Vicki Kennedy, also entered the fray with a fundraising letter this week that was widely circulated on liberal Web sites and distributed by Democratic heavyweights, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Mrs. Kennedy warned that time was running out “to do the hard work of electing Martha Coakley so that we can continue the agenda that Ted made the fight of his life - reforming health care, ensuring equality and justice for all, protecting our seniors and rebuilding our economy to allow everyone to prosper.”