The Washington Times - March 20, 2012, 02:26PM

A new poll shows that Republican Sen. Scott Brown is losing ground on Democrat Elizabeth Warren in this year’s Massachusetts Senate race, with the challenger up 5 percentage points.

Mrs. Warren’s 46 percent to 41 percent advantage in the Public Policy Polling survey results, released Tuesday, is a slight improvement over her 46 percent to 44 percent lead the last time PPP surveyed the race in September.


Tuesday’s poll shows that Mr. Brown isn’t overwhelmingly popular in the Bay State, as 45 percent of voters there say he’s doing a good job, while 42 percent disapprove. The September PPP poll showed similar results, with a 44 percent-45 percent approval-disapproval rate for the freshman senator.

Mr. Brown, elected in 2010 to fill the seat of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, remains widely popular with Republican voters, who approve of his job performance at a rate of 80 percent, with only 7 percent disapproving. But his appeal to Democrats and independents isn’t what it once was. His approval-disapproval rating among Democrats now is 23 percent-63 percent.

And while 53 percent of independents like the way he is handling his job, compared with 34 percent who don’t, the latest numbers are well below the 61-25 approval-disapproval rating he enjoyed with them at the end of 2010.

Voters are split down the middle on whether Mr. Brown has been an “independent voice for Massachusetts” or “a partisan voice for the national Republican Party,” with 41 percent of voters picking each description.

The survey of 936 Massachusetts voters was conducted Friday through Sunday. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.2 percent.