[Cross-posted on Blue Mass Group.]
Republican Scott Brown has to be pretty disappointed today, if not significantly worried. His top political opponent went from "likely Democratic nominee" to "presumptive Democratic nominee" after an historic display of support and Democratic Party unity.
Further, if that momentum wasn't enough, two new polls - from the Boston Globe and the Springfield Republican - came out showing Massachusetts' 2012 U.S. Senate race within the margin of error. The Boston Globe poll put Brown up two points. The Springfield Republican poll, however, put Democrat Elizabeth Warren up two points, a big swing back from the Republican's February poll showing Brown up eight.
On top of that, the Globe poll noted that 72% of voters won't let the fake controversy manufactured by the Boston Herald and Scott Brown's campaign affect their votes, mirroring the recent Suffolk poll that found that 69% of voters did not think that the fake controversy was a significant story. This is a major gut-punch for Republican Scott Brown, given that prolonging this sideshow distraction has been Brown's main focus for the last month.
If Brown hasn't been able to bank a sizable lead in the polls after more than a month of negative press for Warren focused on the fake controversy, what will he do once attention returns to his own partisan voting record? We may begin to find out this week as the U.S. Senate is expected to take up the Paycheck Fairness Act on Tuesday. You may recall that, two years ago, Republican Scott Brown joined the right-wing Republican filibuster to kill the Paycheck Fairness Act, a measure that would make it easier for victims of gender-based discrimination in the payment of wages to seek redress. This serves as yet another reminder of Brown's terrible record and rhetoric when it comes to issues primarily affecting women.
Republican Scott Brown's terrible record on women isn't his only detractor. His close ties to Wall Street remain a trademark of his Senate tenure. The Springfield Republican highlighted that the financial industry "keeps cash flowing" into Brown's campaign coffers. As a reminder on this point, ProgressMass offered this bit of satire that you're encouraged to share on your Facebook Wall by clicking on the graphic:
Republican Scott Brown has also been stepping on his own feet quite a bit. First, in a classless move, Brown took a shot at Elizabeth Warren's deceased parents. Second, Brown held a campaign fundraiser at a country club with a historic reputation of being "closed to Jews." (For someone focusing primarily on issues of heritage lately, one would think that Brown would be more sensitive in this area.) Third, Brown released a new television ad that was chock full of misleading statements and distortions of his record.
Perhaps Republican Scott Brown's numerous errors explain why, even though Warren was the first to call for debates between Warren & Brown, almost immediately after effectively securing the Democratic nomination, Brown is desperate to lock in the first debate on friendly territory, right-leaning talk radio.
As always, this week saw a number of Massachusetts residents unhappy with Republican Scott Brown's "representation" submitting letters to the editor of their local newspapers to voice their discontent. In the Attleboro Sun Chronicle, an Attleboro resident took issue with Brown's support for the anti-woman Blunt Amendment and his close ties to Wall Street. In the MetroWest Daily News, a Holliston resident reminded that Brown takes his "marching orders" from Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell. Two Cape Cod Times letters criticized Brown: one from an Orleans resident noting Brown's support for Big Oil and opposition to Cape Wind, the other from a Yarmouthport resident calling out Brown for consistently taking "the low road." It's not a shock that Republican Scott Brown has a habit of taking the low road given that his attack dog campaign manager is a protégé of Karl Rove.
The month of May focused largely on a fake controversy that was supposed to do political damage to Republican Scott Brown's opponent, but didn't. Will the month of June focus more on Brown's record in the U.S. Senate (y'know, issues that actually matter)? Republican Scott Brown hopes not. Until next week, stay tuned for the next "Weekly Scott Brown-d Up."