THOSE EFFETE ELITIST OKLAHOMA CHEROKEES
Hey, Scott Brown, how's that all-Indian-all-the-time campaign workin' out for ya?
Despite a five-week drubbing over her claims to Native American heritage, Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren remains neck and neck with US Senator Scott Brown, a Republican, as she heads into Saturday’s state party convention, a new Globe poll shows.
... the bottom line is that the race remains a toss-up, with Brown leading Warren 39 percent to 37 percent, largely unchanged from the Globe's March poll that also showed Brown leading by two percentage points.
I think the problem for Brown is that his brand (phony as it may be) is "truck-drivin' regular guy," and he began the campaign by trying to persuade voters that Elizabeth Warren is a horrible Harvard elitist (he's been in the habit of calling her "Professor Warren" at every opportunity) ... but when his campaign began to fixate on the Cherokee-ancestry story, all it did was remind people that she's from Oklahoma and she's the kind of person who could conceivably have a Cherokee ancestor -- and actually wants to believe she has a Cherokee ancestor. What could be less elitist than being from Oklahoma? And having ancestors who lived in Indian Territory and mingled with Native Americans? What could be less Prius/arugula/Hollyweird? It's way more heartland than owning a barn coat.
Warren is still in a struggle -- she's not beating the guy and the Cherokee issue has hurt her among independents:
The vast majority of voters (72 percent) said the issue would not affect their vote, but 31 percent of self-described independents - a critical voting bloc - said the issue makes them less likely to support Warren in November.
But I'm not sure that's a meaningful stat -- Democratic governor Deval Patrick won reelection in 2010, but exit polls showed that he lost independents, 53%-38%. A lot of teabaggers these days like to call themselves independents; they claim they hate both parties, and that's partially true, but it's only because they think both parties are insufficiently right-wing.
Warren's biggest problem is that voters in the state still think Brown is a swell guy -- according to the poll, he has a 60% job approval number, and 52% think he's more likable than Warren. They don't know he's owned by Wall Street.
Warren needs to work on that last item -- but beyond that, I think she has to run against the GOP, not against Brown. He's the Eddie Haskell of politics, and he's made an entire state his Mrs. Cleaver. It's probably impossible to get voters to dislike him.