February 7, 2006

Former Centrist, Now Liberal Matt Brown Pulling Even with Always Liberal Sheldon Whitehouse?

Carroll Andrew Morse

If Jim Baron of the Pawtucket Times thinks these numbers are worth reporting, then I am willing to accept that they have some meaning...

U.S. Senate candidate Matt Brown says a new poll shows he has caught up with and passed his Democratic primary opponent Sheldon Whitehouse.

The poll of 502 likely Democratic primary voters conducted by telephone on Feb. 1 and 2 shows Brown with a 38-36 percent lead over Whitehouse in the three-way contest. Nowhere does the poll mention the third candidate, Carl Sheeler, although he is counted as "other" and is credited with 3 percent support.

However, I won't go as far as to endorse the statement below until I see the Brown University poll results scheduled for release later this month...
"A chapter of this campaign has closed," [Matt Brown Campaign Spokesman Matt Burgess] declared. "Sheldon Whitehouse had an opportunity to end it. If he had taken a strong stand on the issues and campaigned aggressively, he might have been able to end the campaign early" using his upper hand in name recognition.

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Apparently, ROLL CALL is reporting the same tightening of the race.

Posted by: Marc Comtois at February 7, 2006 10:25 AM

This confirms something that I have heard and seen over the last 2-3 months. As we all know, Brown has been spending money in his tv blitz and though it may not be translating into dollars (see his last campaign finance report), it is translating into name and face recognition.

Both sides, GOP and Dem. have been keeping a close eye on the Brown campaign. So I ask, is there a real head of steam here, or is Brown going to peak early and fade fast? It's definately a gamble that has been raising some curiosities, but if I were Brown, I wouldn't get my hopes up quite yet - despite Sheldon's inability to form a complete sentence let alone campaign message.

Posted by: johnb at February 7, 2006 10:35 AM