The Wages of Congress Catch Up with Scott Brown

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The August debt debacle seriously undermined an already skeptical public’s view of their representatives in Washington. Senator Scott Brown, once remarkably well-loved for a Republican in Blue Mass., seems to have been tarred by a summer of D.C. run-amokery. Here’s (democratically affiliated) Public Policy Polling:

Early last December, when PPP first looked at the race, 53% approved and only 29% disapproved of his job performance. That fell to 48-36 in June. Only three months later, he sits at 44-45, moving him in only nine months from the 16th to the 61st most popular of 87 senators on which PPP has polled.

It’s not just his job approval that’s evened out either. Elizabeth Warren’s introductory courtship of Bay Staters looks to be going well for her. “In June, 21% had a favorable impression of her and 17% an unfavorable one. That is now 40-22,” says PPP. The headline of the survey is that Warren is now within the margin of error in a head-to-head with Brown, and that none of Warren’s Democratic rivals, despite having been in the race for longer, are as well known–or as much of a threat to Brown–as the Harvard professor. It’s entirely possible this one datapoint in an outlier, but Warren will have many advantages in this race: an unpopular Congress, deep-pocketed national liberal donors lined up around the block, President Obama at the top of the ballot, and, most importantly, a heavily Democratic Massachusetts electorate. And it could be an important one for her party.