A new poll from Suffolk University/7NEWS finds Sen. Scott Brown (R) and Harvard Law Professor Elizabeth Warren (D) in a dead heat, 48 percent to 47 percent. Suffolk last polled the race in February and found Brown had a nine-point lead.
Only five percent of voters are undecided.
Seventy-two percent of likely voters were aware of the controversy concerning Warren’s heritage and whether she used it to advance her career. Brown’s campaign has been hammering the issue for weeks, calling on Warren to release her academic records.
Of those who were aware of the story, 49 percent said Warren was telling the truth about being part Native American; 28 percent said she was not telling the truth; and 23 percent weren’t sure. Forty-one percent thought Warren benefited by listing herself as a minority in law school directories, while 45 percent said she did not.
But 69 percent of likely voters said that Warren’s Native American heritage listing is not a significant story, while 27 percent said that it is.
Columnist George Will made the case on Tuesday’s op-ed page that Warren’s claims about her ancestry is “pertinent because it is, in all its silliness, applied liberalism.”
The kerfuffle that has earned Warren such sobriquets as “Spouting Bull” and “Fauxcahontas” began with reports that Harvard Law School, in routine academic preening about diversity (in everything but thought), listed her as a minority faculty member, as did the University of Pennsylvania when she taught there. She said that some in her family had “high cheekbones like all of the Indians do.” The New England Historic Genealogical Society said that a document confirmed the family lore of Warren’s Cherokee ancestry, but it later backtracked. She has said that she did not know Harvard was listing her as a minority in the 1990s, but Harvard was echoing her: From 1986 through 1995, starting before she came to Harvard, a directory published by the Association of American Law Schools listed her as a minority and says its listings are based on professors claiming minority status.
[Check out what commenters are saying about this column in Rachel Manteuffel’s PostScript.]
So, although no evidence has been found that Warren is part Indian, for years two universities listed her as such. She has identified herself as a minority, as when, signing her name “Elizabeth Warren — Cherokee,” she submitted a crab recipe (Oklahoma crabs?) to a supposedly Indian cookbook. This is a political problem.
A poll taken before this controversy found her Republican opponent Scott Brown trouncing her on “likability,” 57 percent to 23 percent. Even Democrats broke for Brown 40 to 38. Now she is a comic figure associated with laughable racial preferences. She who wants Wall Street “held accountable” is accountable for two elite law schools advertising her minority status. She who accuses Wall Street of gaming the financial system at least collaborated with, and perhaps benefited from, the often absurd obsession with “diversity.”