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Monday, January 18, 2010

New poll released Mon. afternoon shows Scott Brown with 7-point edge over Martha Coakley

(CNN) - A new poll released Monday afternoon indicates that Republican Scott Brown has a 7-point edge over Democrat Martha Coakley in Tuesday's special election in Massachusetts for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's seat.

According to an American Research Group survey, 52 percent of likely voters back Brown, a state senator, with 45 percent supporting Coakley, the state's attorney general. Meanwhile, 2 percent back Joseph Kennedy, a third party candidate who is not related to the late senator. The 7-point advantage for Brown is just within the poll's sampling error.

Brown had a 48 to 45 percent advantage in an ARG poll released over the weekend.

The survey indicates 97 percent of likely Republican voters are backing Brown, independent voters supporting him 64 to 32 percent over Coakley, and nearly one out of 4 Democrats also supporting Brown.

A Suffolk University poll released Thursday indicated Brown held a 4-point lead. Other recent partisan and non-partisan surveys suggested the race was a dead heat.

The American Research Group poll was conducted Friday through Sunday, with 600 Massachusetts residents likely to vote in Tuesday's election questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Also Monday the non-partisan Rothenberg Political Report changed its prediction of the race from "toss up" to "lean Republican." Another well respected non-partisan political report, the Cook Political Report, has the race rated as a "toss up," but notes in its analysis of the race that "we put a finger on the scale for Brown."

-CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report  (SOURCE CNN)

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