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Scott Brown Leads Martha Coakley in New Massachusetts Senate Poll

A new survey shows GOP Senate candidate Scott Brown marginally beating Democratic candidate Martha Coakley in the race to fill the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat, the first time a major poll has put Brown in the lead.

Brown, a state senator, is beating state attorney general Coakley 50 percent to 46 percent, according to a new Suffolk University/7News poll. Brown's lead is within the poll's 4.4-point margin of error, but it still represents "a massive change in the political landscape" of the solidly blue state, Suffolk's Political Research Center director David Paleologos told the Boston Herald.

While independents surveyed decidedly favor Brown (65 percent) over Coakley (30 percent), even 17 percent of Democrats reported they prefer Brown.

The Democratic party is pulling out all the stops to try to make their supporters understand how close the race has become and how critical the race is. Even President Obama recorded a robo-call message for the state of Massachusetts.

"I rarely make these calls, and I truly apologize for intruding on your day," the president says. "[Martha Coakley] represents the best progressive values of Massachusetts. She'll be your voice and my ally."

Additionally, in one of its latest e-mails to supporters about the race, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee sends a message from Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), who spearheaded health care reform efforts once Kennedy fell ill.

"Health care was the cause of my friend Ted Kennedy's life," Dodd wrote. "So it sickens me that the Republican running to take Ted's place is vowing to be the 41st vote to kill health care reform."

Sen. Kennedy's widow Vicki has also recorded a television ad on behalf of the Coakley campaign.

The Suffolk poll suggests, however, health care may not be the issue with which to mobilize voters -- 51 percent of voters surveyed said they oppose the "national near-universal health-care package."

Marc Ambinder's Analysis: Why Obama Is Going to Massachusetts
Scott Brown Vs. Martha Coakley: A Primer
Obama to Campaign for Martha Coakley in Massachusetts
Could Massachusetts End Dems' Senate Supermajority?
More on the Race from CBS Station WBZ-TV in Boston

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