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Warren leads in Massachusetts Senate race

Elizabeth Warren speaks with voters as she campaigns after announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Framingham
Elizabeth Warren speaks with voters as she campaigns after announcing her candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Framingham

BOSTON (Reuters) - Democrat Elizabeth Warren, a prominent consumer activist and former official in President Barack Obama's administration, leads Republican Senator Scott Brown in her bid for a Senate seat from Massachusetts, a new poll shows.

Warren, who is also a Harvard Law School professor, had 49 percent support for the seat against 42 percent support for Brown, in the University of Massachusetts at Lowell/Boston Herald survey released late on Wednesday.

The survey of 505 registered voters was taken December 1-6 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 5.3 percentage points.

The previous UMass survey taken in late September, a few weeks after Warren announced her run, showed Brown ahead by 41 percent to 38 percent.

Warren has campaigned heavily and recently ran a television advertisement about her life story, raising her name recognition with voters.

Brown won a special election in January 2010 to fill the remainder of the late Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy's term. Kennedy died of a brain tumor in August 2009.

Republicans are eager to hold the seat, which Democrats see as perhaps their best chance to pick up a seat in 2012.

Progressive groups have thrown fund-raising muscle behind Warren, a long-time critic of Wall Street.

Warren created the Obama administration's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and led a panel created by Congress to examine how bank bailout money was being spent.

By a ten-point margin, those surveyed in the UMass poll said Warren would do a better job looking out for middle class families.

(Reporting by Ros Krasny, editing by Philip Barbara)

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