So since Elizabeth Warren first hinted at running, Republicans have been referring to her as "Professor Warren." It was a curious line of attack, given that Massachusetts is rightly proud of the myriad colleges and universities in the states, including top institutions like Harvard and MIT. I spent three years attending Boston University's School of Law, and never came across anyone who was overtly hostile to education. This isn't Todd Akin territory.
A poll last October suggested that her Harvard gig would actually help her, but Republicans persisted. I mocked them later that month:
Rather, look at the use of "professor" as an invective, as if Massachusetts is allergic to higher education. They're not. In fact, the state has 121 institutions of higher education, including some of the best in the world. Warren isn't running in Alabama or Mississippi, where being a professor (among other things) might be disqualifying to Republican voters.But still, Republicans thought they could score points by pointing out that Warren is really smart and teaches kids stuff. Dastardly!
But until today, no one had polled that very line of attack. The results from PPP are hilarious:
Republicans have been very consistent in referring to Elizabeth Warren as a professor over the last year but that may not be the best framing. 57% of Massachusetts voters have a favorable opinion of college professors to 19% with a negative one. The breakdown is 79/5 among Democrats, but GOP voters do have a negative opinion of professors with 33% rating them favorably to 42% with a unfavorable opinion.It's 22/56 among the "very conservative," who don't like to be challenged on the "Adam and Eve" and "Jesus rode dinosaurs" narratives. So yeah, even Massachusetts Republicans hate knowledge and education and smartness. Just ask Rick Santorum. But what they are all forgetting is that Massachusetts isn't the typical state Republicans contest at the Senate level.
49.1-44.6. Unlike the presidential, the debates went well for our team, with Brown screwing up and admitting that his favorite Supreme Court justice was arch-conservative Antonin Scalia.
But nothing betrays GOP incompetence like repeatedly calling Warren something that has a 57-19 approval rating in the state. Did they not poll this themselves? Did they not focus-group test it? Because every time they've "attacked" Warren with the professor label, they've been inadvertently boosting her candidacy.
So let's show conservatives that we appreciate educators by sending $3 to Elizabeth Warren and the three other candidates on our Orange to Blue list who have taught in a classroom. Because, you know, we like smart people who work to make others smarter.