Consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren is in a dead heat with Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) in the latest poll results for the 2012 election for a Massachusetts Senate seat.

The poll, conducted by University of Massachusetts-Lowell and the Boston Herald, shows Democrat Warren polling at 38 percent, trailing Brown's 41 percent. However, the margin of error is 3.8 percent, meaning the two presumptive contenders are virtually tied.

Warren officially declared her candidacy September 14. A survey by the Democrat-affiliated Public Policy Polling group less than a week after she declared showed a surge of support for Warren, pinning her two points above Brown — also within the margin of error. Brown, however, was spotted in the halls of Congress expressing shock and unhappiness at Warren's poll gains. The sitting senator had commenced attacks on Warren even before she had officially announced her candidacy for the seat, which Brown won in a special election after Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) died in office. The 2012 election is for the first for a full Senate term after Kennedy's death.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) and former Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) also polled well against Brown, better than Warren, but both men have said they have no plans to run for the seat.

Warren's lack of name recognition could also contribute to her yo-yoing poll status: 37 percent of respondents said they had never heard of her, though she is the most popular of the six Democrats who have thrown their hats into the ring so far.

Warren is seen as a staunch consumer advocate and her campaign is built around strengthening and protecting the middle class, a hot topic in the current economic climate. She was previously an adviser to President Barack Obama and created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“I really like what (Warren) did with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau,” Democrat Irene Daly, a poll respondent, told the Herald. “I like her commitment to not protect the big banks.”

Creative Commons image via flickr user mdfriendofhillary.