BOSTON Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren crisscrossed Massachusetts on the final weekend of the campaign, imploring supporters to do everything possible to help get like-minded voters to the polls on Tuesday.
“Every vote counts,” Warren told supporters at a rally on Saturday in Boston’s Roxbury neighborhood. She said they must not only get themselves to the polls, but also make sure their family and friends vote and even offer neighbors a ride.
Brown, at a rally in Plymouth, delivered a similar message, urging backers to make as many phone calls and social media contacts as possible before Election Day.
The get-out-the-vote effort could be crucial to the outcome of the hard-fought campaign, which has been the most expensive U.S. Senate race in the country to date and among the races nationally that could determine control of the Senate for the next two years.
Warren was joined at the rally in Boston and one in Springfield by Gov. Deval Patrick and U.S Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader.
Lewis recalled meeting with President John F. Kennedy at the White House in 1963 to discuss the civil rights movement, and his long friendship with Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009. Brown won the seat with an upset victory in a special election in January 2010.
“We need for this state a senator in the tradition of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, in the tradition of Ted Kennedy,” Lewis said in his introduction of Warren to the boisterous crowd that included Edward Kennedy’s son, former U.S. Rep. Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island.
Brown, who continued his “people over party” bus tour on Saturday, said during his stop at Plimouth Plantation, a replica of the first Pilgrim settlement, that the Massachusetts Democratic party was eager to regain the seat Kennedy held for 47 years until his death.
“Make no mistake about it, folks, they want the so-called ‘Kennedy seat’ back … someone who will be in lockstep with their party, and they don’t want someone like me who will be an independent voter,” said Brown, repeating his claim to being the second most bipartisan senator in Washington.
Brown continued his push aimed at independents who make up a majority of the electorate in Massachusetts. He said with moderate Republican senators such as Indiana’s Richard Lugar and Maine’s Olympia Snowe leaving Washington in January, it was important to keep in office senators willing to compromise.
While other Republican candidates were featured at the rally, there was notably no mention of former Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, who is not expected to carry his home state.
Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, said the incumbent’s voting record showed he was not as bipartisan as he claimed.
“Scott Brown has some good votes, there is no doubt about that,” Warren said. “But too often he has stood with the millionaires, the billionaires, the big oil companies…and that’s not good enough.”
Warren also cited Brown’s votes against three Democratic jobs bills and a bill calling for equal pay for women.
Also on the stage with Warren was Angela Menino, who was filling in for her husband, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. The mayor remained at a Boston hospital Saturday recovering from a viral infection he contracted while on vacation in Italy, and a back injury.
Menino’s political organizational skills in Boston are legendary, and it remained to be seen what impact if any his illness might have on the Democrats’ get-out-the-vote effort in the city.
Brown also campaigned on Cape Cod Saturday and was rallying in Worcester, while Warren’s schedule also included a rally in Worcester.