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Democrat Warren Tops Brown In Mass. Senate Race

Democrat Elizabeth Warren waves to the crowd before giving her victory speech after defeating incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race (Michael Dwyer/AP)

Elizabeth Warren waves to the crowd before giving her victory speech after defeating incumbent GOP Sen. Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race (Michael Dwyer/AP)

BOSTON — Democrat Elizabeth Warren has been elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts. Warren defeated Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Scott Brown by an eight-point margin, 54 to 48 percent.

Warren began her career in politics by taking on Wall Street, and she promised to do the same now that she’s headed to the Senate.

“To all the small business owners who are tired of the system rigged against them, we’re going to hold the big guys accountable,” Warren told the crowd filling the ballroom Tuesday night at the Fairmont Copley Plaza Hotel in Boston’s Back Bay.

Warren was lifted by a surge of voters in Tuesday’s election. When Brown won two years ago, a little over 2 million people voted. Tuesday, more than 3 million people did. Warren’s team was confident early on that many of those extra million voters would fall their way.

The Massachusetts Democratic Party reached out to Democrats who had not voted in the last three elections. Many of them live in cities and are African American or Latino. And voters in some Boston neighborhoods and other cities waited in hour-long lines to cast ballots.

In her victory speech, Warren recognized the extent to which she owes her election to that grassroots effort.

“And despite the odds, you elected the first woman senator from the state of Massachusetts.”
– Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren

“This was a campaign that broke records, raising more money from small donors than any Senate campaign in the history of this country, and knocking on more doors than any Senate race in Massachusetts, an amazing campaign, and let me be clear, I didn’t build that, you built that,” Warren said.

That last remark, of course, was a joke about her own comments during the campaign on what makes a successful business.

Warren also recognized the historic nature of her election.

“And despite the odds, you elected the first woman senator from the state of Massachusetts,” she said.

In his concession speech, Brown smiled warmly as he urged his supporters to accept defeat.

“Listen, she won it fair and square folks, and she has received the high honor of holding the people’s seat and may she bring that Senate office great credit, just as I set out to do nearly three years ago,” Brown said.

Brown remains a popular figure, but voters cited other factors as more compelling.

That was the case with Ryan Johnson, who cast a ballot for Warren in Weymouth.

“I honestly did not have strong objections to Scott Brown,” Johnson said. “I’m very uncomfortable with a lot of the senator’s views in other parts of the country and the power they would have if I voted for Scott Brown should the Republicans gain a majority in the Senate.”

Sen. Scott Brown, during his concession speech (Dominick Reuter for WBUR)

Sen. Scott Brown, during his concession speech (Dominick Reuter for WBUR)

The cornerstone of Warren’s campaign was that a vote for Brown was a vote for Republican control of the Senate. But Warren supporters cited other reasons to back her. Susan Smith, also in Weymouth, had several.

“I’ve been following her for many years, actually, before I knew she had any political ambitions,” Smith said. “She’s a smart lady and I’d just like to see the change. I’d like to see a woman representing Massachusetts.”

Women helped elect Warren. A University of Massachusetts exit poll (PDF) found that Warren had a 20-point lead among women, while the two candidates were pretty even among men. Warren’s support among women transcended the fact of her gender. Libby Williams voted for Warren in Waltham.

“She talks more about helping with education than Scott Brown,” Williams said.

Brown won most of the towns he won two years ago. The difference is in the margins. Warren cut into Brown’s margins in the towns on his side. But more significanctly, people who don’t normally vote turned out for Warren in large numbers in the cities.

This post was updated with Morning Edition feature content. How’d your town vote?:

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  • Jasoturner

    Brown could have won this but for a couple of strategic mistakes.  I must admit, though, that his unctuous use of “professor” really turned me off.  Like a regular voter should look at someone who is extremely educated as a disdained “elite”.  I wonder if Brown would be bummed out if one of his daughters rose to that level in the academy…I certainly hope not.

  • Sinclair2

    I was thinking back as to what it was like to  hear Sarah Palin’s ubiquitous voice speaking four years ago, and recalling her avoiding questions as to what she reads, etc.  Then we had the recent sound of Elizabeth Warren’s civilized voice of reason and as one you wouldn’t think of asking what she read. 

    We also had Warren’s opposition accusing her of being an elitist.  No wonder this country is polarized. 

    • KathyS

      Of course your creepy stalker reference to Palin is not being “polarizing”. On one side of your mouth you have a need to demonize and then on the other side of your mouth you complain of others not wanting to work together. Start looking in your own mirrows before pointing fingers at others.

      • Sinclair2

        KathyS”: “Jasoturner” makes a good point below.

        How could I be demonizing when I only repeated Palin’s history of refusing to answer the question regarding what she reads? This concern is about her qualifications (or lack thereof). Why do people accuse well educated persons like Elizabeth Warren of being elitists?

        Set your politics aside and take a hard look at how Warren got to her present position as a Harvard professor. She is a role model for all women who seek the highest of goals through adult education programs. Right wing Republican Carly Fiorina is another great role model who started from nowhere, yet she’s too far to the right for me. She could run circles around Sarah Palin. She’s well educated, wealthy and was never accused of being an elitist (because she’s from the right).

  • sjw81

    Great news. Our first women senator from MA, as well as first Native American!

    • Milton

      One of the assertions is true. The other is up for discussion.

  • Sinclair2

    See below.

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