In Massachusetts, Elizabeth Warren took on Wall Street with her demands for more financial reform, which made her a top target of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and banking industry PACs. She defended Obamacare; hammered her opponent, incumbent Sen. Scott Brown, for voting against equal pay for women; and attacked the Romney/Ryan plan to “voucherize” Medicare. She took the lead and kept it after her Democratic National Convention speech, in which she boldly announced, “We don’t run this country for corporations, we run it for people.”
The campaign chose to emphasize Warren’s leadership in the fight for a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It established her populist credentials and defined the theme for the campaign. The people over the powerful.
“People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: they’re right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOs—the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs—still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them. Anyone here have a problem with that? Well I do.”
Warren sharply drew the contrast between herself as the real fighter for the middle class and protector of those who have been overlooked, and Brown as a poseur beholden to Wall Street. Her campaign was fueled almost entirely by individual donors, more than any other Senate race in the country, while Brown received significant direct contributions from political action committees.
She also highlighted Brown’s votes against the interests of working women. In one of her debates with Brown, she said, “He’s had exactly one chance to vote for equal pay for equal work. And he voted No. He had exactly one chance to vote for insurance coverage for birth control and other preventive services for women. He voted No. And he had exactly one chance to vote for a pro-choice woman from Massachusetts to the United States Supreme Court. And he voted No. Those are bad votes for women.”
Warren was behind going into the convention. Public Policy Polling, for instance, had her down by 5% in their late August poll, by 49-44%.
Warren’s campaign had taken a six-point lead going into election day, at 52% to 46%