Being the biggest enemy of the big banks just paid off nicely for Elizabeth Warren’s campaign
Elizabeth Warren just caught the political world by surprise, announcing that her campaign raised nearly $7 million in the first three months of the year. That’s more than twice the amount that her opponent, Republican incumbent Scott Brown, brought in, and it apparently represents one of the biggest quarterly hauls ever posted by a Senate candidate.
This is further confirmation that what was initially seen as one of Warren’s chief liabilities as a candidate – Wall Street’s hostility toward her, and its dedication to pouring money into Brown’s campaign – is just as much a strength. Her reputation among progressives as a rare, uncorrupted advocate of the 99 percent has made her campaign a magnet for donations from across the country. Brown still has more money in the bank (about $15 million) than Warren, but it’s beginning to look like neither candidate will enjoy a decisive financial advantage in this race.
The most recent poll for the Boston Globe put Brown ahead of Warren by 2 points, 37 to 35 percent, even though Brown’s personal favorable rating is a very healthy 54-29 percent. This speaks to the challenge Brown faces running as a Republican for federal office in deep blue Massachusetts. Traditionally, voters in the state have been more willing to disregard party label in gubernatorial races. Bill Weld was elected in 1990 and reelected in a landslide in 1994, Paul Cellucci won a term in 1998, and Mitt Romney scored a 7-point victory in 2002. But Brown’s 2010 special election win stands as the only GOP Senate victory since 1972, when the very liberal Ed Brooke earned a second term.
Consequently, as Greg Sargent recently argued, the Brown-Warren race probably hinges more on Warren’s image than on Brown’s. That is to say: Voters clearly like Brown but are tempted to throw him out anyway, presumably because of his partisan affiliation. The question is whether they will ultimately conclude that Warren is an acceptable alternative – which is why the Brown campaign has been aggressively caricaturing her as a liberal elitist.
The attacks haven’t hurt Warren too much, at least so far. Her own favorable score in the Globe poll stood at 47-23 percent. But there are still seven months to go, and both sides seem to agree that the election will be decided by a point or two either way. A level financial playing field will help Warren fight back against Brown’s caricaturing efforts. Democrats also believe that her own charismatic personality (the one that was showcased in a viral video last fall) will blunt Brown’s attacks – that voters watching Warren in debates and interviews will immediately conclude that the caricature doesn’t mesh with reality.
Steve Kornacki writes about politics for Salon. Reach him by email at SKornacki@salon.com and follow him on Twitter @SteveKornacki More Steve Kornacki.
More Related Stories
- Limbaugh: No one willing to impeach the first black president
- Top White House aides knew about IRS probe but didn't tell Obama
- Gohmert: IRS would've "probably shot the Boston Tea Party participants"
- Oregon senator proposes appeal to Monsanto Protection Act
- Supreme Court to rule on prayer at government meetings
- Beltway scandal machine breaks, knows nothing about America
- Top GOP official: "Sometimes our party does not value" women "as much"
- Colorado Dems fight back against GOP's Voter ID measures
- Watchdogs: ABC "in danger of losing a lot of credibility" on Benghazi saga
- Father of gay high school student arrested for dating classmate speaks out
- IRS meltdown was long overdue
- Can a liberal wonk save the Senate?
- Arkansas treasurer charged with extortion
- Corporate greed is poisoning America -- literally
- The new geography of poverty
- Barack Obama: Incidental black man?
- Obama to all-male university graduates: Be the best husband to "your boyfriend or partner"
- Big Soda SNAP-ing up billions off government programs
- The truth in Kanye's anti-prison rap
- Tea Party Patriots push nationwide anti-IRS rallies
- GOP attorney general candidate tried to force women to report miscarriages to police
Featured Slide Shows
The week in 10 picsclose X
- 1 of 11
Lisa Montgomery embraces her nephew Thursday after a tornado tore apart her home in Cleburne, Texas. The twister killed six people and destroyed entire swaths of the North Texas town.
Credit: AP/LM Otero
Jack McMahon, the defense attorney for abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, speaks outside the Criminal Justice Center in Philadelphia Tuesday. His client was convicted of killing three babies in his clinic, and will serve multiple life sentences.
Credit: AP/Matt Rourke
A photo taken Monday captures Vice President Joe Biden's response to a Milwaukee second-grader's innovative proposal to end America's epidemic of gun violence. This guy!
Credit: AP/Jenny Aicher
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., flanked by a grouper-eyed Michele Bachmann, addresses the IRS' admission that it targeted Tea Party groups in advance of the 2012 election. In an op-ed for CNN Thursday, the Kentucky senator slammed the president for his faux outrage.
Credit: AP/Molly Riley
Ousted IRS chief Steven Miller is sworn in on Capitol Hill Friday. Miller testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on the extra scrutiny the agency gave conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status.
Credit: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Attorney General Eric Holder pauses as he testifies on Capitol Hill before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. Holder is under fire, among other things, for the Justice Department's gathering of phone records at the Associated Press.
Credit: AP/Carolyn Kaster
O.J. Simpson sits during an evidentiary hearing at Clark County District Court in Las Vegas, Nev., Thursday. Simpson, who is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison for armed robbery and kidnapping, is using a writ of habeas corpus to seek a new trial.
Credit: AP/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Jeff Scheid
Major Tom to ground control: On Sunday astronaut Chris Hadfield recorded the first music video from space, a cover of David Bowie's "Space Oddity."
Credit: AP/NASA/Chris Hadfield
When it rains it pours. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference Thursday with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, inexplicably inspiring an #umbrellagate Twitter meme.
Credit: AP/Jacquelyn Martin
A smoke plume rises high above a road block at the intersection of County A and Ross Road east of Solon Springs, Wis., Tuesday. No injuries were reported, but the the wildfire caused evacuations across northwestern Wisconsin.
Credit: AP/The Duluth News-Tribune/Clint Austin
Recent Slide Shows
- 1 of 11
War Room is our political news and commentary blog, with coverage and commentary throughout the day.