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Massachusetts Senate Victor Likely to Claim Edge From People’s Pledge

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call
Harry Ricker, a GOP supporter, is surrounded Friday by supporters of Democratic Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren in Melrose, Mass.

Polls continue to show a close contest between the two, but the dynamics of a Senate election in a presidential year in a state that President Barack Obama will comfortably carry inherently favor Warren. And while the race tilts in her direction, the fact that the incumbent has kept it close is a testament to his solid campaign, his excellent retail politicking and his likability in places such as Lowell, the largest city he won in the 2010 special election. It is a primarily blue-collar old mill city of about 100,000 people.

 In 2008, Lowell voted by a strong margin for Obama, but in January 2010, the city went 52 percent for Brown, then a little-known state Senator.

On Sunday, not long before the New England Patriots football game, a few patrons were watching TV here at Worthen House Cafe. 

Tim, who asked that his last name not be used, sat sipping a beer. Like most voters in the Commonwealth, he’s unenrolled with either party and plans on voting for Obama in two weeks. And, like most voters, he likes Brown personally, but he’s still undecided on the Senate race. 

He sees all the “mudslinging” ads on TV, which he compared to a nasty divorce. “‘You did that! ‘No, I didn’t, but you did this!’” 

He’s not sure who to believe about Brown’s claims in attack ads about Warren.

Tim explained that he doesn’t particularly care for politics and would make up his mind Nov. 6 when he gets to the voting booth.

Whoever he and similarly undecided voters cast their ballot for will win this race. And the People’s Pledge will play a part in the loser’s political post-mortem.

“If we win, everybody will say it was genius,” the Brown campaign aide said. “If we lose everyone will point the finger at it.”

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