Republican U.S. Senator Scott Brown drives a GMC pickup while Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren has a hybrid Ford SUV. She rakes in Hollywood cash. He draws on Wall Street. He calls her elitist. She brands him extremist.
In what’s shaping up to be the costliest Senate race in Massachusetts history, at a projected $40 million, Brown, 52, and Warren, 62, are waging what Boston University mass communication professor John Carroll calls “a war of imagery” to win votes.
It’s a battle fought in terms of association, Carroll said. “She’s trying to paint him as politically out of step and he’s trying to paint her as culturally out of step.”
Senate control may hinge on the outcome, says Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan political analyst in Washington. The Tea Party-fueled capture of the seat long held by Democrat Ted Kennedy in January 2010 prefaced a Republican resurgence to seize the U.S. House later that year. Brown is now seeking a full term and Warren — the Harvard Law School professor passed over by President Barack Obama to run the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau she helped create — has one of the best shots to take back what her party lost, Rothenberg said.