“This victory belongs to you,” she told a raucous and jam-packed crowd at her headquarters in Boston. “You did this for every family that has been squeezed and hammered. We are going to fight for a level playing field and we are going to put people back to work. To all the small-business owners who are tired of a system rigged against them, we’re going to hold the big guys accountable.”
“I will always carry your stories in my heart,” Warren said. “I will be your champion.”
Just moments earlier, Brown, a pickup truck-driving Republican who stunned the political establishment by winning a special election after Kennedy’s death, conceded the race to Warren.
“You know what the most difficult part is?” Brown, who won over voters in this bluest of blue states with his considerable regular-guy charm, asked supporters Tuesday night. “I now have to be breaking the news to my truck that I’ll be taking it home.”
Progressives cast the victory as a “historic moment” for working families, saying Warren would “shake up the corridors of power from Washington to Wall Street.” Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) said it was not only “a big night for Massachusetts but an enormous night for our country.”
In the end, it was a contest that cost more than $70 million, one of the most expensive Senate race in the country and among the most closely watched, with Democrats needing a Warren victory to help them retain their majority in the chamber. Money poured into Warren’s campaign coffers from around the country — more than $38 million in all — funding a steady stream of ads but, more importantly, a formidable ground operation that eventually drew strong union support and deployed tens of thousands of volunteers to doors and phones across the state.
Democrats, who have a 3-to-1 advantage over Republicans here, were determined not to repeat 2010.
A key to Warren’s victory may have been an assist from Gov. Deval Patrick (D), who helped mobilize the state’s famous Democratic machine on her behalf. Critical support also came from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who told members of the labor confederaiton only weeks ago that “it’s crazy not to vote for her because she’s a woman, or because she’s a college professor, or for any other superficial reason.”
Warren ran as an unapologetic progressive, pledging to stand up for working families against Wall Street greed and saying she would not shy away from raising taxes or cutting the military budget to pay for priorities such as education. Warren also made a direct appeal to women, pledging to support equal pay for equal work and to safeguard abortion rights.