Can Warren Win?

Andrew Sullivan —  Sep 6 2012 @ 7:36pm

Kornacki wonders if her speech was effective:

We’ll see if the speech (and the news coverage it generates) boosts her in Massachusetts. If it doesn’t, her next best chance to shake up the race will probably be her debates with Brown. The forum is promising for Warren, conducive to the sort of unrehearsed riffing that produced her viral moment last year. She may need to come up with another one if she’s going to unseat Brown.

A reader adds to our earlier discussion:

There's another reason Warren is flagging in Massachusetts. She spent six weeks in May and June fending off questions about why she has repeatedly lied throughout her career about a Native American heritage. What's remarkable is that you haven't seized on this decades-long cynical ploy of hers to leverage identity politics into a career boost at every level. There's a reason she steered clear of meeting with Native Americans in Charlotte this week – she's not one of them, and she knows it.


I'm a lifelong MA resident. I was watching TV the other night, and ads for both candidates came on TV. Scott Brown's ad talked about local issues, including pressures that the fishing industry faces from federal regulations. Elizabeth Warren's ad was pretty much exclusively about the Republican "war on women," focusing on equal pay, access to contraception, and a woman's right to choose.  And this, in a nutshell, is why I think that she's down in this election.

She's forgotten the maxim that "all politics is local," and is desperately trying to tie Brown to the right-wing fringe, despite the fact that he was one of the first to come out against Akin and has pushed for more inclusiveness in the GOP platform. While I believe that the women's issues focused on by Warren are incredibly important, I feel like they're more abstract to the average MA voter, who knows that abortion will never be made illegal in this state absent a constitutional amendment. I think that if she'd focus more on local issues and all of the Republican filibusters that Brown has supported, she'd have a much better chance in this election.

I also feel that, outside of certain bubbles (including Cambridge, where Ms. Warren has lived for the entirety of her time in this state), MA is better classified as one of the least conservative states rather than the most liberal. The majority of residents here identify as independents rather than Democrats, and we have a long habit of electing moderate Republican governors to balance out our majority Democrat legislature. Perhaps running as a fairly liberal candidate against an extremely likable moderate isn't the best way to appeal to voters in this state?