Elizabeth Warren raised $5.7 million over the last three months of 2011 for her challenge to Republican Senator Scott Brown who currently sits in the seat once occupied by Ted Kennedy. That haul of cash is twice what Brown raised in the same quarter. Warren still has a long way to go to match Brown dollar for dollar – he has $12.8 million cash on hand – but she has something that Brown has lost.
She is not just her party’s nominee; her candidacy is a cause for liberals nationwide.
When Scott Brown was running against Martha Coakley, that’s the status he had. Conservative activists had one shot to take away Senate support for Obamacare, and nationwide they rallied to him. Hard as it is to believe now, they were so excited by Brown they even began talking him up as a potential presidential nominee. Since then, Brown has proven to be a moderate on many issues and has lost that national buzz..
It may be to Brown’s misfortune that Warren has this “it factor” among liberals now.
W James Antle III of The American Spectator writes
She is both a darling of and an intellectual influence behind the Occupy Wall Street movement (despite earnings that make her a member of the 1 per cent). Many fervently hoped Warren would be appointed head of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She’s collecting lots of money from liberal voters who would now like her to hold a different job: United States senator.
Warren’s candidacy is the rallying point for liberals who believe Wall Street exercises too much power over the American Republic. She stands for re-regulating it, and promoting a vision of America as a commonwealth, where everyone has a stake in each other’s success. Videos of Elizabeth Warren on YouTube draw a disproportionate amount of interest for a heretofore unknown Senate candidate.
Other candidates have benefitted from this phenomena of becoming the beloved mascot for their particular ideological brand.
Ron Paul in the House, and his son Rand Paul in the Senate have been opposed by the established leaders of their parties. Rand Paul faced a primary challenge from Kentucky’s Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who was endorsed by Dick Cheney and a legion of Republican luminaries like Rudy Giuliani and Rick Santorum. It didn’t matter. Paul’s name became synonymous with insurgent Tea Party challengers, and he attracted his father’s devoted following. Nearly 70 per cent of his contributions came from out of state.
Warren is similarly seeing a huge surge of “out of state” contributions to her campaign.
It’s a new age of politics. It is easier than ever to energize and consolidate the support of an ideological cohort nationwide through YouTube, social media, and e-mail campaigns. Warren has done this and she’s going to give the well-funded Brown the fight of his political life.