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Warren, Brown deadlocked in Mass. as Sandy cancels final debate

October 31, 2012|By Morgan Little
  • Sen. Scott Brown shows off a shirt as he works the parking lots at Boston College before an NCAA college football game in Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Sen. Scott Brown shows off a shirt as he works the parking lots at Boston College… (John Wilcox / Boston Herald…)

One of the tightest Senate races in the country is nearing its conclusion, with super storm Sandy canceling Tuesday’s debate between the deadlocked Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren.

The expensive Massachusetts race, pitting the liberal icon Warren against the self-described independent incumbent, has already played host to three earlier debates, but with Sandy battering the state, both campaigns opted to miss their final opportunity to fight face-to-face.

“It is unfortunate that nature intervened in a way we all agreed made it inappropriate to carry on with the scheduled debate. With only days remaining in the campaign, and with a long-planned bus tour kicking off Thursday through election day that will take Scott Brown to every corner of the commonwealth, our calendar simply cannot accommodate a rescheduling of this fourth debate and the planning and preparation that would go into it,” Brown’s communications director Colin Reed said in a statement.

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But given the back-and-forth rhetoric throughout the campaign, it comes as no surprise that the campaigns took the opportunity to use the cancellation to point fingers.

“Sen. Brown is pleased to have participated in three major televised debates, and regrets that professor Warren refused two additional earlier debate opportunities that he accepted,” Reed added.

“Unfortunately but not surprisingly, Scott Brown is again ducking questions about his record voting on the side of big oil and billionaires and against equal pay for equal work, against a pro-choice Supreme Court justice and against insurance coverage for birth control,” Warren’s campaign manager Mindy Myers said in a statement. “Elizabeth agreed to additional debates that Brown refused in Worcester and the South Coast as well as a forum hosted by the NAACP.”

Though Warren had seemingly pulled ahead in polling conducted earlier in the campaign, a new Boston Globe poll conducted last week has Brown with a slim lead, 45% to 43%, within the poll’s 4.1 percentage point margin of error.

Looking to seal the deal, Brown’s campaign is pushing his “independent tradition” during the home stretch, releasing a final ad Wednesday imparting upon voters that they will be choosing “the person, not the party.”

“Every day I hold this office, I will give all that is in me to serve you well and make you proud,” Brown declares in the ad. “I’ve kept my promise to be an independent voice. I put people ahead of politics and now I need your help to keep that independent tradition alive in Massachusetts.

“I am nobody’s senator except yours,” Brown says at the ad’s closure.

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The Massachusetts Democratic Party, not willing to let Brown’s ad go unanswered, released a web video aiming to tie Brown to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

“No matter how much Scott Brown tries to tiptoe around his support for Mitt Romney, the people of Massachusetts know that Brown shares Romney’s philosophy of cutting taxes for the rich and letting middle-class families pick up the bill.

“When Sen. Brown talks here in Massachusetts about how very bipartisan he is and how very independent he is, he’s sure not saying the same thing when he’s going around the country raising money in his Senate campaign,” Warren says in the video.

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morgan.little@latimes.com

Twitter: @mlittledc

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