Top ten Senate races to watch in 2012

  • Top ten Senate races to watch in 2012

    Scott Brown, left, and Elizabeth Warren, right.

    MASSACHUSETTS

    The battle between incumbent Republican Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren is sure to be among the highest-profile Senate races in 2012. Brown, who was elected with Tea Party support in 2010, is fighting to hold on to his seat in the solidly blue state, while Warren - a longtime consumer advocate and liberal Democrat - attempts to appeal to middle-class and blue collar voters. Both candidates have proven themselves to be powerful fundraisers. So much so that they both signed a pact in January pledging to bar outside money from outside groups from spending money in the campaign.

    Warren's outspoken support for issues like gay marriage, consumer advocacy and increased oversight of the financial services sector have earned her a reputation as something of a national liberal icon, but it's unclear how that will play among Massachusetts' working class. And while the two candidates have traded leads in a handful of recent polls, Brown has performed particularly well in recent surveys among independent voters. He also benefits from the built-in advantage that comes with being an incumbent candidate.

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