Mass. election could be key to GOP Senate control

(CBS News) WINCHESTER, Mass. - On Election Day, Republicans would like to take control of the Senate away from the Democrats, who have a 53 to 47 majority. Thus, Republicans would have to pick up four seats.

One key to their plan is holding on to the seat they have in Massachusetts. That has become a real fight. Sen. Scott Brown is trailing the Democratic challenger, Elizabeth Warren, by six points. We spoke with both candidates.

"The folks that I am meeting day after day after day in this commonwealth," said Warren, "they are saying to me, 'You go girl. He voted against jobs, and that affects me. He voted against extension of unemployment, and that affects me. He voted against equal pay for equal work, and that affects me.'"

Mass. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren accuses Scott Brown of working with Wall Street for a long time.
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The 63-year-old Warren is trying to take back the Senate seat now held by Republican Scott Brown. He stunned Democrats in 2010 by winning the office the late Sen. Ted Kennedy held for 46 years.

The Harvard law professor, who's never run for political office, designed the president's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. She's cultivated a reputation as a Wall Street watchdog.

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"I am not a professional politician," she said. "I got in this race because working families and little businesses have been drawing the short end of the stick for far too long now. And Washington is rigged to work for big oil, to work for Wall Street."

When told that there are a lot of people on Wall Street who do not want to see her in office, Warren responded: "They made that pretty clear. And they have sent lots of money to Scott Brown, millions of dollars. And look, Scott Brown has been working with the folks on Wall Street for a long time."

Wall Street is Republican Sen. Scott Brown's biggest contributor. The financial sector donated more than $2.5 million to his re-election campaign. But in 2010, Brown cast the tie-breaking vote to pass Wall Street reforms.

"I do not owe anybody anything because nobody helped me get down there except the people of Massachusetts," he said.

Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown maintains that he is someone who works with both sides of the political aisle.
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The 53-year-old is a moderate Republican. He's trying to become the first Massachusetts Republican to win a full term to the U.S. Senate since 1972.

"If you figure out at where the United States Senate stands right now," he said, "basically you have extremes on both sides. So by sending Professor Warren down as an extremist, ultra liberal -- there is no argument there -- and putting her into that mixture where she will be 100 percent with her party, how does that solve problems?"

As for whether the race could determine controls the Senate, Brown said he respectfully disagrees.

"There are 33 other races up, and to think that everything boils down to Massachusetts, I think is really a stretch. That being said, a good idea is a good idea, and I have a history with working with both sides, working with the administration praising them when it is appropriate, and criticizing them when it is appropriate."

Elizabeth Warren has opened up a small lead over Sen. Brown in recent weeks. But the race is too close to call.

  • Elaine Quijano

    Elaine Quijano was named a CBS News correspondent in January 2010. Quijano reports for "CBS This Morning" and the "CBS Evening News," and contributes across all CBS News platforms. She is based in New York.

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