The late Sen. Ted Kennedy has been vindicated.
Democrat Elizabeth Warren beat incumbent Scott Brown for Massachusetts’ hotly-contested Senate seat. According to the latest exit polling data released Tuesday night, Warren received 52% of the vote compared to Brown’s 48%. Warren did particularly well among women voters, garnering 59% of the vote compared to Brown’s 41%.
Brown won Kennedy’s seat in a huge upset in 2010, costing the Democrats their filibuster-proof Senate supermajority.
Warren, a Harvard law school professor, rose to national prominence over the fight for financial reform. The left courted her to recapture the seat held for nearly 46 years by Kennedy.
Brown tried to cast himself as a moderate in the reliably blue state. But his campaign drew criticism for its harsh personal attacks on Warren and her disputed Native American history.
During his concession speech, Brown said “defeat is only temporary,” fueling speculation his career in politics is not over.
He added, “We have a tremendous amount of challenges, and I am looking forward to going back to the U.S. Senate, as dysfunctional as it is. And we’re going to try to do the people’s business until January. Then I’m going to turn over the reins and let somebody else take a stab at that dysfunctionality.”
And in a rousing victory speech, Warren told her supporters “You did this. For every family that has been chipped and squeezed and hammered, we’re going to fight for a level playing field and put people back to work.”
Warren is the first woman to be elected to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts.