Elizabeth Warren loses Massachusetts, her home state

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren tells Michigan voters to vote their conscience as Super Tuesday results begin to roll in.

Posted: Mar 3, 2020 9:48 PM

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has lost her home state of Massachusetts to Joe Biden.

There had been signs in late February that Warren could finish behind neighboring Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont. Polling from WBUR and MassINC showed him markedly ahead of her. That same poll showed Biden in fifth place.

As Super Tuesday approached, Warren's prospects in her home state came into sharper view. It's not immediately clear what the Massachusetts loss means for the future of her campaign.

Warren rarely led in polls of Massachusetts during the campaign, save for a spike around the time when she briefly emerged as the primary's front-runner in fall of 2019.

But as the results rolled in Tuesday night, the depth of Warren's troubles became increasingly clear. Not only was she trailing Sanders, but a resurgent Biden also had leapfrogged them both.

Over the weekend, Sanders had doubled down on campaign efforts in the state, with a Boston rally on Saturday that drew more than 10,000 supporters to the Boston Common. Sanders narrowly lost Massachusetts in 2016 to Hillary Clinton. In that cycle, he sought to tap into the state's progressive grassroots -- at the time energized by Warren.

Warren has represented Massachusetts in the Senate since 2012.

On Tuesday night, she held a campaign event in Detroit, and a fundraising email sent before polls closed in Massachusetts said Team Warren was already looking ahead. "As we wait for Super Tuesday results to come in tonight, organizers and volunteers are already at work preparing for the six contexts next Tuesday, March 10, and the Tuesday after that," the email said.

Asked if she considered her home state a "must-win" at a CNN town hall in Charleston, South Carolina, late last month, Warren demurred -- and began to talk about her come-from-behind victory in 2012, when she unseated a Republican incumbent in the Senate.

"I jumped in that race. I was down 17 points," Warren said. "And here was the amazing thing. I never ran for office before. I didn't have any of those networks. People jumped in and said, if you'll take point, I'll help with the part I can help with. I'll help you with making phone calls. I'll help you by introducing you to people. I'll help you by bringing you to one of my meetings or to one of my groups."

Pressed to answer the question, Warren again passed up the chance to give a direct answer.

"I'm just grateful to those folks," she said, "always grateful."

This story has been updated with context and background.

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