THIS Is the Most Important Senate Race in the Country?

In-depth profiles of Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren.

Scott Brown vs. Elizabeth Warren

Photo Illustration by Josue Evilla

It was billed as the most significant political contest of the year not involving the current president of the United States. Scott Brown and Elizabeth Warren were going to set a new standard for reasoned, respectful, issues-driven campaigning. So pure were their intentions, they even agreed to a ban on all negative advertising from outside groups, the better to keep the emphasis on policy rather than personal attacks.

That’s the race Massachusetts was promised, anyway. The country may still be slogging through recession, and we may remain at war in Afghanistan, and the current crop of lawmakers in Washington just may be the worst in living memory, but the most pressing issues in this campaign so far have been whether Warren is truly part Native American, and why Brown keeps talking about his private audiences with royalty.

So what happened? How did the race that was going to raise the bar instead wind up disappointing in almost every way? In an effort to find out, we sent reporters inside both campaigns to present in-depth profiles of Scott Brown (“Way More Mr. Nice Guy”) and Elizabeth Warren (“Stumped”).