BOSTON -- With the clock ticking down toward Election Day, Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and Democrat Elizabeth Warren appealed to independent-minded voters while their campaigns geared up for a furious get-out-the-vote effort that could tip the scales in the nation’s most expensive Senate race.
Brown campaigned Friday with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, a moderate Republican who praised Brown as a man of "common sense" who has kept his promise to work across the political aisle. Warren rallied supporters at a Lowell gym where Micky Ward, the inspiration for the film "The Fighter," was trained.
Giuliani joined Brown for a leg of his "people over party" bus tour. They stopped in Boston’s heavily-Italian North End neighborhood, where they greeted supporters and visited several well-known restaurants and pastry shops along Hanover Street.
Giuliani said Massachusetts voters "took a chance" on Brown when they made him the upset winner of the January 2010 special election to succeed the late Sen. Edward Kennedy.
"He promised you he would be independent, he promised you he would put people first, he promised you he’d be bipartisan, he has kept all those promises, said Giuliani.
Warren would bring a partisan approach to Washington, he said.
"It’s her way or the highway," he said. "She’s all the way out on the left wing, so far I think she’s fallen off the cliff.
The Democrat made campaign stops Friday in Cambridge, Woburn, Wellesley and Hudson before wrapping up the day with a get-out-the-vote rally at the Lowell gym.
The gym’s owner, Art Ramalho, has called Warren "a fighter we need in our corner." Ramalho helped train Ward, a Lowell native, who was portrayed in the film by Boston native Mark Wahlberg.
Warren also picked up the endorsement Friday of Worcester Mayor Joe Petty, along with five former mayors of the state’s second-largest city, including current Lt. Gov. Timothy Murray.
One former mayor, Konstantina Lukes, has endorsed Brown.
Voter registration figures released Thursday by the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s office underscore the importance of both candidates reaching out to unenrolled voters who may still be undecided.
Of the more than 4.3 million voters who are registered for Tuesday’s election, fewer than 36 percent are enrolled in the Democratic party, and only about 11 percent are Republicans. That leaves more than half who are not enrolled in either party, and the number of independent voters has climbed by 138,000 since February.
Brown’s victory over Attorney General Martha Coakley in 2010 was fueled by strong support from independent voters. He’ll need to repeat that success on Tuesday to overcome the more than 3-1 enrollment advantage Democrats still enjoy, along with what has historically been an organizational edge in getting voters to polls, particularly in urban areas.
Commenting on the latest monthly jobs report released Friday by the U.S. Labor Department, Warren said Friday that the numbers show the need to remain focused on getting people back to work, and not return to "failed policies" of the past.
"Scott Brown wants Republicans in control of the Senate and Mitt Romney in the White House to pursue the same ‘I’ve got mine, the rest of you are your own’ strategy that hurt so many middle class families," Warren said in a statement.
The report showed the economy picked up 171,000 jobs in October, and that hiring in the previous two months was also stronger than first believed. The unemployment rate rose from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent in October.
Brown pointed to the uptick in the rate and said his opponent supports more government spending that would hurt the economy.