Her own television advertising was less than flattering—until recently, when the commercials stopped featuring the candidate herself and instead highlighted prospective voters praising her. “She’s earnest and tends to be hectoring. The consumer advocate role comes across as somewhat one-dimensional for a candidate for U.S. Senate,” said Timothy Sherratt, a professor of political science at Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. …

Throughout the race, Ms. Warren has highlighted her fight against Wall Street, apparently without considering that the state is home to major employers such as Fidelity Investments and State Street Corp. According to the Boston Business Journal, the six largest financial-services firms in Massachusetts employ 35,000 people in the state and are important fixtures of the region’s culture.

Ms. Warren has also struggled to shake an elitist image. At various points, including during Thursday’s debate, Mr. Brown has made hay of the fact that she reported making $349,000 at Harvard in 2009 yet argues that college costs too much for students. In defense, Ms. Warren said Thursday that she has taught for far less in the past and is proud to have landed at a prestigious private university.