Elizabeth Warren is climbing in polls, and it may be because of her plan to cancel student loan debt – Washington Examiner

Elizabeth Warren is climbing in polls, and it may be because of her plan to cancel student loan debt - Washington Examiner

The 10 Democrats most likely to be the 2020 nominee, ranked

Its harder to get a grip on the infrequently polled early states, though Warren does seem to be running a bit behind her national averages in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina. But on the other hand, she has invested the most of any candidate in early-state staff and infrastructure, and has an especially impressive organization in Iowa, as the New York Times reported earlier this month:

[Warren has] about 50 paid staff members … already on the ground in Iowa, far more than any other Democratic candidate is known to have hired in the state. The growing Warren juggernaut reflects a bet that rapidly hiring a large staff of organizers will give the senator an advantage over her rivals who are ramping up their efforts at a slower pace.

One is the danger of being positioned as the odds-on favorite before the real campaigning has begun. History is littered with candidates who were unable to measure up to high expectations, the most famous perhaps being President Lyndon Johnson, whose 1968 New Hampshire primary victory over underdog Eugene McCarthy was so skimpy that LBJ dropped out of the race 19 days later.

Poll: Harris, Warren climb as Biden maintains lead | TheHill

You can add to that her enormous credibility among Democrats nationally when it comes to policy chops, which she has enhanced significantly during the early stages of the campaign, and the opportunity she may have to excel during this summers first two rounds of candidate debates. Her favorability ratings in her own party are solid; shes at 57/16 in the Morning Consult tracking poll, with some room for growth. 28 percent of Democrats say either theyve never heard of her or dont know enough about her to form an opinion, as opposed to only 8 percent with no opinion of Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Barack Obama remains very popular among Democrats, and so, for that matter, is his wife. They could be of tremendous benefit to Obamas former No. 2 man, especially among liberals and minority voters- although polls say Biden is already claiming impressive support from minorities. Will the former First Family actively help Biden, or stay on the sidelines?

The major rap on Warren among political observers has involved poor electability credentials, which is a big deal in 2020 given the obsession of Democrats with denying Trump a second term. Actually, in nine head-to-head trial heats against Trump published this year, Warren has led in six (including two this month). But her favorability ratios beyond the ranks of Democrats have been weak: a recent Quinnipiac poll showed her well underwater at 32/41 in the general electorate, and at 28/44 among independents (in both cases, there are plenty of people who havent formed an opinion of her yet).

In May of 2019, Joseph Biden has emerged as the clear favorite to take on Donald Trump in November of 2020. Many Democrats see Biden as the most electable choice, as opposed to the most charismatic nominee, and that should favor him among voters who think the overwhelming priority is not to push an agenda or platform plank, but to get Trump out.

Its unclear how much Warren is still suffering from the poor impression she made with her handling of claims that she erroneously identified herself as Native American some years ago — claims that Trump and his allies have kept alive with their racist but effective Pocahontas sobriquet for her. But time is on her side. Generally speaking, presidential candidates who grow in strength in their own party ranks eventually develop better electability indicators.

Video: Bernie Schools Biden In The 90s

Strategically, Warren is one candidate with little initially to fear from Joe Bidens front-runner status. Indeed, it benefits her if Biden beats Sanders and Buttigieg in Iowa and New Hampshire and Kamala Harris in South Carolina. Shes not that strong presently in New Hampshire, which is troubling given her residency in next-door Massachusetts, but historically candidates who overperform in Iowa get a nice bounce in the Granite State. If she can finish ahead of Bernie Sanders in Iowa or New Hampshire, thats a very big deal, since his expectations are higher (especially in New Hampshire, where he trounced Hillary Clinton in 2016) and he is perceived as occupying the same lane as she does. Warren has more potential as a party-unifier than Sanders, and would probably thrive if the field melts down quickly to a battle with Biden.

So, from Bidens perspective, why take that risk? Why focus the election on an issue that he cant control? If, as he has done so far, he continues to run a race based on unity, on bringing the country together, why would he want the backdrop for that campaign to be a brutal partisan fight over impeachment? It just doesnt make much sense. For a Bernie Sanders or an Elizabeth Warren, it might make more sense, but given how Uncle Joe seems to be running, the attention suck of impeachment takes more away from his message than it adds.

Poll: Nearly half of Clintons former supporters back Biden | TheHill

For now, though, Warrens She Persisted catchphrase fits her campaign quite well. Shes broadly admired in her party, and has a quality of toughness that is the next best thing to a lead in trial heats as evidence she can go toe-to-toe with the sinister incumbent. She will always be vulnerable to someone younger or flashier catching fire as caucus and primary voters prepare to start voting. But if that doesnt happen, she should have her chance to compete and win.

Biden is running a campaign based on normalcy. He is counting on the idea that the American people are fatigued by the swirling scandals and often-brutish behavior of President Trump. Hes not offering Green New Deals, hes not telling voters that America was never all that great, hes not apologizing for his past. He is offering to get things back to normal. Having to run in the face of an impeachment proceeding against Trump does not serve that message.

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