The Elizabeth Warren Hype Train Begins to Go Off the Tracks
FILE – In this May 18, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks at a house party campaign stop in Rochester, N.H. Rising disagreement among congressional Democrats over whether to pursue impeachment of President Donald Trump has had little effect on the party’s presidential candidates, who mostly are avoiding calls to start such an inquiry. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
The media love Elizabeth Warren. She’s everything they want in a candidate. Someone to whisper sweet nothings into their ears and make them feel really smart. She’s got plans, the right amount of shrill in her voice, and is just focus grouped enough to get them excited.
This love affair has led to an incredible amount of hype surrounding the Massachusetts Senator, who’s only accomplishment appears to be supporting an unconstitutional agency in the CFPB. It’s gotten to the point where she is routinely described as the presumptive front-runner. To be fair, I’ve bagged on Joe Biden to the benefit of Elizabeth Warren a bit in the past few months as well. I mean, he’s Joe Biden.
Following the most recent debate though, where Warren stumbled repeatedly when pressed about raising middle class taxes, we are seeing some problems emerge.
For starters, she’s still nowhere near the national front-runner.
New CNN National Poll: Biden's lead in Democratic primary hits widest margin since April
Poll conducted October 17-20
+/-5.8 pts among Democratic voters https://t.co/WRo0IcMmiD
— Amanda Golden (@amandawgolden) October 23, 2019
Not only is Warren behind by double digits, Biden is enjoying his biggest lead since April, a time when it was all but assumed he’d be the nominee. There are other polls as well showing bad news for Warren. Emerson released their latest offering and she’s 6 points behind Biden. Worse, she’s 4 points behind Sanders, who just suffered a heart attack a month ago.
In fact, in the last seven polls published, six of them have Warren down by at least 6 points. The only poll which continues to show her close is YouGov, which has held an incredible house effect for Warren throughout the primaries. You can view all these results at RCP here.
But perhaps she’s leading in the early states? In New Hampshire, yes, but that’s to be expected. In Iowa, Nevada, South Carolina, and California, she’s behind Biden still. If Biden wins two of those four states, he’ll enter the southern primaries all but guaranteed to clean up, leaving Warren no real path.
It should be noted that Warren hasn’t simply been a mirage. There was a time when she was leading in three of those four states depending on what polls you cite. Something has changed lately though and I think it’s easy to explain.
The last debate exposed Warren for who she is. She’s inauthentic, whiny, and way too rehearsed. Democrats love her and the media swoon when she’s reading off her talking points. When she’s pressed and shows no ability to answer real questions, she suddenly is revealed for the weak candidate she is (she consistently polls worse against Trump than Biden or Sanders). There’s also the fact that her policy platform is a socialist’s dream, complete with government controlled daycare and healthcare programs that cost 3/4 of the current budget. That’s great in New York, not so great in most of the rest of the country.
I think there was a point where moderate Democrats (moderate in that context at least), who still make up the majority of their party, looked at Warren and thought she might not be so bad. At least she didn’t have blood squirting out of her eye, right? But the more she rolls out her policies and the more she’s pressed on them, the worse she looks. In some ways, it resembles the calm before Kamala Harris’ fall. You can’t hide forever behind canned lines and media plaudits. No matter how many time people call you the “real front-runner,” at some point you’ve got to actually, you know, take over as the real front-runner. Warren isn’t doing that.
For now, she’s still in the thick of things, but the longer the status quo drags on, the tougher it will be for her. The hype train is beginning to go off the tracks.
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