With Democratic voters so concerned with choosing a candidate in the Democratic Primary who can win, why is current front-runner Elizabeth Warren the best candidate to accomplish that goal?
Electability. It’s something we’ve heard about non-stop since Hillary Clinton lost in the 2016 election to the most dangerous person to ever be chosen to represent us as a president.
The worry about who can defeat Donald Trump has been one of, if not THE main thing Democratic voters have been thinking about since that fateful fall day nearly three years ago. It comes up at every social event we attend. People bring it up in conversation with friends and family. It’s even something that I’ve heard several Democratic primary voters say is their main concern when door-knocking, or talking to them on the phones.
With that issue being so at the forefront of the Presidential primary we are about to engage in, it’s worth discussing why a certain candidate is better than the rest to win the 2020 General Election.
We’ve been hearing from all of the campaigns why they’re the best suited one to do just that. Former Vice President, Joe Biden, has centered the messaging of his entire run around this particular issue. Others, like Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, have begun to use this issue as a way to go after their fellow contenders for the nomination.
One candidate, however, stands above the rest of the field when it comes to electability: Elizabeth Warren.
From her ability to appeal to and unite all factions of the Democratic party, to the awesome organization that her campaign is building on the ground across all 50 states, and her powerful message of taking on the corruption that undermines our current system of governance, she’s the best candidate to lead our party forward in 2020.
Let’s start with point number one: appealing to and uniting the party.
One major problem that plagued us in 2016 was that Hillary Clinton was not particularly well liked by the electorate at-large. Though she had her strengths among several important constituencies, especially ones that were crucial to winning the nomination, she didn’t appeal to others that were a vital part of the coalition that helped elect Barack Obama twice.
I was on the ground here in Wisconsin in 2016. It was apparent, from many of the conversations I was having with voters even three or four months out from election day, that Clinton was in danger of losing the state. She did not inspire young people, and there was virtually no outreach to voters who were considering voting for Donald Trump, voting third party, or thinking about not voting at all.
What makes Elizabeth Warren a strong candidate to lead us in 2020 is that she appeals to everyone in the party. In poll after poll for the past several months, Warren has scored the best in favorability rating of any Democrat currently running for the office. Even if there’s some disagreements between her and voters on certain issues, Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters like her the most.
Having a party that’s unified AND energized ahead of 2020 is critical. If we’re going to get those decisive voters back who either didn’t vote in 2016, or voted third party, we need a nominee who can energize those people and give them a compelling reason to vote. Warren is the best suited to appeal to them, and to the party as a whole.
The second reason why Elizabeth Warren is best suited to be our nominee is 2020 is that she’s building exactly the kind of campaign that we need in order to win.
Warren’s campaign has spent the entire year building infrastructure from the grassroots up across all 50 states. She is tied for having the most field offices of any candidate in the early states, and those offices are pretty evenly distributed across those early states as well. She’s shown, since the minute she got in the race, that she’s dedicated to competing for every vote in every region of every state, and using that organization to help candidates up-and-down the ballot.
Another aspect of why her campaign infrastructure is so strong is that they’ve learned the lessons of why we lost in the past several election cycles. Unlike the Clinton campaign, which parachuted organizers and staff into states three or four months before election day, including here in Wisconsin, Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is building neighborhood teams in every state (and has been for months) and is hiring from those pools of team leaders and volunteers they have in those areas when they begin to staff up. People know the areas they live in better than out-of-state staffers ever can. The Warren campaign knows this, and has made this grassroots organizing the core of their strategy.
A third aspect of her campaign that is working is that they’re focused on empowering people, and giving them the tools that they need to organize in their communities. Instead of having campaign staff directing every event, volunteers are given the power to come up with event ideas and take the lead on them. People will contribute to a campaign if they know that their time and energy will be put to good use, and that someone is listening to them and acting on their good ideas. Warren’s campaign is doing just that.
All of this organizing is key to winning a presidential election. Much of this are things we did to win in 2008 and 2012, when we won significant victories all across the country. It needs to be a core part of any campaign’s strategy if they’re serious about winning in 2020, and continuing the fight for change up and down the ballot in 2020 and beyond.
The final reason why Elizabeth Warren is the best candidate to lead us in 2020 is that she has powerful story to tell, and the core of her story makes her the best candidate to take on the rampant corruption that’s going on right now.
She grew up in a middle class family in Oklahoma that struggled to make ends meet. She put herself through college by taking on a job while in school and raising a family at the same time. She spent years working her life-long dream of being a teacher, both in special education and in law school. She’s extensively studied the core reasons why most Americans are going broke and are failing to make ends meet. She built the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which has taken on big corporations who’ve taken advantage of middle class families and harmed consumers.
We need someone to lead us who gets why our system is no longer working for everyone. We need someone who understands the depth of the rot going on in our government today. We need someone who’s going to fight for all of us. Elizabeth Warren is that person.
Her core message, which centers around getting big money out of politics, reforming our democracy to protect people’s right to vote, improving our election security, getting rid of PACs and Super PACs, and reigning in lobbying, are things every American can get behind. Trump’s presidency has brought all of these problems out in the open for everyone to see. Having someone who understands the structural causes of how we got here, and gets what we need to do to change that, is what will get Democrats elected up and down the ballot in 2020 and beyond. No one is better suited to lead that fight than her.
We need a candidate who has the message, the organization, and the understanding of what’s gone wrong with our system to win. Elizabeth Warren is that person.