Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders — the original “Democratic socialist” — is plummeting in the polls, giving rise to a new leader in early primary states, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
A brand new CBS poll out Sunday shows that Warren is now in second place behind former Vice President Joe Biden in early primary states, edging out Sanders by at least one point, and she’s closing in on Biden.
“Biden is the first choice for 31 percent of voters in 18 early voting states, according to the survey, followed by Warren with 17 percent, Sanders with 16 percent and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) with 10 percent,” the Hill reports. “When Democratic voters are asked which candidate they are considering supporting and allowed to choose as many candidates as they want, Biden still leads with 55 percent, but Warren is closer behind, with 49 percent saying they are considering supporting her.”
That’s definitely bad news for Sanders, who was once thought to be an un-catchable second place to Biden, and who experts thought would likely give Biden a run for his money, given his newfound status as the father of the “Democratic socialist” movement that’s gone on to earn seats in the House and Senate.
Sanders is also at the capstone of his campaign, delivering speech after speech on the “definition” of Democratic socialism, hoping to take the reins of a movement popular with young, minority, and hard-left progressive voters. On Saturday, Sanders gave what he called a “comprehensive” speech on socialism in an attempt to define not just his campaign, but a new party platform.
But Sanders has had a series of rough weeks, ever since Joe Biden formally entered the race in late April. Voters have been reconsidering their decision to back Sanders, and either flocking to Biden — keeping the former Vice President’s numbers high, despite expectations that they would fall precipitously — or, apparently, moving over to Warren’s more “practical” version of socialism, couched in complicated, wonkish policy.
Now, it seems, Warren is on the upswing, and President Donald Trump, who reportedly plans to officially announces his re-election campaign this week, is taking notice.
Politico reports that the Trump 2020 campaign has shifted gears significantly, and is now looking at Warren as a top target in the coming months of the campaign.
“Trump aides and their allies at the Republican National Committee, who initially believed their money and manpower were better focused elsewhere, are digging up opposition research, deploying camera-wielding trackers, and preparing to brand Warren as a liberal extremist,” the outlet reports. “The reassessment of Warren, confirmed in conversations with more than a half-dozen Trump advisers, reflects the volatility of the massive Democratic primary and how the reelection campaign is reacting to it.”
The Trump campaign clearly fears that Warren is readjusting her message in a way that resonates not just with the far-left, but also with the “Rust Belt” economic populist, blue-collar Democrats who flocked to Trump in the last election cycle. The one-two punch of a Biden-style figure with Warren backing him up with what seem to be concrete policy plans that show deep thought in how they would be enacted is dangerous.
“There’s no question that Elizabeth Warren is on the move, has momentum and could well end up as our opponent,” a Trump 2020 spokesperson told Politico. “We have to make sure voters know about her proposals for government takeover of health care, free health care for illegal immigrants, radical environmental restrictions, and increased taxes — all proposals that will devastate this country.”