Move over Joe BidenJoe BidenCNN’s Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview Yang cautions Democrats: Impeachment might not be ‘successful’ Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders’ heart attack was a ‘gut check’ moment MORE; there is a new sheriff in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary — and her name is Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenTrump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash Ocasio-Cortez: Sanders’ heart attack was a ‘gut check’ moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders MORE.
Prior to Warren’s rise in the polls, President Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpPelosi arrives in Jordan with bipartisan congressional delegation Trump says his Doral resort will no longer host G-7 after backlash CNN’s Anderson Cooper mocks WH press secretary over Fox News interview MORE and his campaign team wisely focused their attention almost exclusively on Biden. The former vice president has not only consistently led Trump handily in just about every general election national poll, but Biden has also been leading Trump among the all-important persuadable independent voter as well as in many key swing states, including Wisconsin.
According to online gambling site Bovada, Warren’s odds to win the 2020 Democratic nomination hit “minus money” for the first time on October 7. When you consider Warren’s middling standing just a few months ago, that’s a heck of a surge to the front of the pack.
With a little less than four months until Iowa, there is still a lot of game left to be played. Even though Biden is slowly slipping in the polls and the rest of the Democratic field is fading away, Warren still has some glaring obstacles to overcome.
Chief among them are Bernie SandersBernie SandersOcasio-Cortez: Sanders’ heart attack was a ‘gut check’ moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders Ocasio-Cortez throws support to Sanders at Queens rally MORE and the African-American Democratic primary voter.
Yes, Bernie — who many consider Warren’s ideological twin — recently suffered a heart attack and has been on a downward spiral in the polls, but the fact that he raised more money than any other candidate in the third quarter of 2019 means he’s going to stubbornly hang around for as long as he can. After all, Sanders did write “the damn bill” when it comes to “Medicare for all,” and now he has scored the endorsements of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez: Sanders’ heart attack was a ‘gut check’ moment Ocasio-Cortez tweets endorsement of Sanders Ocasio-Cortez throws support to Sanders at Queens rally MORE (D-N.Y.) and most of “the squad.”
While African-Americans comprise roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population, they are a far more powerful constituency within the Democratic party, representing 24 percent of the primary electorate. In South Carolina, “black voters are two-thirds of primary voters,” and Warren is not faring well with these folks. The same scenario seems to be playing out in other southern early nominating contests as well. Further, Biden’s support with black primary voters is currently greater than 40 percent. So unless Warren can find a way to pull African Americans her way or — at the very least — away from Biden, she could be in a long slog for the nomination.
But let’s fast-forward and say Warren does indeed become the Democratic nominee, which is the most likely scenario at this stage. Conventional wisdom suggests Warren would be an easier out for Trump than other 2020 participants. I don’t necessarily buy that. I see her as a sleeping juggernaut.
Warren intends to ride class envy and income inequality all the way to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Her central argument is that capitalism isn’t working for everyone — only the rich — and that she is the best person to refashion it so all Americans benefit. If her populist socialist call to arms gains traction outside of progressive circles, Warren could prove hard to beat in the general election.
So how does Trump secure reelection against Warren? With an aggressive education and persuasion campaign targeting Warren’s credibility and her outrageous policy prescriptions.
Warren’s campaign is sorely mistaken to think her Native American problem has dissipated. For decades, Warren has held out her alleged Cherokee ancestry in an effort to get ahead in her academic and legal careers which ultimately resulted in her landing a plum position at Harvard Law School; something that would be next to impossible to attain as merely a white graduate of Rutgers Law School, her alma mater. She even contributed recipes to a 1984 cookbook entitled Pow Wow Chow, edited by her cousin, which bear a remarkable word-for-word resemblance to recipes from a French chef and from “Better Homes and Gardens.” It wasn’t until a recent DNA test revealed her Native American heritage to be less than miniscule that Warren begrudgingly owned up to the truth.
Undaunted by her past mistakes in fraudulently claiming victimhood status, Warren is once again rewriting her past. Now Warren says she was fired from a job in the 1970s for being pregnant in an effort to curry political favor on the 2020 campaign trail. Once again, the facts don’t align with Warren’s mythos.
Why does all of this matter? If Warren is willing to rig the system by out-and-out lying to solely enrich herself at seemingly every turn, one has to wonder who it is she is really fighting for. Chances are it isn’t the little guy, the passed over worker, or the Mom-and-Pop business owner.
On the policy front, Warren intends to onerously tax the wealthy and the corporations to pay for a government-run healthcare system, the job-killing Green New Deal and most student debt, among other items. Of course if you confiscated all of the money from the top one percent, you couldn’t even foot the bill for Medicare for All without dragging the country into an even bigger debt crisis.
For Trump, getting bogged down in the minutia and absurdity of Warren’s various plans would be a fool’s errand. He is best served by framing her proposals as one big attack on economic freedom, a uniquely American principle, that will destroy main street and substantially hike taxes on the middle class and possibly even the lower class.
If the election does indeed come down to Trump vs. Warren, both parties should avoid getting overconfident. Not only will a Trump-Warren 2020 tilt be nastier than the 2016 election, it will likely be just as close.
Ford O’Connell served as director of rural outreach for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign; he runs a political consulting business, is an adjunct professor at The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management, and is a regular commentator on FOX Business. O’Connell is also an attorney. Follow him on Twitter @FordOConnell.