Let's start with the requisite caveats that Democratic presidential primary is a marathon, not a sprint -- and that the field is still taking shape. We are also more than two months away from the first debates of the cycle (one set is scheduled for late June, then another in late July), and roughly ten full months away from the Iowa caucuses. Making any definitive declarations about how things will look by early next year is a fool's errand. But it may not be too foolish or crazy to start asking the following question: Will Elizabeth Warren still be in the race by the time people actually start voting? National and early state polling has looked quite weak for Warren thus far, to put it kindly, and this fresh set of data out of her home state suggests that she may not be a viable leading contender for her party's nomination...anywhere:
.@EmersonPolling has Sanders 26%, Biden 23%, Warren 14%, Buttigieg 11%, O'Rourke 8%, Harris 7%... in Massachusetts. No Biden baseline from Emerson in this state, but inclined to think this is in-line with belief that he hasn't not declined last few weeks. For Warren, yikes. pic.twitter.com/P3RWOAifeU— (((Harry Enten))) (@ForecasterEnten) April 7, 2019
Bernie is in the lead, followed very closely by Biden; the two frontrunners combine for nearly half of the pie. Warren, meanwhile, is languishing in the mid-teens. She's obviously struggling to garner momentum, but it's not as if she's a new entrant into the race. In fact, she was the very first major Democrat to roll out a presidential campaign this cycle (albeit in the form of an exploratory committee, initially), doing so late last year. Since then, she's been trying to make one policy splash after another, feeding the left-wing base a steady diet of red meat proposals -- from promising to use 'emergency' declarations to address issues like climate change and guns, to demanding an end to the legislative filibuster, to calling for the abolishment of the electoral college, to introducing radically confiscatory tax proposals. She's tried it all, and it hasn't moved the needle.
Why? My guess is that voters instinctually know she'd be a tough sell for the general electorate (on substance and personality), and that her 'Native American' DNA stunt went very badly. She's been wounded from the get-go, and she's struggling mightily to recover. That reality has translated into her tepid fundraising totals. After ostentatiously swearing off big-money donors, she's failed to stay competitive in the race for dollars, leading to the resignation of her finance director at the end of March:
The finance director for Elizabeth Warren's 2020 presidential campaign resigned after an internal clash over the candidate’s decision last month not to host big-money fundraisers or solicit donations from wealthy donors, the New York Times reports....Though it's unclear when exactly finance director Michael Pratt resigned, news of his departure comes just ahead of Sunday's first-quarter fundraising deadline. The Times reports that Warren is lagging behind her competitors and has struggled to raise campaign dollars, even as she leads the Democratic field in putting forth bold new policy proposals. Warren has reportedly transferred $10 million from her Senate campaign account...Pratt resigned after a Valentine's Day meeting in Washington that "grew heated," in which he argued that cutting off the “significant cash stream” would put the campaign at risk of collapsing
Her campaign now claims that they hit their fundraising goal last quarter, but they won't elaborate on what that means, which doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Some media outlets are beginning to declare that her money strategy has backfired. Meanwhile, with observers awaiting the potential entrance of a handful of additional presidential hopefuls, all eyes are on former Vice President Joe Biden. He would join the fray as a slight (but not prohibitive) frontrunner, and appears to match up strongest against the incumbent in early polls. But he's been dogged by his 'unwelcome touching/personal space' issues, about which he joked over the weekend, and previous statements and stances that are anathema to the current iteration of the hard Left. After some analysts started questioning Biden's commitment to taking the plunge, even as a team and infrastructure was built up around him, it's looking increasingly likely that Biden is in. He's running, right?
Biden says events of the last week are "going to have to change how I campaign." He's just answering questions like he's already a candidate.— Lachlan Markay (@lachlan) April 5, 2019
Minutes later: "I'm told by the lawyers I've gotta be careful what I say so I don't start the clock ticking and change my status."