Progressive Group Backs Warren Over Sanders in Democratic Primary

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Posted: Sep 17, 2019 4:05 PM
Progressive Group Backs Warren Over Sanders in Democratic Primary

Source: AP Photo/David J. Phillip

The Democratic primary race appears to have come down to three viable candidates, at least for now. The top contenders include former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). It was generally assumed in the beginning of the race that Biden would be the Democratic  nominee to take on President Trump, but the two progressive senators are slowly chipping away at his lead in the polls. Although Biden is the consistent front-runner, Warren and Biden are the only two candidates to break double digits in recent polling. The two senators are fighting for the progressive wing of the Democratic party’s vote. Warren, for her part, just received a huge endorsement which could solidify as the progressive choice.

Senator Warren has seen a significant bump in much of the recent polling. Following last week’s debate on ABC, The Working Families Party threw their official support behind Warren. The group works side-by-side with unions, and one of its goal is to beat centrist Democrats such as former Vice President Joe Biden. The group aims to train and engage ‘people-powered’ candidates. WFP is a harsh critic of money in politics and the wealthy, so the group’s endorsement of Senator Warren is fitting. 

WFP’s endorsement of Senator Warren was not a light-hearted decision, and included input from every level of the organization. The group spent nearly 3 months mulling their choice, and the final decision followed votes from WFP’s members, supporters and national committee. 

The group’s endorsement is a huge blow to Senator Bernie Sanders, who the group endorsed in the 2016 primary. Sanders was once known as the progressive outlier in the Democratic Party, with his push for socialist policies such as tuition-free college and medicare-for-all.

So far this cycle, in the fight to face President Trump, Senator Warren appears to be mirroring those values. Both senators have consistently criticized a ‘rigged’ economic system during campaign stops, and call for increased taxes on the wealthy and a $15 federal minimum wage. Both senators have also called for the landmark case Citizens United v. FEC in order to keep ‘big money’ out of politics. 

 Although the two share ideological values, and are the two most progressive candidates in the field, Senator Warren does not come across as a full-blown socialist. This is a positive attribute on her campaign’s part. The Massachusetts senator still self-identifies as a capitalist, versus Senator Sanders who warmly embraces of full-blown socialism. This may serve as a leg-up for Senator Warren, as the popularity of socialism decreases in the polls. Senator Sanders consistently calls for a complete and total political revolution in Washington, while Senator Warren sticks to calling for regulation on corporations and Wall Street. This pseudo-capitalist approach appears to be more appealing to voters. 

The primary fight is far from over, but Senator Warren is making headway among progressive voters, a faction that once exclusively belonged to Senator Sanders. It is still unclear if former Vice President Biden can be beaten with both Warren and Sanders in the race while they share a voting bloc, but crucial progressive endorsements only help Senator Warren’s chances.