Elizabeth Warren seeks spark in final sprint to Iowa

Elizabeth Warren - AP image

Elizabeth Warren is fighting to regain momentum in the turbulent fight for the Democratic presidential nomination amid lingering questions about her authenticity and electability.

Posted: Jan 27, 2020 8:30 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Elizabeth Warren is fighting to regain momentum in the turbulent fight for the Democratic presidential nomination amid lingering questions about her authenticity and electability.

Warren was considered a leader in the crowded race through the fall, yet just seven days before Iowa's first-in-the-nation caucuses, allies, adversaries and new polling suggest that progressive rival Bernie Sanders has a slight advantage — at least in the battle for the party's left wing. That's just as establishment-minded Democrats begin to rally behind former Vice President Joe Biden, who has tried to stoke fears about his more liberal rivals' ability to defeat Trump this fall.

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Warren's uncertain status raises questions about whether any female candidate will emerge from Iowa's Feb. 3 caucuses with the political strength to go deep into the primary season, a challenge that will almost certainly require early victories to generate the energy and campaign cash needed to continue.

As would-be supporters acknowledged concern over the weekend, Warren ignored the shifting political currents and vowed to continue fighting for the kind of transformational change she's championed for months, even while pressing her final case in Iowa before being forced back to Washington for President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

“Since I first got in this race a year ago, I have not focused on polls. And that's exactly how I'm going to continue to run this race,” she told reporters when pressed about whether she needs to change her strategy.

She added: "I'm running a campaign from the heart. That's what it's all about to me. This is who I am.”

The people paid to focus on politics on Warren's team insist they're not worried, and with one week before voting begins, there are no plans to shake up her strategy. The campaign noted that she has already attracted more than 3 million individual donations and assembled a paid campaign operation in 31 states.

The 70-year-old Massachusetts senator got a much-needed boost over the weekend by winning the endorsement of Iowa's largest newspaper. And while she has won a series of coveted newspaper endorsements, Warren has yet to earn the backing of a single member of Congress from Iowa or New Hampshire, the states that host the first two voting contests.

The shutout particularly stings given Warren's proximity to New Hampshire, whose two female senators have so far declined to support their neighbor, who has increasingly evoked her gender as a strength on the campaign trail.

New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan is unlikely to support Warren and is instead considering whether to endorse longtime political ally Biden, if anyone, according to Democrats familiar with her thinking who were not authorized to share internal discussions. New Hampshire's other senator, Jeanne Shaheen, is facing re-election this fall and is not expected to endorse anyone.

Meanwhile, Biden was campaigning alongside his newest high-profile female supporter, Iowa Rep. Cindy Axne, as he worked his way across Iowa over the weekend. Biden has won the public backing of both of Iowa's Democratic congresswomen.

Warren's allies believe she will benefit from her sprawling organization of paid staff and volunteers on the ground in Iowa and other early voting states in addition to an aggressive paid advertising campaign. She's also expected to earn a wave of new endorsements from local progressive leaders on Monday as her allies work to spark a final-week surge.

The Warren-aligned Progressive Change Campaign Committee, the Working Families Party, and Black Womxn For are set to announce more than 3,000 new endorsements for Warren including elected officials, economists, organization leaders, small business owners, and activists, according to PCCC co-founder Adam Green. That's in addition to the endorsement of more than 40 Iowa Democratic officials and activists, the campaign announced on Sunday.

But sensing weakness, Warren's rivals are actively working to peel off her supporters.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, one of the two other women in the race, sees Warren as one of her best targets as she fights to bump off one of the top four candidates. As Warren allies cheered her Des Moines Register endorsement, Klobuchar's team touted her endorsement from another one of the state's largest newspapers, the Quad City Times.

Iowa Democrat Deidre DeJear, who served as Kamala Harris' state chair before the California senator left the race, acknowledged Warren's uncertain status.

“I think there has been some stagnation,” DeJear said of Warren's support. "I don’t think that she’s struggling by any stretch of the imagination, but I believe as it relates to people's temperature, poll numbers, folks have either made another decision or we’re not necessarily seeing her support represented in the polls.”

The rivalry between the Democratic Party's most liberal contenders, Warren and Sanders, looms largest as voters finalize their decisions. And in the fight for the left, a series of state and national polls over the weekend suggest Sanders is better-positioned than Warren on the eve of the first voting contest.

A New York Times/Siena College poll released Saturday showed Sanders with a slight — but not commanding — edge in Iowa, though polls also show that all four top candidates remain in the hunt there. In New Hampshire, several recent polls put Sanders out front, with Warren and the other top candidates lagging behind. And two polls released Sunday suggest that Warren is running well behind Biden and Sanders nationally.

Undecided Iowa voter Tyler Niska says he's narrowed his choices to Sanders or Warren, yet he fears that Warren would face the same political headwinds that plagued the party's last female nominee, Hillary Clinton, four years ago.

“Warren would probably do a better job, but Bernie has a much better chance of actually winning,” Niska, a 36-year-old Des Moines resident, said as he waited in line outside a weekend Sanders rally in Ames.

“I'll probably go with Bernie,” he said.

Warren volunteer Amber Beitzel, of Bettendorf, said she's aware of recent polls showing Sanders with an advantage, and said it’s something to watch. But she’s seen Warren’s operation up close and feels it’s well positioned.

“There’s a concern, obviously,” said Beitzel, 38, who works in nuclear medicine technology. “But I feel like working in her grassroots campaign, I see her organizers, I see the volunteers come. ... They’re coming back with lots and lots of people who are interested in what she's saying. And it's very exciting.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Hennepin36126997
Ramsey14966377
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Anoka9573156
Washington649074
Stearns647850
Scott366636
Olmsted344930
St. Louis333074
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Clay259145
Nobles236818
Blue Earth21367
Carver19167
Sherburne189924
Kandiyohi18695
Rice174210
Mower155318
Winona136219
Crow Wing120822
Chisago11912
Benton109012
Lyon10446
Beltrami9839
Otter Tail9808
Waseca95010
Todd9337
Polk8845
Morrison8529
Steele8173
Itasca80617
Douglas8044
Nicollet78318
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Becker6654
Martin63718
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Pine5960
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Houston2492
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Swift2322
Jackson2261
Pennington2221
Aitkin2142
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Koochiching1775
Pope1740
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Marshall1611
Wilkin1484
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Clearwater1431
Norman1410
Lake1390
Mahnomen1342
Grant1094
Red Lake842
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Kittson540
Lake of the Woods471
Cook200

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 124963

Reported Deaths: 1700
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk20019290
Woodbury753099
Linn6256134
Black Hawk6154102
Johnson610731
Dubuque563959
Scott501843
Story416418
Dallas364047
Pottawattamie343145
Sioux259517
Buena Vista231812
Marshall217136
Webster200915
Plymouth176731
Wapello161062
Clinton159028
Muscatine156058
Cerro Gordo154527
Des Moines153911
Crawford140015
Warren13477
Jasper124034
Carroll123113
Henry11495
Marion109211
Lee103412
Tama102138
Delaware84314
Dickinson8159
Wright7781
Boone7659
Mahaska75125
Bremer7459
Jackson7193
Harrison71217
Washington71212
Benton6782
Lyon5868
Clay5684
Louisa54915
Jones5374
Winnebago52719
Clayton5263
Winneshiek5259
Cedar5217
Hardin5187
Buchanan5155
Kossuth5020
Hamilton4945
Poweshiek49411
Floyd47211
Emmet46221
Cass4563
Iowa45610
Mills4403
Cherokee4342
Page4270
Fayette4224
Guthrie42115
Allamakee4189
Sac4174
Butler4163
Shelby4112
Franklin40118
Humboldt3833
Chickasaw3821
Hancock3796
Madison3783
Clarke3633
Grundy3526
Calhoun3374
Palo Alto3352
Osceola3100
Mitchell3021
Howard2889
Monroe27512
Union2725
Jefferson2671
Taylor2632
Appanoose2583
Monona2562
Pocahontas2532
Ida2312
Fremont2172
Lucas2146
Adair2041
Greene1990
Montgomery1977
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