Progressives on Thursday pointed to new polling by a number of sources which suggest that after months of polling in the single digits in many national surveys, Sen. Elizabeth Warren's presidential campaign is growing in popularity with Democratic primary voters.
In a poll released Wednesday by The Economist/YouGov, the Massachusetts Democrat was shown with a 42 percent favorability rating, coming in second behind Joe Biden's 45 percent rating. Sen. Bernie Sanders was behind Warren by one point in overall approval among Democrats.
Fifty-three percent of respondents identifying themselves as "liberal" said they were currently supporting Warren in the primary, with Sanders coming in second with a 47 percent rating.
"Warren has withstood the entry of 20-some competitors, and after mediocre polling led to media insinuations she couldn't sustain a campaign, she still ranks in the top handful of candidates," wrote Dylan Scott at Vox last week. "She has two supremely obvious things in her favor: She's very well-known and Democratic primary voters like her. Warren has distinguished herself with a very thoroughly prepared policy platform."
Warren also had the lowest "unfavorability rating" in the YouGov poll, with just 9 percent of respondents saying they had a negative impression of her and the campaign she officially began in February. Those who were surveyed often described the second-term senator as "intelligent," "strong," "smart," and "progressive."
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) argued Thursday that Warren's campaign, marked by the frequent roll-out of detailed policy proposals aimed at combating inequality through what Warren calls "big, structural change," has connected with voters.
"It's becoming clear to voters that Elizabeth Warren is the most electable Democrat we could put up against Trump," Stephanie Taylor, co-founder of the PCCC, said in a statement. "Voters are inspired by her personal story of struggle growing up in Oklahoma and how she connects that to her big-picture worldview of fighting for everyday people and challenging power."
Warren's acceleration in polls, author Sady Doyle wrote, is "not just about her famously prolific policy rollouts — though she's laid out detailed strategies on everything from housing discrimination to abortion access — but about the depth and care with which she approaches every aspect of her campaign."
"It's about her tactical preparation in Iowa, where she has already hired more staffers than any other candidate," she added. "It's about the depth and breadth of her learning, and her commitment to having answers on the issues that matter."
Taylor suggested that voters may be comparing Warren's far-reaching proposals with Biden's centrist approach.
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To the contrary, Taylor said, "voters can picture Warren crushing Trump on the debate stage. As voters hear more from Biden and Warren, the trajectory is clear: Warren is on the rise."
On social media, other political observers in recent days have pointed out Warren's momentum.
The truth behind Elizabeth Warren rising in the polls: Democrats like her https://t.co/deBlXK30n6
— Kay Steiger (@kaysteiger) May 22, 2019
4. That's ELIZABETH WARREN. She's run a brilliant tortoise v. hare campaign, lapping the field with her policy ideas and proving she's plenty likable to everyone who's not a sexist, and -- guess what? -- she's finally moving up in the polls https://t.co/G2bIrfzg08
— Will Bunch (@Will_Bunch) May 22, 2019
At Vogue on Wednesday, Michelle Ruiz pointed to Warren's ambitious policy proposals—including her plans to forgive student debt and establish tuition-free public college and institute a universal childcare program, all paid for with her Ultra-Millionaires Tax:
She is hardly the first presidential candidate to introduce comprehensive plans. John Kerry had plans; John Edwards had plans. Of course, Hillary Clinton had plans, too—plenty of plans she often referred to as being spelled out in great detail on her website. Candidates' plans—and their implied, dreaded sense of policy wonkiness—haven't exactly been sexy sources of charisma or media buzz. But they've also, largely, been forgettable. Warren's proposals feel different, perhaps because they are so sweeping, so thoughtful, and so ambitious. Perhaps because they actually offer solutions to the very real drains on voters and the economy.
Other recent polls bolstered the case that Warren is growing more popular with voters. Quinnipiac University found in a survey released last week that Warren was behind just Biden and Sanders in terms of which candidates voters say they would support if the primary were to be held now. Warren held 13 percent of the vote, behind Sanders's 16 percent and Biden's 35 percent.
"Sen. Warren has national name recognition as an anti–Wall Street warrior and a person unafraid of standing up to both Trump and Mitch McConnell, who famously scolded her for 'persisting' on the Senate floor," Ruiz wrote. "But Warren's new momentum also feels like a triumph for the way she is shifting the political conversation from trending hashtags to real issues."