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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) currently has Indivisible's top score on its 2020 scorecard. The group applauded the senator for her commitment to "Day One democracy reforms" and her progressive policy agenda. (Photo: Indivisible)

On Indivisible's 2020 Scorecard, Warren's Commitment to Democracy Reform and Sanders' Policy Platform Win High Marks

Sen. Elizabeth Warren won the highest overall grade on the scorecard, which may be updated as candidates make new commitments to enacting a progressive agenda.

Julia Conley

Sen. Elizabeth Warren was ranked at the top of progressive group Indivisible's Democratic candidate scorecard on Wednesday with a score of 95% and garnered praise from the group for her commitment to enacting bold democracy reforms on Day One of her potential administration.

The Massachusetts Democrat has "both a bold progressive vision for our country and the day-one democracy agenda we need to make that vision a reality," Indivisible wrote.

The group scored the Democratic candidates in three areas:

  • Policy Platform
  • Day-One Democracy Agenda
  • Building Grassroots Power

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was slightly behind Warren with an overall score of 89%, losing some points in the latter two categories. He was given the highest score in the Policy Platform category, with 97% vs. Warren's 94%.

"More than any other candidate, he has proposed the most progressive and transformative set of policies across key policy issues," Indivisible said of Sanders. "In particular, his proposals to combat climate change, to transform our immigration system, and to guarantee universal access to healthcare earned him full credit in those policy sections."

Sanders won perfect scores on his policy proposals for immigration, climate action, healthcare, and economic justice; Warren lost points on immigration for failing to commit to a moratorium on deportations.

Sanders lost points for not committing to ending the Senate filibuster as Warren has. Though the Vermont senator has proposed directing his vice president to help his policy proposals including Medicare for All to pass through the budget reconciliation process—a proposal which Vox called "arguably more radical than simply abolishing the filibuster"—Indivisible determined that allowing the filibuster to stand still "poses a significant barrier to enacting his legislative agenda."

While Sanders has built a coalition of working people—drawing the largest crowd so far in the key state of Iowa last month and becoming the only candidate to draw contributions from one million individual donors—the senator lost points in Indivisible's grassroots power category because he has endorsed only one progressive primary challenger in a House race thus far.  

Warren scored a 97% on Building Grassroots Power for her endorsements of both Marie Newman and Jessica Cisneros and her commitment to building a coalition of members of Congress who will help pass her agenda.

Over the past several months, Indivisible distributed questionnaires to the Democratic candidates and asked them to sign its "We Are Indivisible" pledge.

Only candidates who signed the pledge—in which they promised to eventually support the 2020 Democratic nominee—were included in the scorecard, with entrepreneur Andrew Yang and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) among those who were left out of the grading.

The group pointed out that the scorecard is a living document, saying, "These scores will be updated as candidates make new commitments on the issues that matter to Indivisibles."

For example, Sanders' score could rise should he endorse Cisneros, who is challenging conservative Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar in Texas.

Aside from Sanders and Warren, the other two candidates who have consistently polled in the top four in recent weeks—South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden—scored 77% and under 50%, respectively, on Indivisible's questionnaire.

Buttigieg lost several points for holding high-dollar fundraisers, failing to commit to a funding reduction for immigration enforcement agencies, failing to support Medicare for All or a moratorium on fracking, not committing to repealing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), and a number of other factors.

"A major reason for his overall low score is because he failed to firmly commit to many of the questions in the questionnaire and candidate interview," Indivisible said of the mayor.

Biden scored under 50% in almost all policy areas, with Indivisible saying, "While he supports policies that would make progress in most issue areas, he would not advance transformative change in any of them."

Indivisible co-founder Ezra Levin rejected the notion, pushed by many pundits in the primary season, that Biden is the "most electable candidate," considering his heavy reliance on the support of large donors rather than a grassroots movement and his lack of commitment to democracy reforms.

"I don't think Joe Biden is the most electable candidate," Levin told NPR. "I think he's among the least electable candidates. I think he is going to have a hard time mobilizing communities of color and young people to get out and vote for him. I think that that is going to be a danger if he becomes the nominee."

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