Elizabeth Warren Has a Ways To Go Before She Can Sway National Votes

An endorsement from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn’t have quote the pull on voters.
An endorsement from Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren doesn’t have quote the pull on voters. –David Coates/AP

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has been trying to take her brand of liberal economic populism to the national level with a series of campaigning and fundraising stops across the country to promote Democratic candidates for Congress. But a new poll suggests Warren has some work to do if she wants to become a major national player.

A Politico poll asked registered voters: “How would a Warren endorsement of a candidate for Congress affect your likelihood to support that candidate?’’

The answer was less than enthusiastic. Just 16 percent of voters would be more likely to support a Warren-endorsed candidate, while 26 percent would actually be less likely to do so. A third of the respondents said her endorsement would make no difference. Perhaps most importantly for her campaigning hopes, about one in five people said they’d never even heard of Warren.


The 16 percent of people who are positively influenced by a Warren endorsement was the lowest percentage of all the Democrats in the poll. Endorsements from both Clintons, President Obama, and Vice President Biden had bigger impacts than Warren’s. That’s certainly lofty company, and perhaps an unfair baseline of comparison for a first-term senator. Yet it still underscores her limited national appeal thus far.

In addition, that 16 percent tends to be very liberal ideologically, and Warren has proven herself a celebrity among those on the political left. FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten noted that Warren would be one of the most liberal presidential candidates if she were to win the Democratic nomination, but that center-left Democrats wouldn’t be so quick to support her.

“The clamoring for Warren to run in 2016 doesn’t go much beyond the progressive wing of the Democratic Party,’’ Enten wrote.

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