Tags: elizabeth warren | trump | biden | general election

Do Not Underestimate Elizabeth Warren... in the General

Do Not Underestimate Elizabeth Warren... in the General
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the Iowa Federation Labor Convention on August 21, 2019, in Altoona, Iowa. (Joshua Lott/Getty Images)

By Wednesday, 21 August 2019 02:47 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Senator Elizabeth Warren is surging in the both the national and statewide primary polls. As the betting markets have already calculated, Warren is the likely Democrat nominee. She has out-campaigned, out-organized — in multiple caucus states — and out-messaged her opponents. Warren has defined herself as an economic populist ready to take on not only the Republican energy, pharmaceutical and insurance interest groups, but also as an iconoclast eager to break up tech giants and wipe out student debt. She also has her finger on the Democrat pulse — refusing to do a Fox News townhall, unlike Bernie Sanders, and of course being the first major Democrat candidate to call on Congress to impeach President Trump which led to a tremendous and large fundraising uptick.

While Warren is the ideal primary candidate for the 2020 Democrat primary, her general election prospects are discounted by many on the left and the right as unrealistic. She is too liberal, too outside the mainstream of Center-Right America, and simply does not having the winning, electric personality of past winners. However, they are wrong. Warren is the strongest potential nominee to defeat President Trump.

Trump and his campaign team consider Warren to be a weak general election candidate. As the president said in his massive Manchester rally last week, while Warren is now resurgent, he will be able to define her as a radical socialist and an opportunist whose credibility is suspect proven by Warren’s highly suspect native ancestry claim.

Trump has shrewdly given Warren the moniker ‘Pocahontas’ which is glued to her — no candidate does this better than President Trump and it will hurt Warren.

Warren certainly walked right into the ‘Pocahontas’ attack. Her DNA campaign video is indistinguishable from a ‘Funny or Die’ parody. Aware of how preposterous this stunt was, Warren removed the video from her campaign site. Even so, embellishing one’s heritage is nowhere near the liability as Hillary Clinton’s long documented corruption and policy failures. Make no mistake, Warren’s weakness is nowhere at the level of Clinton’s dire failings. And her polling surge proves Warren is not only resilient but focused on the long game.

First, Warren has shrewdly not attacked any of her primary candidates and has even connected herself to Bernie Sanders, which will pay dividends in the general not only by holding the entire Democrat base but also block any serious third-party, general-election leftist.

Second, Trump also underrates Warren at his peril. She has frequently shown a pugilist winner-take-all style against Trump. Besides calling for his impeachment, Warren has defined herself as the #MeToo candidate with the frequent “Listen up Mr. President: Tick, tock” applause line. She has all but called Trump a criminal and you can hear frequent “Lock Him Up” chants at her rallies — which continue to grow in size.

Warren is shrewdly using Trump’s playbook against him. Her message: Trump’s corrupt, I’m incorruptible. Sound familiar? Only this time, Trump is the incumbent and facing a referendum.

Third, Warren has positioned herself as the perfect opponent against Trump’s strong reelection asset — the economy. As a former Republican raised in the heartland, Warren’s proposed narrative is that her personal and professional experiences made her a convert to a liberalism that is even outside the mainstream of the Democrat Party. In easy-to-understand, folksy generalities, Warren talks of predatory lending and family bankruptcies. She promises to relieve generation X of its biggest financial strain — student debt. And she has a simple solution — she will tax the top .5%’s net worth.

Much like Trump’s policy focus on immigration hit at the anxieties of rank-and-file union members and Americans who have suffered from the hollowing out of the Rust Belt, Warren’s pinpoint-relief plans to help “regular” Americans’ “everyday” personal, economic debt anxieties hit the concerns of the majority of Americans who do not own stocks or participle in 401k plans. Even in this current economic upturn, there is record consumer debt. The 18-34 No Income, No Job voter who is both disenchanted and economically uncertain is inarguably more persuadable to Warren’s pledges compared to Trump’s narrow focus on the capricious Dow Jones Industrial Average.

While Trump continues to gamble his reelect into the ‘live by the market, die by the market’ trap, Warren’s strategy banks on a certainty — Americans will always carry debt in a service economy.

Fourth, since Warren also has left-wing healthcare, gun, energy, and environmental policies, her campaign, unlike Clinton’s, should get the necessary turnout from millennial voters to corner Trump into even more over-dependence on older White voters. Combined with the #MeToo catchy applause lines and her constant critiques of Trump’s inarticulate language on race, African American women turnout should also outperform Clinton’s fatal performance.

In 2016, Trump’s last two presidential debates were critical factors in his miraculous and historical comeback. While Trump should have the advantage in three cage matches with an older and less sharp Joe Biden, Warren will take Trump to the woodshed piece by piece on policy while jabbing and needling Trump on his personal deficiencies. If Trump goes low, Warren is ready to get into the mud. It remains to be seen if Trump can handle that combination.

The last four presidents each won with a distinct type of populism and change message. In 2020, Trump is promising Keep America Great — a pure base strategy. Warren counters with a combination of aspiration and quick economic government fixes for multiple and distinct voting groups. Warren goes grievance for grievance with Trump while promising to make society fair and just. Combined with palpable swing-voter Trump fatigue, Warren’s professorial demeanor and boring personality also delivers on the “return to normalcy” that Republican suburban women crave.

In 2016, Trump was the political anomaly who fit the mood of the country. He also launched his candidacy “at the right time, right place.” Warren would certainly be a flawed candidate against a prototypical Republican. But the country’s mood is changing. And this time, Warren is the one selling what the disenchanted are buying. And much like Trump had Clinton in 2016, Warren’s weaknesses this time around help make Trump her perfect foil.

Trump better be prepared. With Pocahontas on the war path, her sharp arrows will sting. Trump, who likens himself to the modern-day Andrew Jackson, could ironically find his Trail of Tears in the Oklahoma-born and Native American-wannabe Elizabeth Warren.

Sam Nunberg is an attorney and political strategist with a focus on communications, messaging, and persuasive narratives. In 2008, he was an adviser to Gov. Mitt Romney with a focus on grassroots coalitions and conservative outreach. From 2011 until mid-2015, Mr. Nunberg served as a political and public affairs adviser to President-elect Donald J. Trump. For more of his reports, Click Here Now.

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Senator Elizabeth Warren is surging in the both the national and statewide primary polls.
elizabeth warren, trump, biden, general election
Wednesday, 21 August 2019 02:47 PM
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