Nice Time! Polls Show Elizabeth Warren Looking Pretty Damn 'Electable'
Elizabeth Warren can't win. That's what the dude punditry kept telling us even before she officially launched her presidential campaign. She's too left -- and who wants that in a left-of-center political party? She shares the same chromosomal makeup as Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump would destroy her with his politically savvy racial epithets.
We're still a few months away from actual voting, but today marks an important shift in the Democratic primary, one that perhaps will finally bury all this tired "conventional wisdom." According to Real Clear Politics' national polling average, Warren enjoys 26.6 percent average support. Joe Biden -- Mr. Electability himself -- comes in second with an average support of 26.4 percent. Yeah, baby, Planmaster Liz is our new Democratic frontrunner!
Real Clear Politics
Putting this in perspective, Bernie Sanders never led Clinton in RCP polling averages, and Sanders never had to survive baseless accusations that he fooled around with young, hot fake Marines. What accounts for the Warren surge? Trump-averse conservatives such as David Brooks and Bret "The Slummy Bedbug" Stephens have patiently advised Democrats to nominate someone safe and moderate. They define this as nothing less than Mitt Romney with skinny jeans and mussed-up hair. That's about as loony left as America, by which they mean "white men," can tolerate.
Even establishment Democrats fear that primary voters will choose someone they like instead of someone who can win, who apparently is not someone people like. I know the popular vote doesn't count, but this argument never made sense to me. Warren voters are passionate about the candidate. They believe she has plans more impressive than simply beating Trump and tongue-kissing Republicans in the name of "unity."
Back in August, when her husband was leading in every poll, Dr. Jill Biden argued that we should consider "electability" above all. It was some sad shit.
WOMAN WHO MARRIED JOE BIDEN: Your candidate might be better on, I don't know, health care than Joe is, but you've got to look at who's going to win this election. And maybe you have to swallow a little bit and say, "Okay, I sort of personally like so-and-so better." But your bottom line has to be that we have to beat Trump.
Yikes, it's like Dr. Biden's performing her version of "Daisy Faye chooses Tom Buchanan over Jay Gatsby."
The counter argument to Warren's popularity among people who vote for Democrats is that people who usually vote for Republicans don't like her. Biden is supposedly our version of John McCain -- the member of the opposing party you kinda like, but being John McCain didn't work out for the actual John McCain in 2008 when he ran against another Democrat conservatives claimed was a socialist. McCain was considered the darling of independent voters, and Obama was (and still is) black. Democrats can in fact win when we dare to dream big.
Warren is also closing in on Biden in general election polls showing a head-to-head matchup with Trump.
If your sole goal is to evict Trump from the White House next year, Warren still delivers. She'd also deliver her voters to the polls. Turnout is the key to victory, not an obsession with independents (often code for white voters). Biden's much-vaunted lead with them dropped from 17 points to a meager one point in just a single month. It's annoying that moderates want to talk about independents anyway when they spent most of 2017 blaming third-party liberal voters for Trump's win. I personally can't understand why someone would vote for Dr. Jill Flake-N-Stein, but I do think Warren would keep serious-minded liberals (Susan Sarandon need not apply) in the Democratic camp. She's dare I say "electable."
Warren's performance over the past few months is spectacular. She's gained an average of 21.7% in the polls while almost every other Democrat has plummeted. Her surge has been slow and steady, unlike -- unfortunately -- Kamala Harris, whom we love and who enjoyed a brief rise after the first Democratic debate that quickly faded. I believe if Warren wins the nomination, she'll win the presidency. It's now become wishful thinking to assume she can't win.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).