- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org is gauging the level of support from members on whether to launch a concerted effort to get Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts to run for president in 2016.

If the vote of the group’s 8 million members succeeds, the group plans to turn its focus toward persuading Ms. Warren to run for president. Voting will take place until 9 a.m. eastern time on Wednesday.

The theoretical campaign would include offices and staff in early presidential states like Iowa and New Hampshire, recruiting small-dollar donors, and an investment of at least $1 million in the first part of the launch.

“There is too much at stake to have anything other than our best candidates in the debate,” said Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action. We are prepared to show Senator Warren she has the support she needs to enter - and win - the presidential race.”

Ms. Warren has emerged as a hero of the left for her sharp criticism of Wall Street in the wake of the 2008 financial downturn and her role in helping set up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. First elected in 2012, she was elevated to a leadership position within the Senate Democratic caucus in the wake of the 2014 midterms this year as the party tries to keep its connection to its liberal base and coalesce around a message heading into 2016.

“The defining theme of 2016 is also the defining theme of Elizabeth Warren’s life: inequality and the crisis of the middle class,” said Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn. “From creating the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to leading the charge against outrageous student debt, Senator Warren has shown by her actions that she’ll never stop fighting for an economy that serves regular Americans instead of Wall Street.”

Ms. Warren has said she’s not planning on running and has thus far resisted such calls to enter the race as an alternative to former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is contemplating a bid of her own and would start out as the odds-on favorite to secure the Democratic nomination in 2016 if she runs.

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