- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is deploying some of big guns to the early 2020 primary states, signaling she understands the Democratic presidential nomination could be slipping away if she doesn’t produce some late-in-the-game magic on the campaign trail.

Ms. Warren’s star was burning bright in the fall when she emerged as the consensus front-runner, but the time she spent on top took its toll.

She’s fallen into fourth place in Iowa behind Sen. Bernard Sanders, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden.

Tom Courtney, co-chair of the Des Moines County Iowa Democrats, said he isn’t certain whether the other candidates have gotten stronger or whether some Warren fatigue has set in.

“I think that could be the surprise of the night at the caucuses because she is not going to do as well as people thought she would do,” Mr. Courtney told The Washington Times. “She could come out of this county not doing well at all, and I would not have said that a month ago.”

Ms. Warren also has fallen to fourth place in New Hampshire, where she was expected to have a geographic advantage as a senator from neighboring Massachusetts.

Seeking to regain some momentum, Ms. Warren has suddenly become a staple on the television talk show circuit.

In recent days she has pumped her message into living rooms across the country during appearances on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” ABC’s “The View,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Now she has penciled in Iowa events with former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who endorsed her after pulling the plug on his own campaign last week, and Rep. Katie Porter of California, a rising liberal star with Iowa roots.

The campaign also announced that Black Womxn, a group of black female activists, are holding pro-Warren events in Iowa, and that Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston City Councilor Michelle Wu are set to campaign for her in New Hampshire.

Other contenders also have started teaming up with their high-profile surrogates, looking to win over the remaining undecided voters and peel away support from their rivals.

Mr. Sanders has campaigned with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and is planning campaign stops in Iowa over the weekend with a couple of other rising liberal stars: Reps. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ro Khanna of California.

Mr. Biden has campaigned with former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, former Secretary of State John Kerry, the party’s 2004 presidential nominee, and Rep. Abby Finkenhauer, who flipped a congressional seat in Iowa during the Democratic takeover of the House in 2018.

“The candidates are doing everything possible to get in that top two or three,” said Scott Punteney, chair of the Pottawattamie County Iowa Democrats. “If I were a candidate I would be doing the same thing — pulling every resource I can.”

Mr. Punteney said, at this point in the race in Iowa, “it is kind of a jump ball.”

The blast of activity follows surveys that show Ms. Warren’s support has softened, dropping an average of 8% in Iowa since mid-October and 13% in New Hampshire over the same period.

David Peterson, professor of political science at Iowa State University, said the most recent ISU/Civiqs poll showed that most of the voters that have abandoned Ms. Warren have migrated to Mr. Buttigieg or one of the lower-tier candidates.

“Very few of the people who had supported Warren shifted to either Biden or Sanders,” Mr. Peterson said. “My sense is that these were more moderate Democrats who were supporting Warren, but learned more about her as she faced heightened scrutiny and shifted to candidates who probably were more aligned with their views.”

Ms. Warren also has had warning signs on the fundraising front. She raised $21.4 million from October to December — falling shy of the $24.7 million she raised over the three previous months.

Mr. Sanders had his best fundraising quarter to date, pulling in $34 million, nearly $10 more than what he received in the third quarter, and Mr. Buttigieg received $24.7 million, besting his previous total by about $5 million. Mr. Biden, meanwhile, posted his best quarter with $22.7 million.

For her part, Ms. Warren says she’s focused on winning over voters — not coming out on top in the polls — and that she’s surpassed 100,000 selfies and closing in on her 200th town hall event.

“I just don’t comment on polls, and I actually don’t really look at them, but I’ll tell you this: the best part of this whole year has been doing what I do, which is getting out and doing town halls,” she said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“I talk about what’s broken,” she said. “I talk about how to fix it, and I’m out there building a grass-roots movement to get it done, and I’m loving every minute of it.”

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