Elizabeth Warren’s Marked Gain In Polls Sign Of Her Grassroots-Planning And Long-Term Plan

Pollsters say Warren's gradual rise in polls is down to effective structuring and expert organization.

Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) speaks at the National Forum on Wages and Working People: Creating an Economy That Works for All at Enclave on April 27, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Pollsters say Warren's gradual rise in polls is down to effective structuring and expert organization.

In the 24 hours after Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren first announced her candidacy for the Democratic presidential primary, she only managed to raise $300,000 for her campaign. Compared to Beto O’Rourke, who raised $6 million in the same period, or Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, both of whom managed to raise handsome amounts themselves, Warren’s sum was paltry. But if one thought that would give any indication of how Warren would fare in the field several months later, that person would be mistaken.

A number of national polls released this week showed Warren gaining significant ground on her opponents, according to The Hill. In a period of a little over a month, Warren rose from being placed fifth in Quinnipiac’s poll at the end of March to the second position behind Joe Biden in the latest survey. She has also gained significantly in other polls, and pollsters believe it is Warren’s indefatigable attitude toward providing policy solutions that are making voters gravitate to the Massachusetts Senator.

Joe Trippi, a veteran adviser to Democratic presidential campaigners, said that Warren’s long-term planning is beginning to pay off despite a less-than-ideal start.

“She definitely, I think, stumbled a little out of the gate. But the last week to 10 days have obviously been her best. She’s obviously done very well,” Trippi said.

Observers believe that despite a slow start, Warren has always had a strategy, and that is “to play the long game — an early announcement followed by rapid staff hires and consistent policy rollouts.” In fact, pollsters say that among all the Democratic candidates, Warren appears to be the most focused on releasing detailed policy initiatives, a move which has assured her steady media coverage over the last few weeks. Recently she announced a sweeping plan to cancel most student loans and make public colleges tuition-free. In addition to her persistence on rolling out policies, Warren also boasts the most effective groundwork planning in the field, putting together a campaign team of more than 200 people, many of them based in crucial early primary and caucus states.

Loading...

“She has the opportunity to try to build a quiet juggernaut that does what we’ve always said is the real spade work of grass-roots organizing,” said Scott Ferson, a Boston-based Democratic strategist.

Warren’s effective structuring and organization has also helped her campaign reap the funds, with the Massachusetts senator raising more than $6 million herself, in addition to the $10 million she transferred from her Senate campaign account. Her grasp of policy would ultimately hand her a massive boost when it comes to the debates with her rivals, contends Fernand Amandi, a Miami-based Democratic pollster.

“If she’s laying the architecture and the foundation on a policy basis, that will help her enormously in the debates. And the debates are going to be decisive for the Democrats,” Amandi said.

There is little doubt that Elizabeth Warren has a long way to go with Joe Biden leading early in the Democratic race, but her rising stature among voters is proof of her campaign building momentum at a crucial time in the race.