After a steady climb in the polls, Elizabeth Warren peaked at 26.8 percent average support only to recently tumble to 14 percent, putting her in third place behind Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, according to RealClearPolitics.
As noted by progressive commentator Krystal Ball, Warren has dropped 12.8 points in the RealClearPolitics average in less than two months. Comparatively, Kamala Harris — who just exited the race — dropped almost 12 points over five months, although Ball noted that Warren began with “more to lose.”
On the whole, commentators appear to be divided over what caused Warren’s fall.
Writing for CNN, Chris Cillizza said that it’s possible that Warren’s support for Medicare for All, as well as her “less-than-successful attempts” to defend such support, is the cause of her current troubles.
The Daily Beast Politics Editor Sam Stein suggested a similar theory, claiming that Warren’s “fellow Democrats” believe that her “embrace and handling” of Medicare for All is behind her plummet in the polls.
Progressive commentator Kyle Kulinski directly addressed Stein’s belief and suggested it was backwards.
“It’s literally the exact opposite. She tanked the second she backed off of it with her goofy two part proposal. Also if their theory is correct why is the strongest proponent of m4a currently surging?”
Ball echoed Kulinski on Twitter when addressing the possibility of Harris leaving the race.
“Yesterday I said Kamala may be on the verge of dropping out. Just like Warren, she started her drop in the polls the moment she walked away from m4a,” she wrote.
“Bottom line: you have to know why you’re running before you start running,” she said in another tweet.
“She and Warren have both made massive missteps on the most important issue, health care.”
According to Vice, progressives weren’t happy with Warren’s decision to walk back her Medicare for All plan. In particular, Warren announced that she would not install a single-payer health care system until her third year in office — a significant change from the policy Warren has been touting on the campaign trail. The move drew comparisons to Buttigieg and Biden, with some suggesting that Warren’s new proposal is a sign that she is in favor of the public option like the majority of the other Democratic candidates.
Warren’s new plan would commit to a series of reforms — including more Medicare availability for specific age groups and decreases in drug costs — as well as a public insurance option using the Affordable Care Act. After such reforms took place in the first few years of her presidency, Warren said she would then make the switch to a national single-payer system.