Does Elizabeth Warren Have An Easy Path To Victory? [Opinion]

Jose Luis MaganaAP Images

Recently, WBUR released a poll, which had been conducted by MassINC Polling Group. It featured matchups between Senator Elizabeth Warren and several of the Republicans that hope to unseat her. According to the findings, Warren holds a comfortable lead over these potential challengers. For some, such a favorable poll, coupled with the strength of the Democratic Party in Massachusetts, points to the very likely reelection of the state’s senior senator.

It is quite early in the race, however. Furthermore, while a poll like this can be helpful, it can also help determine a race: It can assist in establishing an early narrative that Elizabeth Warren is indomitable. Several polls of this kind cement it. Frequent reporting of this ensures that this message stays fixed in voters’ minds.

Still, this is a prime example of journalists doing their job in a lazy, slapdash fashion. At the very least, as an accompanying effort, journalists, in addition to others whose efforts focus heavily, if not exclusively, on the dissemination of information, should look at why there are so many political hopefuls that believe that Warren is vulnerable. There are five possible Republican challengers: State Representative Geoff Diehl, John Kingston, Beth Lindstrom, Darius Mitchell, and Heidi Wellman. All of these candidates have been working to meet voters and present their respective platforms. There are also several Independent candidates, particularly Shiva Ayyadurai and Allen Waters, who wish to unseat Warren. Perhaps the most intriguing fact about this aspect of the race, however, is that two Democrats pulled papers to run against Warren, including Ron Peden, whose slogan is “Make Massachusetts Strong Again!”

Senator Elizabeth Warren joins Senator Chris Van Holen and other Congressional Democrats as they share their new agenda in Berryville, Virginia on Monday, July 24, 2017.
Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Chris Van Holen join Congressional Democrats as they present their new agenda in Berryville, Virginia on Monday, July 24, 2017. Featured image credit: Cliff OwenAP Images

All of this interest suggests that notwithstanding Warren’s advantage of having greater name recognition than her potential challengers, she is actually vulnerable. Many attribute her vulnerability to her strong partisan approach. Certainly, she has not hesitated to criticize Republican initiatives harshly and at times, seemingly unremittingly. As an example, according to the Hill, Warren lambasted the Republican tax bill in December. She even referred to it as “government for sale.”

She has also had a few harsh words for fellow Democrats, though. The Washington Post reported that Warren issued a fairly scathing, ongoing rebuke of fellow Democrats in the Senate that supported a bank deregulation bill. In addition to this criticism, she used a fundraising effort to question the judgment of these Democrats yet again, which rankled some of her colleagues.

Elizabeth Warren’s claim of possessing Native American heritage poses another problem for her in her bid for reelection. According to a Politico report, Warren has attempted to address the issue and has been engaging in outreach to Native American communities. Nevertheless, questions remain. Earlier in the month, the Berkshire Eagle published an editorial in which the senator was urged to take a DNA test. Then, there is the timing of her efforts, which some might question.

Undoubtedly, Elizabeth Warren has a good chance to be reelected, but it is not a fait accompli. To the chagrin of many, she has revelled more in burning bridges than in building them throughout her term, and even some on the left agree that she must definitively address questions that surround her claim of having Native American ancestry. So, while unseating Warren will surely present a challenge, the prospect of doing so is not an impossible or even a Herculean task.