Sanders seeks support from ‘Draft Warren’ movement

White House hopeful Bernie Sanders is asking one of the groups that sought to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) into the presidential race to back his insurgent campaign against Hillary Clinton.

Sanders (I-Vt.) reached out on Tuesday to Charles Chamberlain, executive director of the progressive organization Democracy for America, which, along with MoveOn, ran the Run Warren Run campaign.

{mosads}“Senator Sanders called Charles on Tuesday and congratulated the Run Warren Run campaign for succeeding in helping to focus the upcoming election on populist, progressive issues,” said Neil Sroka, DFA communications director.

Sanders told Chamberlain that the Run Warren Run campaign succeeded in “building a movement to put progressive issues front and center,” he said.

MoveOn and the DFA announced the end of the $1 million Run Warren Run campaign on Tuesday.

Getting Democracy for America’s support could help Sanders, who has seen his polling numbers jump since he entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The group’s email lists and voter data would be important assets to his bid.

Sanders recently hired Kurt Ehrenberg, who previously worked on Run Warren Run, to spearhead his New Hampshire efforts, Sroka said.

Sroka said that the Sanders-Chamberlain phone conversation on Tuesday wasn’t the first time Sanders has talked with the DFA.

Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, who announced his White House bid on Saturday, did not reach out the group, Sroka said.

Sanders’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.

While few think the Vermont senator can defeat Clinton for the Democratic nomination, the number of observers who believe he could become the leading alternative on the left is rising.

In the RealClearPolitics average of polls, Sanders is now tied with Vice President Biden for second place, with an average of 10.8 percent. While that is far behind Clinton’s average in polls of 61 percent support, it is also far ahead of every other Democrat in the race. (Biden is not expected to make a run.)

Democratic strategist Jim Manley said that he doesn’t think Sanders has much of a chance to mount a serious challenge against Clinton. He argued that Clinton has a “much broader appeal — plus the money and organization needed to win.”

But appealing to groups that backed Warren might also give Sanders a leg up.

Warren has not said whether she will endorse in the Democratic primary this cycle.

The DFA, which was founded in 2004 after the Democratic primary ended, did not endorse during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary. Sroka said that any decision to endorse this cycle would be up to members.

“We have not ruled out endorsing a primary candidate,” he said. Political Action executive director Ilya Sheyman said that MoveOn, which has 8 million members, will “consider potential endorsements later on in the cycle if it appears MoveOn members might coalesce around a particular candidate.”

Sheyman said that MoveOn members remain “hungry for a Democratic nominee who embraces the Warren agenda of the economy.”

Tags Bernie Sanders Elizabeth Warren Hillary Clinton

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