Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren

Progressive group launches campaign to identify voters who switch to Warren
© Aaron Schwartz

A progressive group is launching a campaign Monday to identify and highlight primary voters who were previously undecided or backed other candidates who then threw their support behind Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenUnited Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Omar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa MORE’s (D-Mass.) White House bid. 

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC), the first national group to endorse Warren, launched the Switch to Warren campaign Monday, just days before the Massachusetts Democrat will appear center stage for the first Democratic primary debate. 

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“As voters see Elizabeth Warren connect her bold transformational plans to her personal story of struggle growing up poor in Oklahoma and as a single mom in Texas, they are inspired to support her,” said Adam Green, co-founder of the PCCC.

“The debates represent the biggest opportunity yet for voters to compare candidates and switch to Warren as they realize she’d crush Trump on the campaign trail and would be the best president for America. We’re launching the SwitchToWarren.com campaign to showcase this very real dynamic.”

Warren has recently gained traction in national and statewide polls as voters and the media take note of her “I have a plan for that” playbook packed with detailed policy proposals to tackle economic and racial inequities. 

Long a favorite of the party’s left flank, Warren finds herself in a pitched battle with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOmar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' Seven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Democrats go all out to court young voters for 2020 MORE (I-Vt.) for the progressive mantle in the 24-candidate primary field. Trying to recover from a slow campaign rollout, Warren earlier this month leapfrogged Sanders to land in second place in a handful of national polls and a Monmouth University survey of likely Democratic caucusgoers in Nevada. 

However, the PCCC is looking to pull in most of its defectors from voters who are undecided or back former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenUnited Auto Workers strike against GM poised to head into eighth day Trump doubles down on call to investigate Biden after whistleblower complaint: 'That's the real story' Omar: Biden not the candidate to 'tackle a lot of the systematic challenges that we have' MORE, the current primary front-runner.

“Bernie supporters are pretty hardcore and are not the cornerstone of any Warren strategy. Biden voters and undecided voters are the biggest honey pots for Elizabeth Warren because they are disproportionately pundit voters who prioritize electability,” Green told The Hill.

“As these pundit voters see Warren connect on a gut level on the debate stage — tying her plans to her personal story of struggle growing up poor in Oklahoma and being a single mom in Texas — they increasingly will see her as the best candidate to defeat Trump and will move to her side.” 

The PCCC showcased a slate of interviews it conducted with attendees after Warren campaign events in the swing state of Michigan who said they had changed their mind after seeing her in person.

“I came in here committed to another candidate. It would take a lot to turn my head. But, I will admit, my head was turned,” Thea Barrak, a student at Wayne State University, said. “I was very impressed about – I think it’s mentioned a lot, but how she had a plan for everything.” 

“Coming into this, even though I knew a little bit about Elizabeth, I wasn’t on board with her yet. Now I feel like I’m really there with her as I’ve heard her talk,” added Sandy Kerchefski. “I think if the Michigan people see that she’s for the worker, for child care, and you know all the things she’s for, I think they’ll come around. I’d like her see her obviously be president. I think she’s a great candidate, and she really shows that she’s for the people.” 

The PCCC will continue to unveil new testimonials every day leading up to the first night of the first Democratic primary debates Wednesday.

The group is banking on Warren’s performance to fuel further defections, hoping her ability to connect with voters will extend from the Miami stage to the possibly millions of viewers set to tune in.

Warren will appear on the debate stage Wednesday, the first night of the two-day debates. Though she will appear alongside other high-profile candidates such as former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas) and Sens. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerSeven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa Iowa GOP swipes at 2020 Democrats' meat positions as candidates attend annual Steak Fry Booker aide sounds alarm about campaign's funding MORE (D-N.J.) and Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharSeven takeaways from a busy Democratic presidential campaign weekend in Iowa MSNBC 'Climate in Crisis' special draws 1.3M viewers in 8 pm timeslot The two most important mental health reforms the Trump administration should consider MORE (D-Minn.), recent polling shows Warren with comfortable leads over all of them. 

Sanders and Biden will duke it out along with eight other contenders on Thursday night. 

While Warren will be unable to directly take on the Vermont Independent and the former vice president, she will be able to cast herself as the sole true top-tier contender among the candidates appearing on Wednesday night.