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Elizabeth Warren can unify Democrats and take back the White House
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been very vocal of late. She recently leveled sharp criticism against Democrats who bowed before the "billionaire class" and voted to weaken the restraints on the financial industry imposed after Wall Street ruined the economy in 2016.
She will jump into the headlines again soon as a featured speaker at the Netroots Conference of progressive activists from all over the nation in New Orleans later this summer.
To win the nomination and to go on to beat President Trump, the 2020 Democratic nominee needs to mend the fences between the Sanders and establishment Democrats and then bridge the wide gap between minority voters and white voters who are both struggling to make ends meet financially. Warren just might be the woman for the job.
Some Democrats think beating Trump in 2020 will be as easy as ordering coffee. I'm not one of them. Trump enjoys the support of his base, which is about 40 percent of the electorate, and he is a genius in using the media to mercilessly pummel his opponents. Trump's "Pocahontas" attacks against Warren are an illustration of his relentless jabs against his opponents.
Any Democrat who wants to claim the Democratic standard in 2020 needs to appeal to both the Sanders and the Clinton wings of the party. If the Democratic nominee is poison to the Sanders followers, there will be an ugly scene at the convention, no show voters and some defectors to the Green Party.
In other words there will be more of the same bitterness in 2020 that led to Hillary Clinton's loss in 2016. Sanders supporters would be burned two primary campaigns in a row and they will be even angrier than they are now. So the fallout would be even worse than it was in 2016 when some Bernie supporters voted for Trump or for the Green Party nominee Jill Stein or didn't vote at all.
Warren could bridge the gap between the two camps and she clearly is one of the frontrunners in the early going in the Democratic presidential sweepstakes.
Warren supported Clinton and unlike Sanders is an ardent Democrat. But there's not a dime's worth of difference in the stands between the positions of the two progressive Democratic senators. Warren is a fierce advocate of everything Sanders and his followers stand for. She actively supports his Medicare for All Plan, his comprehensive job program and his stand to negate the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
Warren is not shy about saying what's on her mind. Clinton was reluctant to say anything provocative about any issue.
Warren is already in position to be a serious Democratic presidential candidate.
She enjoys a committed base of support from progressive activists which responded enthusiastically when supporters mounted a campaign to draft her to run for president in 2016. This network will allow her to build the organization and raise the money she needs to win the Democratic nomination in 2020.
Warren is one of the three frontrunners for the democratic presidential nomination according to a poll conducted earlier this year by CNN. Former Vice President Joe Biden leads the first tier with the support of more than eight in 10 (84 percent) Democrats who say they might support his candidacy if he makes the race. But Sanders (75 percent) and Warren (68 percent) aren't far behind.
In a poll conducted in May by Suffolk University, the same three names dominate the important first in the nation, New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary. Even though Warren and Sanders both represent neighboring states and have a media presence in the Granite State, Warren has a two to one (26 percent to 13 percent) lead among Democratic primary voters. Biden clocks in at 20 percent.
Warren is in a unique position to win the nomination. Sanders is not acceptable to the establishment wing of the party and the Sanders wing will have problems with Biden. The success of female Democratic candidates in this year's primaries is a clear indication Warren could ride the surge of activism of Democratic women in the 2020 primaries and caucuses.
If she wins the Democratic nomination, Warren like any of the other Democratic aspirants will have her work cut out for her.
The biggest problem facing the Democratic nominee is the fracture between minority voters and white voters at the lower end of the economic and educational scale. To succeed, the Democrat will have to bring these two groups together - something that Hillary Clinton was unable to do.
The party's biggest challenge leading up to the 2020 presidential election is how to reconcile different racial groups who live on the fringe of society. The two groups are minority voters who are the foundation of the party and the white voters, at the low end of the social and economic pecking order and who were once Democratic stalwarts.
Warren would be the progressive populist alternative to Trump that Clinton could never be. Warren has been active in Washington for only 10 years and has been at war with the political and financial establishments the whole time. Her 27 years in Washington made Clinton a D.C. denizen of the swamp and a big Trump target.
Her battle against the billionaire class should help her retain the support of minority voters. She also could bring back the independent minded white voters at the lower end of the economic and educational scale in the industrial Midwest who sent Trump to the White House in frustration over the status quo.
Her willingness to attack the Democrats who voted to weaken Dodd Frank shows independent voters that she's not afraid to speak her mind even when her comments sting members of her own party.
Democrats need a 2020 nominee like Warren, who ardently preaches the importance of economic justice - the bridge between the minority voters and white voters who are both victims of a rigged economic system. America needs a president who will bring together people on the fringe of society.
Brad Bannon is a Democratic pollster and CEO of Bannon Communications Research. (There is no relation to former Trump adviser Stephen Bannon). He is also a senior adviser to, and editor of, the blog at MyTiller.com, a social media network for politics. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.