Elizabeth Warren’s support steadily increases in polls


Caitlin Yamada/ Iowa State Daily

Elizabeth Warren speaks at the Iowa Democratic Wing Ding on Aug. 9.

Katherine Kealey

Candidates come in and out of Iowa, the field becomes smaller and campaign advertisements infiltrate social media feeds and television — a sign of the nearing election.

The Democratic Party has been in the midst of a presidential primary for months now, and voters are narrowing down their choices as they come closer to choosing a nominee. During this process, Elizabeth Warren has seen her standing in the race steadily increase.

According to the RealClearPolitics national polling average, as of Tuesday, the top three Democratic contenders are former Vice President Joe Biden with 29.4 percent support, Sen. Elizabeth Warren with 23.4 percent support and Sen. Bernie Sanders with 15.6 percent. These numbers have shifted over the primary campaign season.

Biden and Sanders have been fairly consistent in their polls. Biden has continuously been the frontrunner since December 2018 with the exception of a single day when Warren overtook him in the average. During February 2019 the runners-up were Sanders and Sen. Kamala Harris. On July 7, Harris, Sanders and Warren were all within a two percent range of each other, but since then Harris has fallen and Warren has risen.

Warren’s poll numbers have been steadily rising, and she is only a few percentage points behind Biden.

Kelly Winfrey, assistant professor of journalism and coordinator of research and outreach for the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, said she believes Warren can appeal to all demographics of voters.

“Elizabeth Warren’s message is appealing to a broad base of voters,” Winfrey said. “It taps into some old school Democratic values about unions and the working class, and because of that it has a really broad appeal.”

Michael Bryant, freshman in kinesiology and health, is a volunteer for the Warren campaign. He said he discovered Warren when he came to campus and appreciates her “classic American values.”

“Things that set her apart from people like Bernie is that she is a capitalist, so she is still fighting for strong American ideals,” Bryant said. “She really wants to rebuild the middle class, and she has strong ways of doing so.”

Bryant said he believes Warren came from “nothing,” and hard work has brought her to the place she is now; making her the “spitting image” of the American dream. Bryant also said he appreciates the “plans” Warren has created.

“What she is writing is incredible,” Bryant said. “I know there are lots of candidates that said they have plans for things, but hers just seem very straightforward.”

Even though the tactic of having detailed plans and policies for all candidates’ platforms has not always been effective in winning votes — Hillary Clinton received a series of detailed policies in her failed 2016 presidential campaign — Winfrey said she believes this has benefited Warren.

“I think for her, in particular, she is able to talk to people in a way where she takes complicated issues and explains them in a way that everyone can understand and is persuasive in doing so, in ways that other candidates haven’t been able to,” Winfrey said.

Winfrey said she believes Warren has a lot of time to improve her support even more before caucus night. Warren has consistently been in first place in recent weeks among polls of likely Democratic Iowa caucusgoers.

“The trend is good for her; there are still a lot of people who are undecided, or feel like they could be persuaded to other candidates, so there are certainly a lot of opportunities for her to grow,” Winfrey said. “There are also opportunities to lose voters too, because there are still so many candidates […] still appearing on debate stages and making trips to Iowa. There is a lot of chance for movement between now and the caucuses. I would not expect her to fall out of the top three or four because she has been pretty firm there.”