Elizabeth Warren is demonstrating her ability to appeal to a broad coalition of voters as we move deeper into the primary season. Three endorsements from different points on the political spectrum are worth noting.
Recently, the Black to the Future Action Fund, a think tank and political organizing group formed by Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, endorsed Warren. This is the first time they’ve endorsed a presidential candidate; previously they have endorsed state level candidates such as Stacey Abrams. Their endorsement was driven by the perception that Warren evidences a clear “analysis of how power operates in this country” and she is “the person who we think will best help black communities.” The B2F Fund emphasizes six priorities, including voter empowerment, economic development in black communities, support for families, criminal justice reform, climate action, and confronting toxic white nationalism. (It’s worth noting that Warren received the highest ranking of any of the Presidential candidates on the 2020 Racial Justice scorecard from the Center for Urban and Racial Equity.)
Then we have Warren’s “crossover” appeal to Republican and Independent voters. Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Sheila Bair, a former chair of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, argues that Elizabeth Warren is an important antidote to what ails our current predatory, monopoly capitalism. Bair writes, “I am a Republican and have known and worked with Ms. Warren for many years. She is a capitalist and prairie populist, in the tradition of William Allen White and Teddy Roosevelt. She believes in a market economy. She just wants it to work for everyone.” Bair emphasizes that Warren understands that capitalism cannot work without accountability, regulation, and the end of monopolistic practices. She believes that Warren has “crossover appeal”: “Indeed, she is more market-oriented than the incumbent president, whose economic policies rely on near-trillion-dollar budget deficits, aggressive monetary policy, more tax loopholes, and government-managed trade. Ms. Warren promises structural reforms to strengthen the long-overlooked middle class. President Trump promised that in 2016; Ms. Warren might deliver.”
And what of progressive voters? This past Fall, the Working Families Party, a progressive political group that backed Bernie Sanders in 2016, announced that they were endorsing Elizabeth Warren in 2020. The Working Families Party works closely with unions, activists, and organizations around the country. This endorsement came because the WFP felt that Warren is best positioned to help the millions of working people struggling in this economy to make ends meet. Warren has detailed plans for raising wages and strengthening family supports, building a Green economy and fighting climate change while also creating millions of jobs, eliminating the onerous burden of college debt, and improving our health care system through a transitional plan that will reduce health care costs Day One and then over several years lead to Medicare For All, so that no one in our country is without effective health care.
Communities of color. Crossover voters. Progressive voters. Three endorsements, no matter the individual or group, don’t make a national movement. However, Warren’s track record on racial justice combined with the fact that she is a capitalist with bona fide progressive values and goals gives her a capacity unique among the Presidential candidates to create a broad voter coalition.