With Warren Gone, Where Are Warren’s Endorsers Going?

Printed from: https://newbostonpost.com/2020/03/06/with-warren-gone-where-are-warrens-endorsers-going/

Elizabeth Warren didn’t win many delegates, and she didn’t win any states. But she did pile up some endorsements along the way.

Warren didn’t endorse any of the three remaining Democrats running for president when she dropped out of the race Thursday, but some of Warren’s endorsers have already made their move.

New Boston Post contacted several Democrats who previously endorsed Warren.

While some analysts have suggested Warren’s voters may drift to Bernie Sanders since the agendas of the two candidates overlap, several politicians said Thursday they’re moving to Vice President Joe Biden – the sudden frontrunner after piling up victories on Super Tuesday earlier this week.

One example is Janet Petersen, minority leader of the Iowa Senate.

“I will be supporting Biden for President,” Petersen said in an email message to New Boston Post.

Many Democrats worried about the party’s standing in Congress and at other levels of government are turning to Biden as a means to stop Bernie Sanders, the Vermont U.S. senator and self-described democratic socialist who was the frontrunner going into this past weekend. The thinking among many party analysts is that Biden is a better candidate against President Donald Trump and therefore – win or lose in November – less likely than Sanders to drag down candidates for lesser offices.

One Warren supporter, Michael Fitzgerald, the state treasurer of Iowa, said in a telephone interview that he was sad to see Warren’s campaign end, but that he, too, is ready to support Biden.

“He’s a very steady, level-headed leader,” Fitzgerald said in a telephone interview Friday with New Boston Post. “I think he will help the Democratic ticket from the top to the bottom from the courthouse to the statehouse. He’s a known quantity. I think Americans would be comfortable voting for his maturity over President Trump’s wild behavior.”

For Brian King, the Utah House minority leader, it was a tougher decision. He said he gave no thought to supporting the third candidate remaining, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who has remained low in the polls and in primary election results. But he gives credit to Sanders for doing well with younger voters.

But Biden’s mainstream reputation will likely win his vote.

“I’m torn,” King told New Boston Post in a telephone interview Friday. “Nobody knows exactly how it plays out, but I’ll probably end up voting for Joe Biden because he has the broadest appeal.”

“He has to pivot to some degree to appeal to people who support Bernie,” King continued. “He has to realize the culture of today’s politics is different than when he worked in the Senate or even Vice President. I think people are turned off when he acts like Republicans are like the Republicans he dealt with in the Senate in the ‘70s and ‘80s. I do think we have to call out today’s Republicans for what they are:  the party of Trump.”

For those who backed Warren because they liked her firmly left-of-center proposals, Sanders would seem a better ideological fit.

One example:  Lucy Flores, a former member of the Nevada Assembly.

Flores has a history with Biden. Last year, she accused Biden of kissing her without her permission at a campaign event in Nevada when she ran for lieutenant governor of Nevada as a Democrat in 2014.

But she told New Boston Post she likes Sanders for his economic platform.

“Bernie is the only candidate who believes in, and will fight for, the same policies that Warren was championing,” Flores wrote in an email message. “Only Bernie will campaign on healthcare for all, cancelling student debt, and closing the wealth and opportunity gap between the wealthiest 1% and the rest of us. If we truly want the big structural change that Warren was calling for, it’s clear there is only one candidate left who will fight for that, and that’s Bernie Sanders.”

Several members of the Democratic National Committee who endorsed Warren are taking an approach similar to the candidate’s and not endorsing anyone else yet.

Alex Goff, of Nevada, told New Boston Post via email that he is glad Warren ran and that she inspired a lot of people. He also stated, “I am prepared to back the eventual nominee, and work to elect Democrats locally.”

Joshua B. Harris-Till of Oklahoma tweeted Thursday that he would support either Biden or Sanders as the nominee, but not Gabbard.

Mark Brewer, a Democratic National Committee official and former chairman of Michigan’s Democratic Party, said he has not made up his mind yet, but he offered one prediction:  that Warren dropping out won’t be a major boost for Sanders in Michigan.

“I’m just extremely disappointed and sad because I thought Warren was head and shoulders the best candidate for us to nominate to take on Trump,” he told New Boston Post in a telephone interview. “But I expect that Warren’s support in Michigan will be pretty split between the two remaining major candidates.”

Two other Warren supporters – Florida state Representative Cindy Polo and Michigan state Senator Mallory McMorrow, said they would focus on down-ballot races for the time being, according to written statements sent to New Boston Post by their offices.

Polo also offered praise for Warren’s political approach.

“If you saw the Senator’s remarks outside of her home today, she said something that resonated deeply with me:  she was told that she either had to be moderate, or progressive and that it seemed like there was no room for anything other than either of those two lanes,” she said of Warren. “That statement connected with me because we need to stop thinking about lanes and brands in politics and instead focus on solutions — both big and small.”

According to FiveThirtyEight, as of Friday, March 6, Biden has a 65 percent chance of earning at least a plurality of the delegates, making him the frontrunner to earn the Democratic nomination.