Elizabeth Warren downplays rise in polls: `It's way too early'

Sahil Kapur
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., waves as she arrives at a campaign house party, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Windham, N.H.

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren shrugged off surveys showing her gaining support nationally and in California, an important early primary state, to place second behind front-runner Joe Biden.

“It’s way too early to talk about polls. What are we, eight months away from the first caucuses and primary elections?” the Massachusetts senator told reporters Saturday in Charleston, South Carolina.

A national Economist/YouGov poll released on Wednesday showed Warren in second place among the large Democratic field with 16%, behind former Vice President Biden’s 26% and ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders’s 12%.

A poll of likely California voters by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Government Studies out Thursday also put Warren in second with 18%, behind Biden’s 22% and a point better than Sanders at 17%. California, the most populous U.S. state, moved its primary this year to early March from early June in 2016.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., talks with supporters at a campaign house party, Friday, June 14, 2019, in Windham, N.H.

Iowa will be the first state to hold a 2020 nominating contest. A week ago, a survey released by the Des Moines Register and CNN gave Warren 15% backing, placing her third behind Biden’s 24% and Sanders’s 16%. Iowa holds its caucus Feb. 3.

“I’m out there doing what I believe in,” Warren said. “I get a chance to talk about what’s broken in America, how we can fix it, and build a grassroots movement to get that done. And I get to do it every day.”

“I’ve done 90-plus town halls, I’ve taken more than 2,000 unfiltered questions, I’ve been to 20 states and Puerto Rico, I think we’re closing in on 30,000 selfies,” she said.

Warren, 69, discussed the latest polls after speaking at the Black Economic Alliance forum, where she proposed narrowing the racial wealth gap by setting aside $7 billion for equity investments in black and other minority-owned businesses.

She brushed aside reports that the Trump campaign is planning to sharpen its attacks on her based on her rise in the polls.

“Donald Trump is going to do whatever he thinks helps Donald Trump,” she said. "The way that we win is to go out and talk to people all across this country about our plans for the future, about our vision, about what we’re willing to get in there and fight for.”