Warren named as no. 2 choice among Democrats

Gregory Korte

Elizabeth Warren is the second choice for the greatest number of Democratic primary voters, suggesting more upside for the Massachusetts senator as the field begins to narrow.

Polls have consistently shown that Joe Biden is the first choice of a plurality of Democrats. But he’s still well under 50%, giving ample room for Democrats to coalesce around another candidate.

A new Pew Research Center survey suggests that other than Biden, Warren is best positioned to be that candidate. She’s the first choice of 16% of Democrats, but the second choice of 21%. She does particularly well as the second choice for supporters of Senator Kamala Harris, 31%, and Senator Bernie Sanders at 29%.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks to media at a campaign event, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2019, in Franconia, N.H. A new Pew Research Center survey suggests that other than Joe Biden, Warren is best positioned to be that candidate.

The survey has implications for the ability of Democrats to unite behind their nominee to run against President Donald Trump. Deep divisions between Hillary Clinton and Sanders supporters in 2016 continued to dampen enthusiasm for Clinton in the general election.

There’s still that danger. Supporters of Biden and Sanders are more likely to say their candidate is the only one they’re excited about: 31% of Biden supporters and 32% of Sanders supporters could not name a second-place candidate.

Sanders’ latest idea to fight climate change? Electrify everything.A climate plan being crafted by the Vermont senator to aggressively transition the nation away from fossil fuels will include a focus on electrification – a growing movement that seeks to electrify technologies powered by combustion, a senior campaign aide said.

The concept has been getting a second look from environmentalists and climate experts who say powering everything from hot-water heaters to school buses from electricity generated using carbon-free sources like renewables instead of natural gas and other fossil fuels will be necessary to reach the greenhouse gas reductions required to avert a global warming crisis.

It remains to be seen when Sanders, who is said to be working on major climate legislation, will release his proposal, though the pressure is on for him to do so. Sanders, a backer of the Green New Deal who has called for banning fracking and new fossil fuel projects, is one of the last remaining Democratic candidates to release a detailed plan for dealing with global warming.

He teamed up last month with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, author of the Green New Deal, to introduce a resolution that declared the existence of a “climate emergency which demands a massive-scale mobilization to halt, reverse, and address its consequences and causes.” – Ari Natter

Warren called for the protection of tribal lands and bolstering funding for Native programs Friday as she rolled out a detailed policy to address issues within the Native American community.

Warren, who has been dogged by controversy over her own claims to Native American heritage, also is co-sponsoring legislation with Representative Deb Haaland, a New Mexico Democrat and a Native American, to address funding disparities for Native communities. Haaland endorsed Warren’s presidential bid last month.

“We are failing in our legal, political, and moral obligations toward tribal governments and indigenous peoples,” Warren wrote in a Medium post. “That this failure is simply the latest chapter in generations of prior failures is no excuse.”

She is set to attend a presidential forum on American Indian issues in Sioux City, Iowa, next week. It will be the first time Warren will speak at length about Native issues since she released a widely criticized video last year of her taking a DNA test that showed distant American Indian ancestry.

Trump has derisively referred to Warren, of Massachusetts, as “Pocahontas” over the course of her political career, and he said he would be bringing back the nickname in the near future.

“I hit her really hard and it looked like she was down and out but that was too long ago, I should’ve waited,” the president said Thursday at a rally in New Hampshire. “But don’t worry, we will revive it.” – Tyler Pager

Beto O’Rourke, seeking to reset his struggling campaign, rolled out a plan Friday aimed at combating “hate and violence” in the U.S. after a mass shooting seemingly inspired by white supremacy in his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

The plan would require the FBI and Justice Department to make right-wing violence a priority and establish white nationalism as a terrorist threat.

O’Rourke proposed to nudge social media companies to set up operations to remove “hateful activities” on their websites to limit the proliferation of such thinking.

His plan also includes gun control measures such as universal background checks, banning assault weapons, a gun registry and licensing system and a mandatory buyback program for banned firearms. – Sahil Kapur

–With assistance from Sahil Kapur, Tyler Pager and Ari Natter.