By Alex Thompson – Politico
Elizabeth Warren had a plan for winning. It didn’t work: In 18 nomination contests, she hasn’t finished above third place — including in her home state.
Now, she’s facing political and financial pressures to get out.
Warren’s campaign declined to comment on her next steps after her dismal Super Tuesday performance. But allies who speak regularly with the campaign say the mood was bleak. A small wave of last-minute endorsements from groups like EMILY’s List, along with late financial help from a super PAC, did not significantly move the needle.
That’s left the Warren campaign to wonder whether a path forward exists. While the campaign had insisted it still saw an opening by going to the convention — she will likely collect at least several dozen delegates Tuesday — the results were far below their own publicly-released projections.
Three weeks ago, the campaign said it was “poised” to finish in the top-two in eight of the 14 states that vote on Super Tuesday. She didn’t in any, including her home state of Massachusetts. (California votes are still being counted but she is currently running a distant-fourth.)
This past weekend, the campaign and allies predicted that the field winnowing would redound to Warren’s benefit. It didn’t.
The campaign also has financial constraints that come with a unionized staff of over 1,000 people — the largest field operation in the race besides Mike Bloomberg’s — even after raising $29 million in February. With a payroll at over $6 million per month, the campaign likely needs to keep at least several million dollars on hand to cover paychecks, benefits, and other assorted shutdown costs to avoid going into debt. Warren was able to raise a significant amount of that money with her strong debate performances, but there is not another debate until March 15.
The super PAC that provided over $12 million in air cover to Warren ahead of Super Tuesday also has said it is not placing ad buys for March 10. Warren herself has no public events planned until Friday. Perhaps anticipating that the night would go poorly, she did not give a traditional election night speech but rather held a regular town hall in Detroit, which votes next week, just as results began to roll in. She hardly mentioned the elections happening Tuesday.
With Joe Biden’s tour de force showing, progressives outside the campaign are wondering about the best way to still nominate someone more progressive.
On Twitter, Warren staffers also appeared as if they were bracing for the end. Some talked about how “proud” they were of the team, others stoically tweeted: “I am a Warren Democrat.”
Read more here.
Whatever happens, I am a Warren Democrat, and proud of it.
I believe in real progressive change, and I believe in her.
— Jeff Yang (@originalspin) March 4, 2020
I am a Warren Democrat. https://t.co/yZ4j0Fweaz
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) March 4, 2020
I am a Warren Democrat. https://t.co/xj70pHYGWF
— Piper Perabo (@PiperPerabo) March 4, 2020
I am a Warren Democrat.
— Ben O'Keefe (@benjaminokeefe) March 4, 2020
If Warren had dropped and endorsed Bernie when the centrists dropped and endorsed Biden, progressives would have had a fighting chance. She stayed in so she could get 3rd in her home state.
— Krystal Ball (@krystalball) March 4, 2020