By Chad Groening
A political scholar says three main factors contribute to Elizabeth Warren's rise in the Democratic presidential polls.
A new Quinnipiac University poll of Democratic voters and Democratic-leaning Independents shows the Massachusetts senator is now ahead of former Vice President Joe Biden in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, with Warren at 27 percent and Biden at 25 percent. The same poll showed Biden at 32 percent and Warren at 19 percent in August, so it appears that Warren's new support comes from former Biden supporters.
Dr. Merrill Matthews, resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation (IPI) and author of On the Edge: America Faces the Entitlements Cliff, says Warren has been one of the best prepared, most engaged, and on-message candidates on the stump.
"When people say, 'What are you going to do about this particular problem?' she'll respond, 'I have a plan for that,' and she outlines the plan," Dr. Matthews submits. "So she seems to know what she's doing, and she's staying consistent in that."
Secondly, as he writes in an IPI post, she seems approachable.
"People seem to like her, and she seems to be able to reach out," he observes.
But third and most importantly, Dr. Matthews says Warren has the socialist policies without a socialist identification.
"There's almost no light between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren's policies, and yet she has never sort of taken on that name," the scholar explains. "So if you're a Democrat who likes socialist policies, and you don't want to have that name, Elizabeth Warren is your candidate."
And with the Democrats' obsession with identity politics, Dr. Matthews concludes that Warren, a woman, can identify as a historically excluded minority.