Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) may be busy defending her DNA results Monday, but her team has spent the last several weeks putting together the bones of what appears to be a massive campaign engine, focusing intently on early primary states like Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.
The Washington Post reports that Warren, who hasn’t officially declared that she intends to run for President, has closely followed Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in deploying staffers to help key Democratic contenders in the 2018 midterms, in the hopes that those same Democratic candidates will help form the base of a campaign operation in their respective states.
Unlike Booker and other potential 2020 Democratic contenders, though, Warren’s operation reportedly extends to “all 50 states,” and may be the first national Democratic campaign to take shape ahead of the 2020 elections.
“Her effort, which goes far beyond the fundraising and endorsement speeches in which prospective presidential candidates typically engage, has encompassed work in all 50 states and close coordination with more than 150 campaigns,” the Post reports. “The result is a wide-ranging network that includes those running for state treasurer in Nevada, state legislature in Iowa and congressional offices across the country.”
Nevada and Iowa are key caucus states, but for very different reasons. Iowa can help Warren build credibility as an appealing progressive candidate; Nevada’s Democrats can help Warren claim a diverse foundation of support that includes the Hispanics, union workers, and blue-collar, working class moderates that make up much of Nevada’s Democratic base.
Warren is also learning from Clinton’s mistakes, deploying staffers to “Rust Belt” states like Michigan, Trump campaign strongholds like Florida, and states Clinton failed to notice like Wisconsin, so that she can shore up swing state support and build comprehensive in-state operations before other Democrats have the chance.
Interestingly enough, though, Warren is going outside the traditional Democratic apparatus, building her own national “committee” of support without the help of the Democratic National Committee. That may be good news for Warren, but its bad news for the DNC, which has become increasingly marginalized by both progressives and mainstream Democrats alike.