Wall Street bankers and financial bigwigs are scaling back their donations to the Democratic Party, according to a new report from CNBC, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is likely to blame.
CNBC reports that Wall Street executives have told Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), the primary recipient of their largesse, that they are temporarily restricting their generosity over “their concerns with Warren becoming a front-runner in the race for the party’s presidential nomination.”
It’s a move likely to have direct consequences. Democrats want to retake the Senate and keep the House in the 2020 elections — in addition to winning back the White House — and without big money donors, major gains in either house of Congress are unlikely.
More moderate Democrats may be in deep danger, too, if they aren’t cashing Wall Street checks. Many of the Democrats who count on Wall Street money to finance their campaigns are facing primary challenges from the left, and the lack of cash on hand leaves them vulnerable to Democratic socialist candidates who can run on shoestring budgets with the help of national non-profits.
And that’s the point, it seems, according to CNBC.
“The move is intended to put pressure on party leadership and Schumer, who represents New York and has received millions of dollars in donations from Wall Street, to distance themselves from Warren’s economic populism,” the outlet reports.
The plan is also to force Democrats to shy away from adopting Warrren’s platform, which includes “breaking up” big banks, punishing Wall Street investors, and hiking taxes on both income and capital gains. Even if she doesn’t happen to be the nominee, its clear Wall Street is concerned her ideas could catch on.
“They feel, rightly or wrongly, attacked. Not just that there will be higher taxes, but that she is running her entire campaign as them being boogeymen,” an anonymous source, familiar with the issue, told CNBC. “They don’t feel safe going to Trump, they feel disillusioned by Biden and they see this as a tactic to slow her down. They see it as a way to put pressure on the party as a whole to move away from Warren.”
Warren probably isn’t concerned about the lack of cash flow from Wall Street; she’s made turning down their donations — and all other corporate donations — a hallmark of her campaign (even though she’s created a backdoor system where those same donors can fund Warren-aligned PACs and pressure groups). And she might even be amused — after all, the move does seem to prove her point about how tied the Democratic Party is to Wall Street cash.
Neither Warren nor Schumer were inclined to comment on the issue, but they may not have much to worry about. According to a New York Times poll released yesterday, Warren, despite being in the lead among Democratic primary voters in some all-important early primary states, clearly isn’t the best choice for Democrats looking to unseat President Donald Trump next November. Former vice president Joe Biden is the only candidate giving Trump a run for his money in battlgeround states.