MoveOn.org will launch a campaign to draft Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential contest, after members of the progressive group voted in favor of the effort.
On Tuesday, MoveOn announced that it was prepared to spend at least $1 million on the draft Warren campaign, which will involve setting up offices in Iowa and New Hampshire, the states that kick off the presidential primaries; recruiting grassroots volunteers; cultivating small donors; and running ads in support of Warren, whose progressive populism has galvanized much of the Democratic Party's activist base. But MoveOn waited for its members to vote on a Warren endorsement before proceeding with the plans.
This morning, the group unveiled the results of its member poll, which showed strong support for the plan. Of the MoveOn members who voted, 81 percent backed the draft Warren campaign. In conjunction with the poll's release, MoveOn unveiled a new website, RunWarrenRun.org, where visitors can sign a petition calling on Warren to run. The site also features a nearly four-minute long video touting Warren's biography and populist track record.
“MoveOn members have spoken clearly, and we are today throwing our full weight behind this Run Warren Run campaign to show Sen. Warren she has the support of millions of Americans across the country,” MoveOn executive director Ilya Sheyman said in a statement Wednesday. “We are at a crucial time in our nation’s history, with income inequality higher than it’s been since the 1920s and with a playing field increasingly skewed in favor of Wall Street banks and corporate lobbyists. Sen. Warren’s fearlessness in standing up to corporate interests and fighting for the middle class and working families is exactly what we need in the presidential race.”
The vote comes as some progressive voice unease with the centrist, pro-Wall Street views of Hillary Clinton, who is widely expected to mount a second White House bid and currently dominates the Democratic field in early polling for the 2016 contest. While Warren has insisted she isn't running for president, she and her aides have spoken only in the present tense, and Warren boosters seized on the senator's cryptic comment in October that "[t]here are amazing doors that could open."
In addition to MoveOn, the liberal group Democracy for America, founded by former Vermont governor Howard Dean, is also expected to push for Warren to make the race. But Dean himself isn't on board; in a Politico Magazine piece today, he reaffirmed his support for Clinton.