The start of the Democratic primary vote has been an uphill battle for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.
After coming in third in the first stop of the primary in Iowa, after a weakened performance in the last debate, and now trailing far behind in New Hampshire, the senator has her supporters worried.
“Warren — who seems most likely to appeal to white college-educated voters, which New Hampshire has more than its fair share of — needs a strong finish in this first primary if she hopes to win the nomination,” wrote Adam Harris in his analysis for The Atlantic.
“Warren built her campaign on a fast-paced rollout of detailed plans (…) But as the Democratic field winnowed in the fall, she pivoted to the argument she believed might matter most to voters: that she is the candidate who can unite the Democratic Party and defeat Donald Trump,” he added.
In the face of a surprise campaign surge from former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, the sustained strength of Senator Bernie Sanders, and the growing centrist appeal of Senator Amy Klobuchar, Senator Warren’s battle is harder than ever.
Her lead in the polls last November has now turned into a stalemate in third place alongside fellow Senator Amy Klobuchar and former Vice President Joe Biden, eight points behind Buttigieg and Sanders.
In New Hampshire, however, results placed her ten points behind Klobuchar, and almost 16 points behind Buttigieg and Sanders.
Despite having campaigned in her neighboring states, and despite having one of the most complete government plans in the primaries, her position to reunite the Democratic Party with “a plan for everything” may not be enough.
Meanwhile, her two main opponents have given the political bread and circuses that the public adores: Buttigieg suggested on Monday that nominating Sanders would “risk alienating Americans at this critical moment,” while the Vermont senator struck back by attacking the former mayor’s campaign for going to the home of the rich “and getting advice from millionaires and billionaires.”
Warren, again, insisted that in unity is the strength:
“These harsh tactics might work if you’re willing to burn down the rest of the party in order to be the last man standing,” Warren said. “They might work if you don’t worry about leaving our party and our politics worse off than how you found it. They might work if you think only you have all the answers and only you are the solution to all our problems.”
It’s as if conciliation is bad for politics. Warren, however, seems not to lose hope.
“I’m in it for the long haul,” she told reporters, according to the Los Angeles Times. “I built a campaign to be in it for the long haul.”
“I was thinking about unwinnable fights, because I think they tell us a lot about who we are,” she told a crowd of several hundred gathered in a high school gymnasium in Lebanon, near the Vermont border. “Every time I got knocked down,” she said, “I got back up.”
After the results came out in New Hampshire, the senator said:
“It is clear that Senator Sanders and Mayor Buttigieg had strong nights,” Warren told supporters at the Executive Health and Sports Center near the airport in Manchester. “And I also want to congratulate my friend and colleague Amy Klobuchar for showing just how wrong the pundits can be when they count a woman out.”
And in a country where Donald Trump is president, any scenario is possible, even the victory of a woman who has a plan for everything.