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GOP strategists believe Trump could beat Elizabeth Warren in 2020 and polls back it up

Is this part of a McConnell long game?


David Gilmour


Posted on Feb 15, 2017   Updated on May 25, 2021, 12:00 am CDT

President Donald Trump would defeat Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) if the two were to run in the 2020 presidential election, according to the findings of a new poll that explores the match up, but results show that he would lose to a generic Democrat candidate.

The hypothetical election was run by Politico/Morning Consult to determine how the Democrats would fare, concluding that Trump would triumph over Warren by 42 to 36 percent—and this in spite of Trump’s low approval ratings and the senator’s increasing popularity among liberals.

The poll was performed Feb. 9-10, just days after Warren was silenced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) as she spoke out in opposition to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. McConnell cut Warren off as she attempted to read a letter from civil rights leader Coretta Scott King, which had been used to oppose Sessions’ 1986 federal judge nomination.

McConnell’s action resulted in a grassroots backlash among progressives, who voiced objection in defense of Warren with a #LetLizSpeak and #ShePresisted hashtags on Twitter.

Democrats were further antagonized and outraged by comments that came from Trump himself. Referring to Warren, Trump retorted that “Pocahontas is now the face of [the Democratic] party” at a meeting the following Thursday—a quip which stems from a campaign trail insult coined by Trump deriding Warren’s Native American heritage.

But while many liberals look to Warren as a strong candidate, the latest poll results attest that she is not popular enough among the electorate to beat Trump. It is this fact that has some critics questioning this sudden and targeted persecution of the senator by Republicans, particularly by someone like McConnell, who masterminded the entire obstruction of the Obama administration.

“I think everybody inside and outside the Senate knows that McConnell doesn’t do anything without a plan,” one GOP strategist said of Warren’s silencing. “His ability to see around the corner is entirely unrivaled. Any attention that people pay to Elizabeth Warren is good for Republicans. She just isn’t the type of candidate who would do well in states that Democrats lost last cycle.”

And therein may lie the rub. In elevating the status of Warren among Democrats, is it possible that the Republicans are subtly working to push her toward a 2020 presidential nomination in the calculated belief they could defeat her?

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*First Published: Feb 15, 2017, 12:53 pm CST