Elizabeth Warren’s endorsement in the 2020 presidential election has been the topic of great speculation, following the news that she was dropping out of the race herself. It’s unclear who she will endorse, between former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Given the broad coalition she built during her own race, it’s possible that her endorsement could tip the scales for one candidate.
As Super Tuesday unfolded, many Sanders fans lamented that Warren’s decision to stay in the race, despite securing any primary wins so far, had cost him a victory.
Sarah Silverman, a comedian and longtime supporter of Sanders, tweeted, “Imagine if Warren got behind Bernie to make sure progress won? I LOVE her but, as of yesterday it would seem she is handing the nomination to Biden by splitting the progressive vote. Is it on purpose? Forgive me -I’m truly just trying to understand – does she have a chance to win?”
However, many other pundits noted that Warren’s voter base was just as likely to swing towards Biden if she wasn’t in the race, and that her decision to stay in the race through Super Tuesday was not the reason for Sander’s primary woes.
Warren has spoken with both Biden and Sanders in recent days, The New York Times reports. Of course, this doesn’t confirm that she’s going to endorse either of them.
It’s fully possible that Warren could choose not to endorse anyone for the indefinite future, or until one candidate confirms they will fight for some of her policies. She didn’t endorse Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race until quite late in the election cycle.
As the New York Times notes, Warren’s endorsement is up in the air largely because of how she billed herself throughout the election cycle: she described herself as a “unity candidate,” the publication reports, “pitching herself as the electoral compromise between the left-wing dominated by Mr. Sanders and the moderate wing led by former Mr. Biden.”
Here’s what you need to know:
The Case for Warren to Endorse Sanders
Warren and Sanders have long been supportive of one another’s campaigns, and have shared multiple progressive policy goals, most notably Medicare for All. However, tensions began to rise publicly between the Sanders and Warren campaigns around the time of the Iowa caucuses.
By the time Super Tuesday rolled around, many Sanders supporters were attacking Warren’s decision to stay in the race, claiming that her decision had cost him several victories in various states.
For what it’s worth, Sanders repeatedly said that Warren had earned the right to take the time to make her own decision, on whether to stay or whether to drop out. He never attacked her for staying in the race.
In terms of personal politics and ideology, Warren firmly and repeatedly described herself as a capitalist, drawing a stark contrast to Sanders’ self-identification as a Democratic socialist. They both billed themselves as progressives, and ran on progressive platforms. Early on in the presidential race, she said she was “with Bernie” on Medicare for All, but slowly began distancing herself from him, even with that plan.
For example, Sanders said at one point, “I’m going to introduce the Medicare for All legislation the first week that I am in office…I think that is a difference that we have with Sen. Warren.” Warren had said that she would have Congress vote on Medicare for All in her third year of office, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Though they maintained a public friendship throughout the early stages of the campaign, Warren and Sanders experienced what appeared to be a very public rift, after Warren confirmed that Sanders told her in a 2018 meeting he didn’t believe a woman could be president. Sanders continues to deny that he ever said that.
In the days leading up to the Iowa caucuses, a Sanders campaign script leaked, in which there were apparent criticisms of Warren. At a rally, Warren said, “I was disappointed to hear that Bernie is sending his volunteers out to trash me. Bernie knows me, and has known me for a long time. He knows who I am, where I come from, what I have worked on and fought for, and the coalition and grassroots movement we’re trying to build.”
In response, Sanders denied awareness of the script, and told reporters, “Look I just read about it. We have over 500 people on our campaign. People do certain things. I’m sure that in Elizabeth’s campaign, people do certain things as well.”
He continued, “But you have heard me for months. I have never said a negative word about Elizabeth Warren who is a friend of mine. We have differences of issues, that’s what the campaign is about, but no one is going to be attacking Elizabeth.”
Still, it seems like most publications are betting on Warren to endorse Sanders over Biden. A few days before she dropped out, she told supporters at a rally in Los Angeles, “I respect [Biden’s] years of service. But no matter how many Washington insiders tell you to support him, nominating their fellow Washington insider will not meet this moment.”
The Case for Warren to Endorse Biden
In the last few weeks, Biden’s presidential campaign has experienced what many are calling an unprecedented resurgence. Leading up to the South Carolina primary, he was lagging in polls, barely holding up in the middle of the candidate pack.
Then he swept South Carolina, causing a ripple effect of events (Buttigieg dropped out, then Klobuchar, both of them going on to endorse Biden), that allowed him to win the most delegates on Super Tuesday. Many have stated that the Democratic establishment is closing in around Biden.
Earlier in the week, Michael Bloomberg became the fourth moderate candidate to drop out and endorse Biden, after Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Beto O’Rourke, who dropped out much earlier in the campaign.
Now, it’s possible that Warren’s campaign will feel pressure to endorse Biden in an electability play, in order to establish a unified Democratic front to defeat Donald Trump.
Elizabeth Warren’s Endorsement: #WarrentoBiden & #WarrentoSanders Start Trending Immediately Following the News of Her Decision to Drop Out
As soon as the news spread that Warren would be dropping out, the voter bases of Biden and Sanders began to vie for her official endorsement. #WarrentoBiden and #WarrentoSanders are both trending on Twitter, and likely will continue to generate related tweets until she makes her announcement.
Of course, many of her voters haven’t waited for her endorsement to make their own announcement of where they were moving their vote. “I hope @ewarren‘s supporters give strong consideration to @JoeBiden,” one user tweeted. “Joe never personally attacked Liz & always believed a woman could be president.”
Another person tweeted, “I’m sad about #ElizabethWarren, but my probably dying best friend just texted me that her insurance isn’t coming through the way they said they would in terms of getting her into treatment….. we gotta go #WarrentoSanders y’all. Medicare for all would literally save lives.”