Wait — isn’t Bernie Sanders’ socialist-crank campaign a zombie apocalypse in itself? YMMV, but after last night’s shutout on Super Tuesday, one can hardly blame Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for not connecting those particular dots. At the moment, Alex Thompson writes at Politico, they need a reason to keep their campaign together, even though her dismal night will likely intensify calls for Warren to drop out.
If that means offering a science-fiction scenario, so be it:
Other staffers, who are usually unflappably positive on social media, vented their frustration with sexism, Sanders supporters, and the state of the race.
The night even had two staffers openly exchanging barbs on Twitter over whether some Warren aides were too “privileged.” (POLITICO sent screenshots of the tweets to a Warren spokesperson but did not receive a response.)
For the most disciplined campaign in the Democratic field, the public infighting was another sign that the string of losses has rattled and demoralized her team.
The campaign’s design director was especially dark, writing: “This is a product of a sad drunk brain and a lifetime of sci-fi, but I keep thinking about the Coronavirus and fiction universe in which it turn us all into zombies and a small group of heroes try to go back in time to elect Warren because she was the only one with a plan.”
So far, Trump’s plan seems to be working out OK, so we can skip the time travel. If that were possible, though, perhaps someone could go back in time and tell Warren not to claim Native American ancestry, not to change stories on why she stopped teaching, and also to put together plans to pay for her plans. Warren’s current status speaks volumes about the capabilities of those time-travel squads.
Unfortunately for Warren, it also speaks volumes about her current status in the race. As of this morning, though, Warren has chosen to ignore it. She sent out an urgent fundraising message to supporters to fight on until at least next Tuesday’s six primaries:
Warren message to supporters: “There are six more primaries just one week away, and we need your help to keep up the momentum.” pic.twitter.com/zr2QlQOVqk
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) March 4, 2020
“We need your help to keep up the momentum“? Oh, please.
Another quote is less hilarious but no less dishonest. “We might not know the full results from states like Texas, California, and Colorado for a few days,” Warren’s message declares, but we know enough to say that Warren won’t win any of them, and won’t finish in second place either. She might still win a handful of delegates, but Warren will still be left in double digits while both Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden have well over 400 each.
Besides, what exactly is her argument for the nomination now? Not only did Warren fail to carry her home state, she came in third. Even in her professed core demographic — women — Warren lost by ten points to Joe Biden. That was in deep-progressive Massachusetts, tool; next Tuesday’s states are mainly Rust Belt/Midwestern with an exception in Washington State. There are zero reasons to believe that Warren’s on the cusp of a breakout performance in any of them after last night’s debacle.
That brings us back to Politico’s Thompson:
Warren’s campaign declined to comment on her next steps after her dismal Super Tuesday performance. But allies who speak regularly with the campaign say the mood was bleak. A small wave of last-minute endorsements from groups like EMILY’s List, along with late financial help from a super PAC, did not significantly move the needle.
That’s left the Warren campaign to wonder whether a path forward exists.
Clearly there isn’t a path that involves overtaking Biden and Sanders. If Warren thinks she can win a brokered convention, it might be worth sticking around, although she doesn’t have the $55 billion fortune that Michael Bloomberg can use; she’ll have to convince donors to keep coughing up cash while she tries to bleed delegates off and skate to the convention. Now that Bloomberg’s opting out of the fight and endorsing Biden, though, Warren does have that lane open to her. If she can convince people to fund it, that is.
Addendum: The path-assessment phase has begun, however …
JUST IN: Sen. @EWarren “is talking to her team to assess the path forward,” an aide to the Massachusetts senator tells me. She is in Boston today after flying back from a Detroit campaign event last night.
— Ed O’Keefe (@edokeefe) March 4, 2020