SALT LAKE CITY — Presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren has become a social media darling in recent weeks. She’s also corralled some pretty large crowds. But her political opponents are beginning to take note.
A new report from Axios and NewsWhip found that Warren continues to earn praise online. The report looked at 50 stories that had the most online interactions (comments, likes, shares) on both Facebook and Twitter for the top eight Democratic primary candidates.
Though Sen. Bernie Sanders had the most interactions with both negative and positive coverage, Warren had more interactions when you exclude negative articles.
“Warren has been able to strike a balance of being discussed a lot without being the target of sustained criticism or media pile-on that other top candidates have endured. And many of the biggest stories about her have been downright glowing,” according to Axios.
At the same time, Warren has climbed up the polls. She has remained in the 2020 presidential conversation for the Democrats, standing with former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at the top of the polls.
In fact, a recent poll from Monmouth University has her tied with Sanders and Biden for the Democrats.
All of this data comes as Warren has corralled bigger crowds in recent weeks at her rallies. She drew 15,000 people in a Seattle park to hear her speak. Another 12,000 watched her in Minneapolis. An event in Los Angeles drew 4,000.
Sanders still draws thousands of people to his crowds. But Biden — who many see as a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination — has seen smaller crowds than his competitors.
“It’s thrilling,” Tina Podlodowski, the chair of Washington’s Democratic Party, told The Washington Post. “That’s not an endorsement of Elizabeth as a candidate; it’s that’s the whole reason we moved from a caucus to a primary, to have these kind of big events with the top candidates. I think the other candidates should take note.”
Warren is also appealing to the Democratic Party’s establishment, showing party officials that she won’t overhaul the entire U.S. system, according to The New York Times. She has been firm with party officials that she’s willing to play ball and donate to more traditional Democrats.
So it would seem Warren is hitting all the checkmarks for what makes Democratic voters and party officials happy.
But Warren’s “lovefest” may not much last much longer. Her opponents have noticed her climb. Opponents have mostly ignored her, seeing her as a secondary candidate after low fundraising and the Native American controversy, according to Politico. But with the rise in crowds, the social media attention and the recent surge in the polls — her political opponents won’t hold back anymore.
Multiple aides to 2020 candidates told Politico that they have begun researching Warren in hopes of bringing her down. Some say “she’s gotten fawning treatment in the media as she unveiled a litany of ambitious plans without being pressed on where the money would come from to pay for them,” Politico reported.
So her opponents plan on challenging her on how she plans to play for her policy proposals — like wiping out college debt — and plan to remind voters that she was once a Republican.
Dick Harpootlian, one of Joe Biden’s top South Carolina organizers, told Politico:
“It’s inevitable: what goes up must come down. It’s the law of political physics.”