Elizabeth Warren Less Popular Than ‘Generic’ Democrat

New poll shows Massachusetts senator losing to Trump in hypothetical 2020 matchup

by Brendan Kirby | Updated 15 Feb 2017 at 12:12 PM

Few politicians generate as much enthusiasm on the Left as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), but a new Morning Consult/Politico poll suggests why President Donald Trump likely could not be happier to see the Massachusetts Democrat elevated.

The poll is not favorable to Trump, overall. A large majority oppose Trump criticizing private companies or judges. He trails an unnamed Democrat by 8 percentage points in a hypothetical 2020 matchup.

The bright spot for Trump, though, is the performance of Warren. The president beats her by a margin of 42 percent to 36 percent, meaning she is far less popular than “generic Democrat”

Warren has been a darling of the activist Left ever since she helped push for the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. When Republicans in the Senate blocked her bid to be that new agency’s first director, the resulting media attention helped propel her to an election victory in 2012 over the Bay State’s incumbent Republican, Scott Brown.

Warren’s star has only risen since. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her chief rival for the nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), both aggressively sought her support. During the fall campaign, Warren was an important Clinton surrogate on the campaign trail, gaining attention for declaring Trump a “nasty, little bully.”

Warren vs. 'Generic Democrat'
Hypothetical 2020 matchup
Elizabeth WarrenDonald Trump
Democrats70%9%
Independents29%37%
Republicans6%80%
All Voters36%42%
Generic DemocratDonald Trump
Democrats83%7%
Independents35%25%
Republicans7%71%
All Voters43%35%
Source: Morning Consult/Politico
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Last week, Warren enjoyed a new round of attention when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) invoked a Senate rule on decorum to shut her down during the debate over the confirmation of Jeff Sessions as attorney general. Warren was using a 1986 letter by Coretta Scott King to argue against Sessions. McConnell determined that it crossed the line in impugning the motives of a fellow senator.

When Warren persisted, McConnell had her removed from the debate.

The internet erupted. On Twitter, #LetLizSpeak trended. Warren got gads of free airtime on cable news shows. Millions watched her read the King letter on Facebook.

Political analysts wonder whether McConnell had just committed a major gaffe. Why elevate an opposing politician with clear presidential ambitions? Had McConnell said nothing, most people would not even have noticed the speech.

Maybe McConnell was crazy — like a fox.

The Morning Consult poll of 1,791 registered voters suggests that Warren is a polarizing figure across the political spectrum. Against a generic Democrat, Trump wins 71 percent of Republicans; against Warren, that figure jumps to 80 percent.

Independents favor a generic Democrat by a 10-point margin but back Trump by 8 points if Warren is the alternative.

Even Democrats are less sure about Warren. While 70 percent pick her over Trump, 83 percent are on board with a generic Democrat over the president.

Keep those numbers in mind if Republicans take future opportunities raise Warren's profile.

  1. 2020 presidential election
  2. Donald Trump
  3. Elizabeth Warren
  4. Morning Consult
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