(The Guardian) -- There’s still nearly a year to go before the Iowa caucuses, the first contest of the Democratic presidential primary, but the media has already counted Senator Elizabeth Warren out. The conventional wisdom has rapidly devolved from declaring her a frontrunner when she announced her bid on New Year’s Eve to confident assertions that her campaign is dead in the water, out-raised and out-charmed by the white male candidates – Bernie, Biden, Beto and Buttigieg – whose presidential bids have dominated the first months of the contest.
There’s some evidence to back this up: Warren is receiving less cable news coverage than some of the other major contenders, notably Beto O’Rourke and Kamala Harris, and a recent poll in her home state of Massachusetts found her in third place as a presidential contender even among her own constituents; she was beaten by the better-known early frontrunners Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. She raised a robust $6m in the first quarter of 2019, outperforming the dire predictions of horserace cynics, but she suffered the embarrassment of coming up short to the inexperienced and baby-faced young Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg, who raised $7m.
But since her initial announcement in December, Warren’s campaign has rolled out a series of detailed policy proposals in quick succession, outlining structural changes to major industries, government functions, and regulatory procedures that would facilitate more equitable representation in the federal government and overhaul the economy in favor of the working class. These policy proposals have made Warren the Democratic party’s new intellectual center of gravity, a formidable influence who is steadily pushing the presidential primary field to the left and forcing all of her primary challengers to define their political positions against hers.
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