MoveOn.org is a liberal grassroots advocacy group with 8 million members
There's a vote Tuesday on whether to back a campaign to draft Elizabeth Warren for 2016
The liberal group is widely expected to approve the vote and put $1 million into the campaign
NEW: MoveOn isn't the only group: Democracy for America is also polling its members
Sen. Elizabeth Warren may repeatedly say she isn’t running for president in 2016, but don’t tell that to the nation’s largest liberal grassroots organization.
MoveOn.org, an 8-million member liberal grassroots organization, is poised to kick off a $1 million campaign to draft Warren for president in 2016. The plan will be put to MoveOn members Tuesday morning, but because of the Massachusetts senator’s popularity with the liberals, the plan is expected to easily pass.
The campaign includes MoveOn.org opening offices and hiring staff in Iowa and New Hampshire, two states that are critically important in the presidential nomination process, and “the assembly of a national volunteer army ready to go to work if Sen. Warren enters the race.”
If passed, MoveOn will also begin producing “ads and media products that call attention to how Sen. Warren has stood up and fought for the middle class and her powerful vision for our country’s future.”
“There is too much at stake to have anything other than our best candidates in the debate,” Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, said in a statement. “We are prepared to show Senator Warren she has the support she needs to enter—and win—the presidential race.”
Warren has said a number of times that she is not running for president, despite all the liberal excitement around her possible candidacy. Through her lawyer, Warren even disavowed Ready for Warren, a super PAC hoping to draft the liberal senator.
“As Senator Warren has said many times, she is not running for president,” Lacey J. Rose, Warren’s press secretary, said on Tuesday.
That said, should she decide to run, Warren would be far from the first presidential hopeful to backtrack on a pledge not to do so.
“This is a huge opportunity for MoveOn members, if they choose, to inspire Senator Warren as she has inspired so many of us,” said Anna Galland, executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action.
MoveOn’s campaign is as much a boost to Warren as it is a slight to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner for the 2016 nomination and someone who has failed to connect with some liberal activists.
MoveOn organizers won’t fault Clinton directly, but they regularly talk about finding a nominee that fits the moment for Democrats, not someone associated with what they see as a longtime rigged political system.
Polling, however, has shown that self-identified liberals overwhelmingly back the former secretary of state.
In a July CNN/ORC International Poll, 66% of liberals said they would back Clinton over people like Warren, Vice President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo. In the same poll, only 13% of liberal backed Warren.
But in polls of strictly members of liberal groups, Warren fares much better. In a November poll of Democracy for America’s one million members, Warren garnered 42% support, compared to 24% for Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders and 23% for Clinton.
MoveOn is not the only liberal political group pushing for a Warren run. Democracy for America said Tuesday it would poll its members about joining the “Draft Warren” effort.
“Washington consultants can spout off a dozen reasons why Elizabeth Warren shouldn’t run, but none of that beltway blather means a thing next to this one, simple truth: The Democratic Party and our country desperately need Warren’s voice in the 2016 presidential debate,” DFA Executive Director Charles Chamberlain said in a statement out Tuesday.