Run Warren Run, the brainchild of two liberal groups that aimed to get Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run for president, is closing up shop, ending a six-month effort that was both mocked and praised.
The reason MoveOn.org and Democracy for America decided to end things: They’ve become convinced that Warren isn’t going to run for president.
“We would still love for her to run,” said a somewhat wistful Ben Wikler, Washington director of MoveOn. “But she has been clear and consistent and at this point it doesn’t feel like there is an obvious way that we could change her mind.”
Run Warren Run was founded in December 2014 with the express purpose of getting Warren, a liberal icon that many on the left had hoped would run for president, to do just that. Warren, however, has consistently said she would not run for president in 2016.
“No. I am not running and I am not going to run,” Warren said in March 2015.
To date, MoveOn and Democracy for America have spent a combined $1.25 million on the effort. They opened three offices – two in Iowa and one in New Hampshire – and hired a total of nine full-time staffers and five part-time organizers for the effort. They also bankrolled polling in Iowa and New Hampshire and held events across the country.
The effort was occasionally mocked for the way that it pined for Warren even after she had said she wouldn’t run.
In February, the group announced a poll that was showed Warren ahead of frontrunner Hillary Clinton in both Iowa and new Hampshire. The poll was widely panned as a push poll that effusively praised Warren before asking about her level of support.
Republican operatives, who would regularly highlight Run Warren Run efforts in emails to reporters, used the group to question Clinton’s ability to win the left.
At the same time, many liberal organizers in early primary states were empowered by the idea of a Warren campaign and looked to Run Warren Run as the vehicle to express their support.
Even as they shut down the operation without Warren as a candidate, Wikler and other Run Warren Run organizers are claiming victory.
“Even without her in the race, Elizabeth Warren and the Run Warren Run campaign she inspired have already transformed the 2016 presidential election,” Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, said Monday.
“We still think there’s plenty of time for Sen. Warren to change her mind,” Chamberlain said.