Why Elizabeth Warren is perfectly positioned for 2016 (if she wanted to run)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) says she's not running for president in 2016, and we believe her — for the most part.


Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. makes her way to the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, April 29, 2014, for a vote as Congress returns to its first full work day after a two-week recess, . (AP Photo)

But there is one thing that will keep the pilot light of the Warren for President speculation aflame: the almost-gaping hole in the Democratic primary that seems tailor-made for her.

Look no further than the new Washington Post-ABC News poll for a little glimpse into that void. The poll shows that a huge portion of the Democratic base not only dislikes Wall Street and big business; its voters actually think these institutions are inflicting harm on them personally.

When it comes to the liberal base, half of people — 50 percent — say that large corporations are harmful to them personally, including 33 percent who believe this "strongly." Just 22 percent think big business is helpful.

As for Wall Street, 38 percent of liberals say it's personally harmful to them, including 23 percent who say so strongly. Just 15 percent see Wall Street as helpful.

Warren

There are few better things in political campaigns than a bogeyman — especially when people think that bogeyman is personally detrimental to them — and there's clearly room in the Democratic presidential primary for someone who is willing to talk the populist talk and really go after Wall Street and big business. And nobody holds a candle to Warren when it comes to prosecuting that case.

Given this — along with her well-demonstrated fundraising prowess — it's not difficult to envision Warren becoming instantly relevant in the 2016 presidential race, which is why the questions about whether she'll eventually run won't stop anytime soon.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix, the Post’s top political blog.
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