MoveOn.org wants Elizabeth Warren to run for president -- so much so that it has commissioned a poll with the very clear purpose of making Warren's potential candidacy look as good as possible.
Mission accomplished. The just-released poll from YouGov shows Warren ahead of Clinton 31 percent to 24 percent in Iowa and 30-27 in New Hampshire.
How do you get results so far afield of any polling we've seen to date? You say a bunch of positive/liberal-friendly things about Warren before you ask the head-to-head question.
In fairness to MoveOn, the group discloses up-front that this is what's known as an "informed ballot" -- i.e. information is shared about candidates before the head-to-head question is asked. MoveOn emphasizes that no negative information is shared about the other candidates (including Clinton), which is a trick often used in such polling.
What MoveOn doesn't
disclose emphasize is that the only candidate for whom positive information is shared is Warren. And there is a lot of positive information -- 10 statements, in fact.
- "Elizabeth Warren wants to extend the same low interest rates that the federal government gives big Wall Street banks to college students who receive government loans for their education."
- "The absolute last thing we should do (to Social Security) is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch. We should be talking about expanding Social Security benefits -- not cutting them."
- "No one should be above the law. If you steal a hundred bucks on Main Street, you’re probably going to jail. If you steal a billion bucks on Wall Street, you darn well better go to jail too."
- "People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: they’re right.... Oil companies guzzle down billions in profits. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries."
- "Sen. Warren says, 'I came out of a hardworking, middle-class family. I came from an America that created opportunities for people like me, and I now see an America where the government works for people who already have money and power.... We need to remind politicians that they don’t work for the big banks -- they work for us.'"
The takeaway here: If Warren runs for president and is somehow able to run a campaign in which she is the only candidate allowed to share positive information about herself, then she might -- emphasis on might -- have a chance of beating Clinton.
If anything, this poll should discourage Warren from changing her mind and running.
Here's the poll, in case you want to explore:
Correction: This post initially said that MoveOn didn't disclose that no positive information was shared about the other candidates. However, it does make this clear in its memo ... on Page 6. Prior to that disclosure, the memo notes only that negative information was not shared about other candidates without also noting that no positive information was shared.
On Page 1: "After hearing this information, without any negatives on other candidates, Elizabeth Warren leads all other candidates..."
On Page 5: "Once voters are informed about her (and with no negative information provided about any candidate), Elizabeth Warren leads..."
Further, the memo says this: "It should not be read as reflecting how Iowans or Granite Staters would vote if the caucuses or primary were held today. Rather, it should be read as an indicator that many voters in these states are 'moveable,' open to supporting Elizabeth Warren when they learn about her, and like what she has to say."