The effort to draft Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren into the 2016 presidential race officially kicked off Wednesday evening in a Des Moines, Iowa coffee shop, and the campaign is at least a quarter-million dollars richer than it was just a few hours earlier.
Three liberal groups involved in the effort to push Warren to run joined together for the launch event in the key presidential state, including MoveOn.org, which threw its support behind the effort last week; the super PAC Ready for Warren; and Democracy for America, which grew out of Howard Dean’s 2004 presidential campaign.
DFA said last week that it intended to join the pro-Warren campaign, but wanted approval from its members first. The members have now spoken, and a whopping 87.6% said the group should move ahead with the plan to draft Warren, presumably to run against likely Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
The group said it is is going “all in” on the Warren effort, and committed $250,000 to the campaign Wednesday. MoveOn pledged $1 million MoveOn last week. “Our job is to make the grassroots Run Warren Run movement so loud that…she feels the need to answer her nation's call to serve. And that’s exactly what we’re going to do together,” said Annie Weinberg, Democracy for America's electoral director.
The groups will work together to open offices in key states like Iowa and New Hampshire, recruit volunteers, find small-dollar donors and create ads to promote the draft campaign.
“It's amazing how much we've accomplished on a tiny budget, with a core team of dedicated volunteers,” said Erica Sagrans, the campaign manager of Ready for Warren, a preexisting super PAC. “We've already changed the shape of the 2016 race. Now let's make ‘Warren for President’ real.”
Dean is supporting Clinton in the 2016 race, even though the organization built from his campaign – and run by his brother – supports Warren.