Despite ruling out a 2016 presidential run again and again, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is sure putting herself front and center in campaigns for hot U.S. Senate races this year.
The outspoken progressive -- who has been aggressively supporting fellow Democrats since March -- stood by U.S. Senate candidate Natalie Tennant in West Virginia on Monday in her latest effort to champion women and the middle-class. Over the past four months, Warren has backed candidates in Ohio, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington and Kentucky, and plans to stop next in Michigan later this week.
"There is a rising economic populist tide in America that's being felt in red states, purple states, and blue states," said Adam Green, co-founder of Progressive Chance Campaign Committee, which raised over $1 million for her 2012 Senate campaign. "It makes sense that candidates from West Virginia to Kentucky to Georgia are clamoring for Warren to campaign for them."
Warren trumpeted that populist message Monday in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, where she spoke before a packed, pro-Tennant crowd. "I strongly support Natalie's campaign because I have no doubt she will work in the Senate to make sure working families have a fighting chance to succeed in this country again," she said.
Warren also criticized Tennant's opponent, Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, who on Monday campaigned across the state in Charleston with 2012 vice presidential nominee and Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan by her side.
"I also have seen Congresswoman Capito in action on the House Financial Services Committee, and time and again I have watched her side with powerful financial interests over working people. Wall Street already has enough Senators looking to advance its interests, and West Virginia deserves a Senator like Natalie who will wake up every morning and go to bed every night focused on how to fight for working families," she said.
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Capito is favored to win in November’s general election -- in the second quarter of 2014, the candidate raised more than $1.3 million, bringing her fundraising total to more than $7.1 million from all 55 counties in the state, according to a July 9 release. Capito also leads Tennant by 11 percentage points, according to a recent West Virginia poll of 400 registered voters and has the weight of her father -- former West Virginia governor -- on her side.
"This campaign is a clear choice between the West Virginia values I represent and the Wall Street dollars Congresswoman Capito represents," Tennant said. "Wall Street banks have too much say over Washington already, West Virginia working families and college students deserve a Senator who will speak up for them."
Tennant also used the rally with Warren to launch her statewide education tour that aims to make college more affordable and help manage loan debt -- an area Warren has vested additional interest in after Republicans blocked her student loan refinancing proposal in June.
No matter its victor, the West Virginia race is a win for women -- for the first time in history that the state will elect its first female U.S. senator.