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Pro-Elizabeth Warren group forms to urge senator to run in 2016

A new group, Ready For Warren, is pushing for Sen. Elizabeth Warren to make a 2016 presidential bid — despite a lack of support from the senator.
Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, (D-MA) at a Capitol Hill hearing on June 25, 2014.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren repeatedly insists she’s not running for president. But that’s not stopping a group of supporters from encouraging the Democrat to make a 2016 bid anyway.

Ready For Warren -- a name that’s a clear play off of pro-Hillary Clinton political action committee Ready For Hillary -- has launched the campaign with a website, Facebook page and Twitter account.

But Lacey Rose, a press secretary for Warren, told msnbc that “Senator Warren does not support this effort.”

Instead, the group is run by Erica Sagrans, who worked on President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign as a regional digital director. Billy Wimsatt, a political activist who founded the League of Young Voters, will serve as a senior adviser. Ready For Warren is comprised of approximately 20 individuals, several of whom worked on President Obama's re-election campaign.

The group is not yet a legal entity able receive donations, but it has nearly 11,000 followers on its Twitter account and nearly 10,000 likes on Facebook. The group plans to attend Warren's upcoming events to sign up more supporters.

“Our top goal is to convince Elizabeth Warren to run for president and show her she has a strong support all across the country,” said Sagrans, a 31-year-old who lives in Chicago but is originally from Massachusetts. “We want to show people there is an alternative [to Hillary Clinton]. There are people that aren’t Clinton supporters but don’t think another candidate could run successfully. We want to show that we see another viable candidate.”

The freshman senator made a name for herself as a pugilistic populist unafraid of battering Wall Street with progressive rhetoric. She has been stumping for a number of Democratic candidates ahead of the 2014 midterms. Warren has consistently said she wants to focus on what’s happening in the Senate, as well as on supporting Democratic candidates running for the 2014 midterm elections.

"You can ask this in a whole lot of different ways, but the key is -- I’m not running for president,” she told CBS in the spring.

Despite the statement from Warren's team, Sagrans is undaunted. “[The senator] can’t publicly associate with our effort but we want her to see this as an effort to support and elevate her, regardless of what her take is," she said.

Meanwhile, rival group Ready For Hillary announced on Tuesday it had raised $2.5 million and added more than 33,000 new donors in the past three months, nearly 50% more than the group raised in the first quarter of last year.

Ready for Hillary declined to comment on the Warren group’s formation.

Clinton has not publicly endorsed the organization’s work on her behalf, but several advisers to the former first lady and President Bill Clinton are involved in its operations. The organization hopes to amass a giant supporter list and have it ready for the moment she makes a decision.

The former secretary of state said she would make her intentions known by the end of the year.

Clinton is currently on a book tour for her memoir, "Hard Choices," which hit bookshelves in June. The book tour is being seen as part of a months-long rollout leading up to a decision on whether she’ll make a bid for the Oval Office.

Polls continually show Clinton as the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination. According to the latest RealClearPolitics average of polling data from March 6 through June 30, the majority -- 65% -- want Clinton to be the Democratic nominee. Vice President Joe Biden came in second with 11.7%, followed by Warren with 7%.