A conservative political action group is embarking on a long-term research project aimed at making life “difficult” for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren ahead of her 2018 Senate re-election bid and an expected run for president in 2020.
America Rising PAC provided details of the strategy in a memo distributed to reporters on Monday.
The aim of “the Elizabeth Warren Initiative” will be to “make Warren’s life difficult during her 2018 Senate re-election contest” and to conduct research to “damage” her 2020 presidential prospects, America Rising executive director Colin Reed said.
Warren is considered one of the top contenders for the Democratic nomination. The 67-year-old former Harvard professor is currently touring to promote her 11th book, “This Fight is Our Fight: The Battle to Save America’s Middle Class.” America Rising, which was founded in 2013 by a former Mitt Romney campaign official, compares the purpose of the tract to Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices,” a 2014 memoir which served as a soft launch of the former first lady’s campaign.
In the memo, Reed says America Rising will utilize most of the tactics employed by most political research groups: opposition research, video tracking, and public records requests.
The fruits of that research and monitoring will be used to make four general arguments against Warren: that she has put her presidential ambitions ahead of her constituents in Massachusetts, that she has fallen short “of the Kennedy standard,” that she is “left of the far left,” and that she is a hypocrite on a variety of issues, including school choice and equal pay.
“Make no mistake: with the right challenger and a favorable political climate, Sen. Warren’s 2018 re-election is no sure thing,” Reed says in the memo.
He cited a Morning Consult survey which shows that Warren has a 38 percent disapproval rating in Massachusetts, making her the second least popular Democratic senator in the nation.
“One of the lessons we learned from 2016 is that research narratives take time to sink in with voters,” Reed says.
He noted that opposition research was partially responsible for a 50-point swing in Clinton’s favorability ratings. When Clinton left the State Department in 2013, she had a net approval rating of +33 points. By Election Day the net rating was -17.
Much of that drastic swing was of Clinton’s own doing. She was mired in scandals over her use of a private email system while at the State Department and over donations made by foreign governments to her family charity, the Clinton Foundation.
For its part, America Rising routinely circulated news stories highlighting stories about the Clinton scandals.
“That a goal we aim to replicate with Warren,” says Reed.