Elizabeth Warren Opens The Door To A 2020 Run

After passing on the opportunity in 2016, Elizabeth Warren is leaving the door open to a run for President in 2020.

With her re-election to the Senate basically assured, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, who many Democrats had hoped would run for President four years ago despite multiple times during which she demurred from getting into a race that Hillary Clinton seemed destined to win, is leaving open the possibility that she will run in 2020:

Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts declared on Saturday that she would “take a hard look” at running for the White House in 2020 once the midterm elections are over, and called on the country to elect a female president to fix the “broken government” in Washington.

Ms. Warren made the announcement during a town-hall meeting in Holyoke, Mass., where she was decrying President Trump and Senate Republicans for digging in behind Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the embattled Supreme Court nominee who has been accused of sexual assault. She described the hearings as a spectacle of “powerful men helping a powerful man make it to an even more powerful position.”

“I watched that and I thought: time’s up,” Ms. Warren said, according to a transcript and video of her remarks provided by an aide. “It’s time for women to go to Washington and fix our broken government, and that includes a woman at the top.”

She continued, “So here’s what I promise: After Nov. 6, I will take a hard look at running for president.”

“I think we can turn this country around,” Ms. Warren said.

The comments are Ms. Warren’s clearest and most public confirmation yet that she is preparing to seek the presidency. She has been traveling the country extensively in recent months and has already been reaching out to Democratic leaders in crucial presidential primary states, leaving little doubt about her interest in the race.

Ms. Warren, 69, is running for re-election in Massachusetts this year, but she faces only weak Republican opposition and is expected to win easily. A liberal former Harvard Law School professor, she is one of her party’s fiercest critics of President Trump; he, in turn, regularly mocks her with demeaning language.

More from Politico:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Saturday announced that she would “take a hard look at” a prospective 2020 presidential run following this fall’s midterm elections.

“After Nov. 6 I will take a hard look at running for president,” Warren told the audience at a town hall event in Holyoke, Massachusetts.

Warren, a star of the party’s progressive wing, has taken several steps in recent months to heighten her national profile. She has recorded adsfor a Democratic group aiming to turn statehouses blue, made plans to lend her name to a fundraising email for a Democratic candidate running for Iowa state auditor, and announced a new media strategy to combat her press-averse reputation on Capitol Hill.

So far, no nationally recognized candidates have launched official bids for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

While some recent polling in Massachusetts have shown that voters in the Bay State aren’t entirely thrilled with the idea of their state’s senior Senator running for President, that doesn’t seem to be having any impact on her re-election bid. The two most recent polls in that race — from the Boston Globe and Boston television station WBUR — show Warren with a 30 point and 26 point lead respectively. While those same polls show Warren only polling in the mid-50s, which some might argue is low for a Democrat in a state like Massachusetts, she’s running against an essentially unknown Republican who is only polling in the low 30% range. That, combined with the fact that Massachusetts is a heavily Democratic state and that this is expected to be a good year all argue in Warren’s favor. Additionally, all of the rating services give the race their highest rating possible for a Democrat. All of this goes a long way toward saying that, barring something entirely unexpected, then, Warren is going to be easily re-elected to a second term in the Senate. Because of that, it’s inevitable that she’s going to be looked at as a potential candidate for the Democratic nomination.

Realistically speaking, if Warren does want to make a bid for the Presidency, then 2020 is likely her best and last shot at winning the nomination. At 69 years old, she’s near the top of the age range of the potential Democratic candidates out there, although younger than either Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders or former Vice-President Joe Biden. If she’s going to run then 2020 would seem to be the year to give it a shot. The interesting question will be what impact a potential Warren candidacy would have on how the primary goes on the Democratic side of the aisle. If Sanders gets into the race, for example, then he and Warren will obviously be competing for the same cohort of voters in the so-called “progressive” wing of the party, and things could get more complicated for Democrats if other Democrats get in the race. Both California Senator Kamala Harris and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker have made no secret of their own desire to run for President, and both are openly appealing to the same wing of the party that Warren and Sanders would be competing for. Other candidates that could potentially seek the nomination, such as New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Wisconsin Senator Amy Klobuchar, also seem likely to try to make appeals to the “progressive wing” of the party. With so many potential candidates appealing to that wing of the party, that could arguably split the vote on that side of the party sufficiently that it would give a huge advantage to a candidate that appeals to more mainstream Democrats as well as the white, working-class voters that ended up picking Trump over Clinton in 2016. That, of course, naturally brings up the name Joe Biden.

In any case, Warren leaving the door open for a run in 2020 is no real surprise. If she walks through and others join her, it’s going to make for a very interesting race in 2020.


FILED UNDER: 2020 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Michael Reynolds says:

    There are a bunch of people opening that door, as @Doug points out. I like Warren. I like a lot of the possibles, but the Kavanaugh hearings I suspect have doomed Biden. And they didn’t do much for Booker or Kamala Harris in my view, but they did a hell of a lot for Amy Klobuchar.

    Gillibrand comes off to me as what the Brits would call a ‘chancer,’ an opportunist. Booker ditto. Harris is too low-key for her own good. Obama backs Deval Patrick, but I have no sense of him at all. Bernie is done. Bloomberg: no, no more billionaires. Cuomo’s an asshole. Terry McCauliffe? Seriously? Mitch Landrieu is interesting.

    As of this moment in time, I’m with Amy.

  2. HarvardLaw92 says:

    G-d I hope not …

  3. @Michael Reynolds:

    Klobuchar may be one of the few people with potential Presidential ambitions on the Democratic side of the Judiciary Committee who doesn’t have egg on her face at this point.

  4. Blue Galangal says:

    @Michael Reynolds: The word that springs to my mind about Gillibrand, coincidentally, is “carpetbagger,” and that was before I read your apt description.

  5. SKI says:

    I’m hoping it isn’t Warren or Biden. I want to get younger to establish a sharp contrast.

  6. Mr. Prosser says:

    @SKI: I agree and I’m old. Warren and the other intelligent and skillful Olds are better off in cabinet positions of staff. Don’t know if their egos would allow this though.

  7. grumpy realist says:

    Given her background, I’d much rather round her up with Teddy Roosevelt-like trust-busting powers and turn her loose on corporate sleazoids.

  8. CSK says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Patrick was my governor, and was fine, but he’s much lower key than Harris.

  9. Mikey says:

    Since without a doubt the resident Trumpizoids will soon be here to blather about Warren’s claim of Native American heritage:

    Ethnicity not a factor in Elizabeth Warren’s rise in law

    In the most exhaustive review undertaken of Elizabeth Warren’s professional history, the Globe found clear evidence, in documents and interviews, that her claim to Native American ethnicity was never considered by the Harvard Law faculty, which voted resoundingly to hire her, or by those who hired her to four prior positions at other law schools. At every step of her remarkable rise in the legal profession, the people responsible for hiring her saw her as a white woman.

  10. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    I think Warren would serve Democrats better as a pit-bull…she’s smart and quick-witted.
    She would also serve the country better as a Senator, I believe…an true advocate for the middle and lower classes.

    I like Gillibrand, Klobuchar, Harris, Booker, Patrick. Don’t love any of them.

  11. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @HarvardLaw92: Wha’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis? What could the Democrats possibly need more than yet another septuagenarian running for President? It’s political gold, I tell ya!

  12. Stormy Dragon says:

    What about… PA governor Tom Wolf?

  13. Moosebreath says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    The legislature has been dominated by Republicans for his entire term (the gerrymandering which was also present for Congressional districts is not affected by the court order requiring new districts), so Wolf is rather short on accomplishments.

    Besides, who was the last Presidential candidate with facial hair?

  14. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    I’m liking Beto…if he doesn’t beat Cruz.
    I think he’s going to beat Cruz.

  15. Teve says:

    BETO/WARREN 2020!

  16. Kathy says:

    On a tangential topic, Flake plans to challenge El Cheeto in 2020.

    In recent times, all three incumbents who were challenged for the nomination lost the general election, namely Ford, Carter and Bush the elder. But this could be one of those “correlation does not equal causation” moments everyone talks about.

    I recall knowing that Kennedy challenged Carter, but know little as to how they ran. I do know that Buchanan challenging Bush and Reagan with Ford, ran closer to the extreme right (or the extreme right at the time). Also the economy was in recession or nearly so with both Carter and Bush (not sure about Ford).

    the economy might be in recession by 2020 (it’s kind of due, plus the tariff games and general xenophobic idiocy will take a toll), but whatever exists farther to the right than Trump, should remain tucked away from view. Flake doesn’t strike me as that extreme, but a politician is apt to do all sorts of terrible things for the sake of votes.

    So the Democrats had better make sure they can beat El Cheeto this time around.

  17. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:


    Flake plans to challenge El Cheeto in 2020

    That’s going to be tough. Flake is personna non grata in the GOP right now.

  18. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    There are a bunch of people opening that door, as @Doug points out. I like Warren. I like a lot of the possibles, but the Kavanaugh hearings I suspect have doomed Biden. And they didn’t do much for Booker or Kamala Harris in my view, but they did a hell of a lot for Amy Klobuchar.

    Please no. Warren is already derisively mocked as ‘Pocahantas’ by Republican greaseballs, plus she will be 71 in 2020, and I’m extremely tired of the entire 70’s crew of Sanders, Trump, Clinton, Biden and Warren.

    I have 2 friends have been touting Klobuchar since 2017. So, right now I’m okay with Klobuchar.

    I am not interested in any of the aging Boomers at all.

  19. Michael Reynolds says:

    @al Ameda:
    Oh, I agree, and I am an aging Baby Boomer. We’ve done some good stuff, we’ve done some bad stuff, but it’s time now to not overstay our welcome and exit, stage left.

  20. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It’s probably past time, but still, better late than never. I would even accept exit, stage right. Just go!

  21. Gustopher says:

    I like Warren — I think she would make a great president, and I think she would have a great message against Trump. A populist platform from the left, arguing for things that would actually help the middle class. She’s really good at breaking things down to the point where she can explain them and stay on message.

    She doesn’t have foreign policy expertise, though, which is a little troubling. And she’s getting pretty old. And she’s an important voice in the Senate.

    I could happily support her if she were the nominee, and I would likely support her in the primaries over a lot of the other potential candidates, but I really want someone younger.

    The campaign is hard, and the presidency is hard, and we should have someone with a lot more stamina than a seventy year old.

  22. Matt says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: There are Beto signs everywhere down here. Even the strip malls and various businesses have Beto signs out front. The three Cruz signs I have found were in front of private housing. What’s really funny is that in each case there was at least one Beto sign on the same block. The Cruz signs were all in higher end areas that older white people tend to live.

    So if people show up to vote I think Beto will win.

  23. John430 says:

    @Matt: Robert Francis O’Rourke, (the name he preferred all thru college until he ran for El Paso city council), has no chance. The FEC is now looking into his campaign finances after noticing unusually large contributions from foreign nationals overseas.

  24. Teve says:


    On a tangential topic, Flake plans to challenge El Cheeto in 2020.

    I’m seeing the opposite in the media.

  25. al Ameda says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Oh, I agree, and I am an aging Baby Boomer. We’ve done some good stuff, we’ve done some bad stuff, but it’s time now to not overstay our welcome and exit, stage left.

    Yes, I too am one of those aging Boomers, and I believe Amy Klobuchar is a young Boomer, roughly Obama’s age. For me, Trump, Bill, Hillary and George W have worn out the welcome on the old Boomers, so I want them out out here.

  26. Tyrell says:

    I have held much respect and admiration for Senator Warren. She has taken on the powerful banks (my credit card rates are still too high though). She came up through the hard knocks, not some tip toe through the tulips pathway.
    Currently she is on the warpath against the Federal Reserve and Wells Fargo. I would want her to make the FR more transparent and support a full and open audit. There is also the issue of trillions in loans that are not accounted for or kept secret.
    Senator Warren has made some questionable comments and opinions: abolish ICE, support of the “sanctuary city” fraud, higher taxes, mandatory health insurance, and called law enforcement “racist” which brought strong criticism from the police in Massachusetts. These type of socialism agendas will not work out here in the rural lands or the low country.
    All the candidates are going to have to face the problem of trillions in debt. These deficits cannot be sustained without a shipwreck occurring. And 80% tax rates that some Democrats are singing about won’t make it.
    No doubt that Senator Warren will need to move to the centrist area to be a legitimate candidate.
    See “A Secret History of the Federal Reserve” documentary.

  27. Matt says:

    @John430: Really that’s what you’re going with?

    My response

    Boy I’ve heard of baby faces but that’s just crazy. I can’t believe the man on the far right has already graduated college…


    I don’t get why it matters. Ted isn’t even using his real name either (hello Rafael). Rafael used variations of his real name through college. Odd he switched to Ted and forgot about being born in Canada when he started to run for office here in Texas.

    Personally I’ve been using a nick name for decades but when I sign something like a court document I use my real name.

    Good luck with the FEC crap as even Ted’s (or am I supposed to call him Rafael now?) campaign has gotten in trouble…