Sep 16, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Working Families Party endorses Elizabeth Warren over Bernie Sanders

Sen. Elizabeth Warren waves at a Labor Day house party.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

The Working Families Party, a progressive labor group, on Monday endorsed 2020 candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren for the Democratic presidential nomination, according to the New York Times.

Why it matters: The WFP gained national attention in the 2016 presidential election when it endorsed Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination. The party's early endorsement of Warren over Sanders signals that the Massachusetts senator is making significant inroads with progressive voters, a key wing of the Democratic Party.

  • Maurice Mitchell, the Working Families Party’s national director, told the Times that the group's opinion had changed since its 2016 endorsement of Sanders and that Warren received more than 60% in its internal endorsement poll this year.

What they're saying: Mitchell said that the party is committed to a progressive victory over Trump, even if it means defeating the Democratic Party's moderate center represented by former Vice President Joe Biden.

  • “You don’t defeat the moderate wing of Democrats through thought pieces or pithy tweets, you defeat their politics through organizing," he said.

Between the lines: WFP's endorsement may sway which candidate other progressive organizations choose to endorse. Sanders hasn't completely fallen out of favor with the progressive labor movement, as he received an endorsement from the United Electrical Workers of America in August.

The bottom line: Warren and Sanders will continue to compete for progressive endorsements and distance themselves from the moderate wing of the Democratic Party.

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