Stories by David Nather

The steep odds against Elizabeth Warren’s big 2020 ideas

Photo illustration of Elizabeth Warren
Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo via Sean Rayford/Stringer

Elizabeth Warren is suddenly having a harder time selling her big ideas in the Democratic primary. As president, she'd have an even tougher time convincing Congress — even if Democrats held both chambers.

The big picture: A President Warren could immediately translate some of her progressive ideals into the policy of the land through executive order, but her best-known, most ambitious plans would have to go through Congress.

Reality check on Elizabeth Warren’s biggest ideas

Photo illustration of Elizabeth Warren
Photo Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo via Joseph Prezioso/Getty Contributor

Here’s a look at the odds for 10 of Elizabeth Warren’s most ambitious plans, according to Democratic aides, former White House policy officials from both parties, and Axios’ issue experts.

Moderate muscle rises against Dems’ 2020 left

Illustration of a small donkey faced with a giant Medicare-for-all protester
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The early boom for 2020 Democrats' left turn is yielding to moderate muscle as Elizabeth Warren falls, Joe Biden persists and Pete Buttigieg rises.

  • What's happening: Poll after poll shows voters like the idea of Medicare for All. But the second you tell them about costs and tradeoffs, they turn on it.
  • Why it matters: A harsh spotlight on Warren's specifics collided with Mike Bloomberg's massive spending on a moderate message, as well as rising angst among donors and investors about risks of Warren-Sanders socialism.