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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Elizabeth Warren used to be a rising star among Democratic Party liberals, but her presidential campaign is struggling to get off the ground.

Why it matters: If she can't recapture the excitement she created among progressive voters in 2016, when she was considered one of Hillary Clinton's best campaign surrogates, she risks being overshadowed by other progressive candidates (Bernie Sanders) and newer rising stars (Beto O'Rourke).

By the numbers:

  • We still don't know how much she raised in the first 24 hours of the campaign. (The Washington Post notes "she pulled in at least $300,000" according to Act Blue.)
  • By contrast, O'Rourke just announced he raised $6.1 million in the first day. And Sanders raised nearly $6 million his first day of the race, while Kamala Harris took in about $1.5 million, according to AP.
  • She's been polling in the single digits nationally and among likely caucus goers in Iowa.
  • Some Wisconsin swing voters only know her because of President Trump, mentioning during an Engagious/FPG focus group last week that they know "she's not Indian." Others didn't even know what state she represents.

That's despite her busy campaign strategy: Instead of viral Facebook livestreams or TV-worthy rallies, Warren and her team are focusing on retail politics with voters who want to "nerd out" over policy.

  • Warren has proposed some of the most sweeping policy ideas of the entire Democratic field. She's called for breaking up Big Tech, unveiled a universal child care plan, and outlined a plan for implementing a wealth tax.
  • She's the first presidential candidate this cycle to launch a tour of the Deep South, the Boston Globe reports. After that's finished, she'll have traveled to 12 states, plus Puerto Rico, since announcing in December.
  • So far this cycle, Warren has held 33 campaign events, a majority of which were in early voting states.

The big picture: "Her success or failure will help determine the direction of the Democratic Party in 2020," per AP. It'll also signal to other 2020 Democrats whether primary voters are craving a candidate whose campaign is built on ambitious (but very specific) policy proposals.

  • There are more women and people of color running in the Democratic presidential primary than ever before, but so far the white men are winning. O'Rourke and Sanders raised more money than all of their challengers in the first 48 hours of their campaigns, and Joe Biden is consistently leading the 2020 polls.
  • Yes, but: "She's winning the policy race," said former Clinton adviser Philippe Reines.

The bottom line: It's still early, but this isn't the kind of launch Warren needed.

Go deeper

12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Beto not even best Dem against Abbott

Beto O'Rourke speaks at a rally at the Texas State Capitol in June. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.

First look: Conservatives' 2022 big target: Tax increases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conservative groups are unveiling huge ad-buys going after vulnerable House Democrats over tax increases and other revenue measures in their party's massive infrastructure spending bill, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden and Democrats have an immense amount of political capital riding on a $3.5 trillion bill facing razor-thin margins in both chambers. Conservatives are running ads targeting the House members who leaders will need to pass the measure.

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