The Working Families Party, the progressive political group, endorsed Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts for the Democratic presidential nomination, the New York Times first reported, and the news is riling up supporters of her 2020 rival Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Sanders fans are upset because the WFP was put on the map, so to speak, by its endorsement of Sanders in the 2016 presidential election. Maurice Mitchell, the Working Families Party’s national director, told the Times that Warren received more than 60% in its internal endorsement poll this year. That could be a telling sign that Warren’s message and plan-based campaign is resonating with progressive voters desperate to defeat President Trump in the 2020 election.
“If our focus is on victory, we can’t be delusional about it,” Mitchell told the Times. “You don’t defeat the moderate wing of Democrats through thought pieces or pithy tweets; you defeat their politics through organizing.”
It will be interesting to see in the coming months if WFP’s endorsement will sway other progressive organizations as they make their endorsement choices.
For now, though, Sanders’ supporters are taking to Twitter to announce that they are unfollowing the party, calling the WFP “fools,” and calling the endorsement an “outrage.” The Sanders campaign, though, is singing a different tune, making it clear that it will get behind whoever is the Democratic nominee. A spokesperson told Talking Points Memo that despite the endorsement of Warren, the campaign is looking “forward to working with the Working Families Party and other allies to defeat Donald Trump.” Now someone tell Sanders’ supporters.
— Working Families Party (@WorkingFamilies) September 16, 2019