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Will Elizabeth Warren Change Her Mind?

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From flickr.com/photos/22620970@N04/6860127956/: Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren
(image by mdfriendofhillary)

I keep wrestling with this question. Before Elizabeth Warren's interview in January in Forbes Magazine, I thought the odds she would run were 50/50. While she kept saying she was not running for president, she stopped short of saying she wouldn't. It was clear to me that she knew what reporters were trying to get her to say, but she refused. She has also been acting like a candidate for president, as she did when she joined Joe Biden, Jim Webb, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O'Malley at the International Association of Firefighters Legislative Conference & Presidential Forum on Monday, March 9th.

It is true, she has not done the traditional things a presidential candidate would have done by now. She has not formed a presidential exploratory committee she could use to start raising funds. She has not hired any staff yet. But does she have to? In 2015 the game has changed.

There is a larger campaign for her on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire than there is for any other prospective candidate. In Iowa there is a staff of eight that includes a state director, four regional field directors, and three campus organizers. There are two offices in Iowa, one in Cedar Rapids and one in Des Moines. The state field director, Blair Lawton, was a regional field director in Iowa for Obama in 2012. There is staff on the three major university campuses, Drake University, University of Iowa, and Iowa State. They are holding visibility events (even in zero-degree weather) and what they are calling "emergency caucus meetings." Phone banking and outreach to past caucus-goers is under way.

In New Hampshire, the state director and veteran organizer Kurt Ehrenberg was most recently legislative and political director for the New Hampshire AFL-CIO, and previously served for seven years as the Sierra Club's representative in New Hampshire and the other New England states.

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Most prospective candidates are polling in single digits. Warren, despite saying she isn't running, is polling at 19%. That is a strong number. Obama had already declared by this time in 2007 and had surged to 25% in the polls. Warren has not declared and is already close to 25%.

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