Warren supporters hopeful of reviving campaign

Democrat presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren speaks to supporters as New Hampshire primary results come in Tuesday. (Brooklyn Wayland / Gaylord News) 

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Norman native Elizabeth Warren, hoping to revive her campaign for the Democratic nomination, sent staffers to South Carolina and Nevada as she spoke to supporters reminding them she “could go the distance” and could unite Democrats.

Nevada voters will caucus Feb. 22, and South Carolina’s primary is Feb. 29. Those are the next two battlegrounds before Oklahomans go to the polls on Super Tuesday, March 3, when 14 states hold primaries.

After a disappointing loss in Iowa, New Hampshire was the first opportunity for the U.S. senator from Massachusetts to revive her campaign. It did not prove to be her comeback state despite it being a neighbor to Massachusetts.

As results rolled in showing Warren in a solid fourth place, she stuck by the idea her campaign was “made to go the distance,” a statement that brought a roar of approval from supporters.

Warren also praised fellow Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigeg and Amy Klobuchar in her speech Tuesday night.

“Senator Sanders and Mayor Buttigieg are both great people and either one of them would be a far better president than Donald Trump,” said Warren. “I respect them both.”

But Warren said she is best-suited to unite the party.

“Our campaign is best positioned to beat Donald Trump in November because we can unite our party,” Warren said. “We can unite this party and this country by mobilizing people behind ideas that are not only popular with huge majorities of the American people, but that also accomplish structural change for our broken government and our rigged economy.”

One Florida man who traveled to New Hampshire to see Warren and canvass for her campaign said he believes in that message.

“I think she is the one who can unite the Democratic party,” Noah Miller said. “Unity. Her message to me means uniting the Democratic Party and not repeating the mistakes of 2016.”

With 96% of votes counted in New Hampshire late Tuesday morning, Sanders came out on top with 25.7% followed closely by Buttigeg at 24.5%. Klobuchar trailed at 19.8% and Warren ended the night with 9.3% of the vote.

Warren supporters seemed confident her campaign was built to last.

Chris Stewart, 26, is one of those hopeful supporters.

“I have no doubt in my mind that Elizabeth Warren would be the best president we could possibly elect,” Stewart said.

As a young voter, Stewart said he has a different reality than other generations of voters.

“I feel like a lot of my friends really understand that our generation has not been getting or reaping the economic rewards and we don't have the same opportunities as our parents’ generation,” Stewart said. “I think Senator Warren’s message really hits that point home. She wants to create opportunities for people like me.”

This age category of 18- to 29-year-olds make up 14 percent of voters and have, overall, not echoed that support for Warren’s campaign.

According to an exit poll done in New Hampshire, only 6% of 18 to 29-year-olds were in support of Warren. Buttigeg polled at 20% and Sanders led that category at 51%.

Buttigeg has previously struggled with the young vote, but appears to be winning over that constituency.

Klobuchar also is struggling to rally the young vote. Her most popular age category of voters are the 45-64 and the 65 and older age groups, which make up a combined 63% of voters.

Sanders and Warren continue to dominate the liberal vote, while Buttigeg and Klobuchar are neck-and-neck when it comes to more moderate or conservative voters.

Warren said there still is a long race ahead when it comes to the 55 other states and territories that have yet to vote.

Ani Suvarana also believed it was a little early to wave the white flag.

“I am still hopeful,” Suvarana said. “It is still very early. It kind of irks me that people are already rushing to set the narrative after just two very small states have voted.”

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Gaylord News is a reporting project of the University of Oklahoma Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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