What a Trump vs. Warren race would look like

How many Pocahontas jokes do you think she can stomach?

President Trump and Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Sean Rayford/Getty Images, Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, NATALIIA OMELCHENKO/iStock)

Despite Elizabeth Warren's rise to the top of numerous major polls, I am not entirely sold on her winning the Democratic presidential nomination. The phenomenon of a candidate who races ahead of the competition months before the first primary contest only to end up with a third or fourth-place finish in Iowa — or even drop out before a single vote is cast — is not exactly unknown.

That said, there is a good argument that at this point no one is mistaking Warren for a Michele Bachmann. Early surging dropouts tend to be ideological outliers who rile up the most excitable elements in a given party's base at a time when not everyone is paying attention, which is why people like Ron Paul were contenders in the Iowa Straw Poll back when that was a thing. Warren, meanwhile, is the only candidate showing signs of doing what I and many other observers said would be necessary for the eventual Democratic nominee — namely, splitting the difference between DNC establishment types and progressive activists. On paper Warren might have a great deal in common with Bernie Sanders, but her style is fundamentally different. Yes, she talks about breaking up the world's largest corporations and increasing taxes (and even creating new ones) and single-payer health care, but she also talks about the importance of party unity. She understands that you can say "I agree with Bernie" in a debate as long you explain to donors behind closed doors that you are not here for a "revolution." She does not shout or rant.

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