What’s the reason? It’s not principles or civic duty.
It’s simply about cold, hard cash.
Warren’s attacks have made a name for her among liberals nationwide — and she’s using the free media airtime to collect millions in donations from these supporters.
In the past two years, Warren has created an insanely large fundraising machine that has turned the Massachusetts Democrat into a powerhouse in her party as she looks ahead to a 2018 re-election campaign and a possible 2020 presidential bid.
Warren started 2017 with a staggering $4.8 million already in her campaign account, the biggest piggybank of any Senate Democrat facing voters next year.
That’s also $1 million more than any Democratic member of the Senate except for Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, of New York, with $10.7 million. Schumer won re-election last year.
Warren is also ahead of eight of the nine Senate Republicans running for re-election next year. Republican Sen. Bob Corker, of Tennessee, ended 2016 with $5.9 million. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, trailed Warren with $3.8 million. Sanders also had $5.5 million in his presidential campaign account.
Key to Warren’s fundraising muscle is a nationwide base of supporters. Since making a name for herself attacking Trump during the election, Warren has raked in donations from virtually every state.
Even in states where President Donald Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by double digit margins, Warren found tiny pockets of support.
In Kentucky, the former Harvard University law professor pulled in $5,200. In Alabama, she collected $3,200. And in Tennessee, she raised $9,600 — all states where the vote exceeded 60 percent for Trump.
The totals count only contributions above $200 during the election cycle.
Warren also raised about $1.2 million for her PAC during the past two years. She donated just $390,000 of that to fellow Democratic candidates and committees.
Warren’s success at cultivating small donors will be crucial to the Democratic Party’s White House hopes in 2020 whether Warren runs or not, according to Peter Ubertaccio, director of the Martin Institute for Law & Society at Stonehill College.
“Her people have really figured out the secret sauce,” Ubertaccio said. “Anyone who wants to be the Democratic nominee in 2020 is going to have to spend a lot of time cultivating Elizabeth Warren’s supporters and donors, and ultimately her.”
Warren is also adept at targeted fundraising appeals.
After Senate Republicans rebuked her for reading from a letter by Coretta Scott King during last months’ debate on the nomination of Jeff Sessions for attorney general, Warren sent an email asking for cash as support from her backers.
The liberal group MoveOn.org said it quickly raised more than $250,000 for Warren.
Warren also started selling “Nevertheless, She Persisted” T-shirts, echoing Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell who said, “She was warned. She was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted,” before silencing Warren.
Contributions to Warren also spiked in the final three months of last year, when she took in $1 million, a period that included Trump’s election.
Warren may also be hoping to discourage GOP challengers.
State Rep. Geoff Diehl, one of a handful of Massachusetts Republicans considering a Senate run, said Warren’s cash isn’t an obstacle.
“When you do the work and represent the interests of the people in the state, you can overcome whatever financial difference there may be,” said Diehl, who served as the Trump campaign’s Massachusetts co-chairman.