One of the biggest inside-the-Beltway battles continues to be over the nomination of Elizabeth Warren to head the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Recently the White House floated the name of Raj Date, one of Ms. Warren’s hand-picked staffers at the CFPB, as a substitute. Many on all sides of the issue continue to wonder why the White House doesn’t just nominate Warren and make Republicans (and not a few Democrats) vote against her. After all she appears to be beloved on the Left.
Perhaps the White House already knew what I had suspected, but only recently confirmed: that Professor Warren is neither as well known or liked as commonly believed. A recent poll in Massachusetts by Democratic pollsters Public Policy Polling, who tend to over-sample Democratic voters, found about as many respondents had a unfavorable view of Warren as favorable, 21% vs.17%. And that’s in left-leaning Massachusetts. I have to imagine the results look even less favorable for Warren in places like Montana (maybe Jon Tester could tell us). Perhaps less surprising is that over 60% had no opinion, probably because they had no idea who she is, and this in a state where she might run for Senate. (I’d probably poll 90% plus not knowing who I was, and I’d like to keep it that way.)
Obviously we shouldn’t read too much into any one poll. But I think this helps remind us that sometimes what Washington cares about does not really matter much to those outside the Beltway.