Elizabeth Warren Becomes Democrats’ Fundraising Silver Bullet

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, center, greets the crowd before speaking during the annual St. Patrick's Day Breakfast in Boston, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland, left, and Rep. Stephen Lynch, rig... Sen. Elizabeth Warren, center, greets the crowd before speaking during the annual St. Patrick's Day Breakfast in Boston, Sunday, March 16, 2014. Prime Minister Enda Kenny of Ireland, left, and Rep. Stephen Lynch, right, look on. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) MORE LESS
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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is becoming something of the cavalry for embattled Democrats this cycle.

The liberal favorite and senior senator from Massachusetts has gotten into the habit of coming to the aid of candidates in tough re-election fights or who could use a narrative change.

After video footage surfaced of Rep. Bruce Braley (D-IA) making a poorly worded warning about who could be the next chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, for example, Braley was quickly endorsed by Warren.

On Monday, Warren also sent out a fundraising email for Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, the all-but-official Democratic nominees in their respective Senate races. Both Peters and Grimes are running in tough races where a Democratic win is not a sure thing.

Warren has also made a point of fundraising for other lawmakers not facing tough re-election fights like Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) but there are increasingly more examples of the progressive senator moving quickly to help out a high profile Democrat whose odds aren’t completely in their favor. In December, Warren fundraised for state Sen. Wendy Davis (D), the Democratic nominee for governor of Texas.

Warren also notably came out swinging when former Sen. Scott Brown (R) —who Warren defeated — announced he had formed an exploratory committee for a Senate run against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“It just happened: A few minutes ago, Scott Brown officially announced that he’s forming an exploratory committee to run against my friend Jeanne Shaheen for the Senate in New Hampshire,” Warren wrote in a fundraising email.

The appeal of a Warren boost is partially in the power of her email list, said Democratic strategist Brandon Hall who is advising a number of Democratic House candidates and the newly appointed Sen. John Walsh (D-MT).

“I just know her fundraising list performs very well,” Hall said.

According to Warren’s political operation at TPM’s request Warren has raised $1,303,420.79 for 26 Senate Democrats this cycle through online and events. Warren has raised the most money for Shaheen at $211,365.18.

Other Democrats fundraise for their colleagues but a Warren boost is different, Hall added.

“I get emails from Mark Begich, Martin Heinrich, Jon Tester, all the senators are trying to help their colleagues who are in the cycle this time but I think what separates Elizabeth Warren it’s kind of a really nice get is if you’re getting an email for her, she’s raising money for her, she’s such a powerful fundraiser,” Hall said. “I mean if you look at how much she was able to raise in her campaign, in a relatively short amount of time and so much of that came from a powerful, progressive online base I think she’s a clear good get for any senator who she is raising money for.”

Campaigns generally reach out to other surrogates to do the type of fundraising and work that Warren is doing to give her colleagues a boost. According to a Democrat with knowledge of Warren’s campaign dealings, most of the requests for fundraising help go through Warren’s chief of staff. There are “a lot of requests.”

The 2014 midterms aren’t likely to be an easy cycle for Democrats though and some of the most high-profile Senate races are in red states where Democrats are on the defensive. TPM asked Hall how helpful it would be to have Warren appear or fundraise in those races.

“If I’m advising a campaign I’m telling them to just take her help. I think her politics aren’t necessarily … I just think that she has such a populist message that it’s hard to attack a candidate who’s getting support from Elizabeth Warren,” Hall said. “She’s just too popular. For the campaigns I’m working on if they got offered help from Elizabeth Warren I would without hesitation say take the help.”

This post was updated.

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