National groups step away from Mass. race
It was supposed to be a national fight with outside groups pouring millions of dollars into a nasty ad war, but so far U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s re-election contest has fallen short of the hype.
With less than four weeks before Election Day, Warren’s race has drawn surprisingly little interest from conservative groups and super PACs looking to dent the Massachusetts senator in the run-up to her expected 2020 presidential campaign.
President Trump has also remained silent on the race. Not even a single tweet. It’s still possible Trump could travel to Massachusetts to campaign for GOP challenger Geoff Diehl, but it would come relatively late in the game.
And liberal organizations have also largely stayed out of the fray — letting Warren fight her own battle against Diehl.
Diehl himself has waged an aggressive campaign, slamming Warren every chance he gets, but it’s been without any assistance from outside groups. With the exception of a few endorsements from law enforcement groups and GOP stalwarts like ex-Red Sox hurler Curt Schilling, Diehl has been largely on his own.
Rather than jumping at a chance to embarrass the potential 2020 Democratic standard bearer, GOP groups have been focused on holding the House and the Senate past November’s midterms. But by taking a pass on the Bay State race so far, national conservative groups have essentially given a free pass to Warren, deciding instead to focus on the battleground states where Republicans have a chance to knock off incumbent Democrats. That may change over the next few weeks but there’s no signs now of any national organized effort to rough up the Massachusetts senator.
Warren’s outside help has been largely limited to some Facebook ads from moveon. org, not that she needs much assistance.
Polls continue to show her holding a comfortable, doubledigit lead over the Republican state lawmaker.
Warren has largely played it safe, choosing to ignore most of Diehl’s attacks and focus instead on bashing Trump.
Warren has raised millions of dollars for her campaign by becoming a vehicle for the antiTrump resistance. She clearly perceives the president as her real opponent, and she is probably right.
Diehl may have hoped for some help from national groups, but he’ll have to rely on his own campaign for now. He’s raised enough money to mount a small TV advertising campaign, though he’s yet to unleash any ads since he won the GOP primary last month.
The real wild card is Trump. GOP sources say the White House is seriously considering sending the president to Massachusetts to campaign against Warren, but so far no decision’s been made.
“Stay tuned,” one GOP consultant said.
Trump has yet to even tweet an endorsement of Diehl, though the candidate has traveled to the White House to consult with Trump political advisers.
But Trump is unpredictable and would no doubt relish a chance to get in the ring with Warren.
The question is whether the White House decides to devote any resources to a race that it’s likely to lose.
ON HER OWN: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks at a town hall at Hibernian Hall in Roxbury yesterday. Warren has hinted at running for president in 2020.