Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been moving up in the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination race because of her ability to market herself to voters, a longtime Republican pollster told CNBC on Friday.
“Warren is gaining more than any other candidate because her base support is more intense than any other candidate,” Frank Luntz said on “Squawk Box,” the morning after the latest Democratic presidential debate.
Ten of the 20 remaining Democratic candidates took the stage in Houston, Texas on Thursday night.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, the frontrunner, targeted Warren’s and Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plans for a government-run health-care system.
While her message of broadening health-care access may be similar to Sanders’, Luntz said that Warren’s voice is new.
“We’ve heard him since 2015,” Luntz said of Sanders, who fought and lost the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination to Hillary Clinton. Warren is “new and she is different and she delivers that message much more effectively,” Luntz said.
The Massachusetts senator, a champion of the left wing for her bank-bashing and wealth-taxing proposals, has been gaining traction at the polls in the crowded field of candidates.
Warren is No. 3 in the national Real Clear Politics polling average with 16.8% support. She trails Biden and Sanders, who are at 26.8% and 17.3% support, respectively. No other candidate is even close breaking into the top three.
It helps that Warren is strategic when it comes to debating, Luntz said.
“If I can take it apart, she has the best opening of any two candidates,” he explained. “The first two sentences, she always includes a fact, a statistic to ground it in something more than just rhetoric.”
“She always has a shot at Trump, so she makes it partisan and she mentions something that affects people in a human way, in a personal away,” Luntz added.
Freshman congressman Lance Gooden, R-Texas, also commented on Warren’s political strategy when discussing the her latest proposed tax plan.
“To say something nice about Elizabeth Warren, she does a good job of promoting her plan, whatever you want to call it,” Gooden said in a separate “Squawk Box” interview Friday. “On the Republican side, I don’t think we’ve done that.”