December 31, 2019 / 11:03 AM / 22 days ago

Democrat Warren to mark anniversary of her presidential campaign with New Year's Eve speech

BOSTON, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Democratic U.S presidential contender Elizabeth Warren will deliver a New Year’s Eve speech in her home state of Massachusetts on Tuesday to mark exactly one year since she entered the 2020 campaign.

The event will take place at the Old South Meeting House, a church in downtown Boston known as a gathering place for revolutionary colonists in the 1770s. In announcing the address earlier this month, Warren’s campaign said she would discuss “what’s possible when ordinary Americans dream beyond the corruption they see and imagine a new future together.”

Five weeks before the country’s first nominating contest in Iowa, Warren remains one of the top Democratic candidates in opinion polls but has seen her standing slip since early autumn after a months-long surge that briefly vaulted her to front-runner status.

She is in third place in national polls behind Joe Biden, the former vice president, and fellow U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, according to the polling average at the website RealClearPolitics. There are 15 Democrats currently competing for the party’s nod to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election.

The stall in Warren’s momentum coincided with sustained attacks from more moderate Democratic candidates like outgoing South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg over her support for Medicare for All, the healthcare overhaul championed by Sanders that would eliminate private insurance in favor of a single government-run plan.

In response, the U.S. senator from Massachusetts has revised her rhetoric on healthcare, emphasizing her intention to phase in Medicare for All over several years to preserve “choice” for Americans.

Warren has also sought to return to the economic populism that has animated her campaign since she launched her bid a year ago. Sounding what would become a campaign refrain, Warren told reporters that day: “Right now Washington works great for the wealthy and the well connected. It’s just not working for anyone else.”

Warren’s polling dip has been accompanied by a slowdown in her fundraising pace. In an email to supporters, the campaign said last week it had raised just over $17 million in the fourth quarter with a few days to go.

That total was significantly less than the $24.6 million Warren raised in the previous quarter, when she trailed only Sanders. Like Sanders, Warren has sworn off high-dollar fundraisers, relying on grassroots donations and accusing rivals of kowtowing to the wealthy. (Reporting by Joseph Ax and Amanda Becker; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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