While Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied supporters in South Carolina and voters cast their ballots in the presidential primary season’s first contest in the South, her allies in Boston made a push for votes in the final weekend before Warren’s crucial home-state primary on Super Tuesday.
Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, a co-chairwoman of Warren’s campaign, and state Attorney General Maura Healey told about 200 volunteers at a South End office Saturday morning that Warren is the candidate for these times and can still win the nomination, despite disappointing results in early contests and lackluster poll numbers.
“I don’t really care what the polls say right now, guys, to be honest,” Healey told the crowd, to cheers and applause.
The attorney general added, “All that matters is the work that we’re going to do together over the next couple of days. It is about grass roots, and in a time where a lot of people preach about democracy and the need for us to take action, this is what it’s all about. You are exactly where you need to be today.”
Pressley told the volunteers why she got involved in Warren’s campaign.
“You all know me, and you know I’m not easy, and I don’t give an inch,” she said. “She earned my endorsement . . . because I spent the early months of her campaign listening, and what she proved to me is she is tested, she is proven, she is effective.”
Pressley said Warren keeps promises, and she listens to voters and understands that a person with a disability doesn’t only care about disability rights, that Black voters aren’t only concerned about criminal justice reform, that older voters aren’t just interested in Social Security and Medicare.
“She is more than a good professor — she is a damn good student,” Pressley said. “A student of the people. And that is what informs her empathy.”
Pressley also lauded the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Warren proposed and helped establish before entering politics. The agency, Pressley said, was of great interest to the voters she met “on the ground in South Carolina, a state that has been disproportionately impacted by predatory loans, predatory mortgages, predatory for-profit colleges and universities.”
“This is an agency [that exists] when no one said it could be done," Pressley said. “And when they say they’re tired of establishment folks — she did this when she wasn’t even an elected official!”
Speaking to reporters, Pressley and Healey stressed that there are many undecided voters in the nation.
“That’s exactly why it’s important that we just continue to reach people one-on-one, speak person-to-person, heart-to-heart,” Pressley said.
“This is a campaign that’s been built for the long haul,” Healey said later. She stressed that about 98 percent of Democratic delegates are still outstanding.
As they spoke, thousands were gathering about a mile away on Boston Common for a noontime rally for the Democratic front-runner, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
With Sanders leading in polls and having won crucial early states, some pundits and political operatives have already called for Warren and other candidates below the top tier to drop out, though most voters still have not gone to the polls. But Warren’s supporters made it clear that they aren’t giving up.
Ben Titus, 35, of South Boston, said he had hoped Warren would run in 2016 and that her focus on social justice resonates with his values as a Christian.
“In some ways I’m thankful for Donald Trump because I think Donald Trump exposed a sickness that is really in America,” he said.
Titus cited Warren’s description of Trump’s rise to power as the symptom of a larger issue of government corruption. He said he considers her plan for reforming the criminal justice system to be the best and most comprehensive of any candidate.
“Like, it almost made me cry,” he said.
Bethany Czerny, 43, of Roslindale, said student loan debt has shaped many decisions she’s made as an adult, and she has long admired Warren for her work on consumer protections from big banks and corporations.
“When she decided to run for president, I thought, ‘What better, smarter, more experienced woman, who has been fighting her whole life for causes that I believe in?’ ” Czerny said. “It’s not about her ego. It’s about getting things done that benefit a large majority of all of us.”