Combine that sort of fervor for Warren with her fundraising ability — as of mid August, Warren had raised an amazing $28 million for her bid in the space of a single year — and the fact that there is an open slot for a female candidate in the 2016 field (assuming, of course, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton keeps to her pledge not to run) and you arrive at a simple conclusion: Elizabeth Warren has a direct-ish path to top-tier status in 2016 if she winds up winning this fall.

“If she wins, she has a rich history-making narrative, which would put her in the first tier of ’16ers like [Martin] O’Malley, [Andrew] Cuomo and [Mark] Warner,” said Michael Meehan, a Democratic consultant with long ties to the politics of the Bay State. (Meehan noted that if Warren is elected, she would be the first woman to be elected either governor or Senator in Massachusetts.)

Others in the Democratic political world agreed with Meehan’s assessment although they all insisted that she had to stay focused on 2012 first.