Republicans don’t like Elizabeth Warren. So why do they keep handing her a megaphone?

On the other hand, Republicans have attempted to portray Warren as a left-wing, alienating figure. They’ve latched onto a poll from early January that found 51 percent of Massachusetts voters viewing Warren favorably and just 44 percent saying she “deserves reelection” in 2018. America Rising, the pro-Republican opposition research group, has focused an unusual amount of fire on Warren, whose state gave just 33 percent its vote to Trump last year.

In conservative media, it’s widely accepted that raising Warren’s profile will be bad for Democrats: A Fox Business segment on Wednesday featured host Stuart Varney calling her “the outspoken socialist senator from Massachusetts” and assuring that “Democrats are making a mistake by putting Senator Warren out front in a very attacking, moralistic mode.”

For some, it’s easier to think that Republicans cleverly elevated Warren to tie Democrats to “the left” than it is to believe that they have repeatedly stumbled and elevated her as an effective opponent. But that largely relies on a equivalence of the “right” and “left” as equally extreme, and equally upsetting to centrist voters, and that might not reflect reality. In December, for example, Morning Consult asked a polling sample of Trump voters if they favored elimination of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau: 50 percent of Trump voters wanted it expanded or left alone; just 7 percent agreed with nearly every Republican politician in calling for it to be scrapped.