Identity politics pyrotechnics cannot disguise the fact that, while the New York Times and other elite media outlets support Warren, she has difficulty winning over lower-middle-class voters. Her trouble is, she sounds phony — and not just because she claims to be Native American and like beer. She can sound hectoring, too, which her defenders will say is a sexist point — but then that is because they also like hectoring people. At that now-notorious CNN LGBTQ Equality Town Hall in Los Angeles, Warren gave a snarky answer to a question about what she would say to an old-fashioned voter who thought marriage was between one man and one woman. ‘I’m cool with that,’ she said. ‘Just marry one woman.’ The CNN crowd lapped that up, so did much of social media, but it’s perhaps no coincidence that Warren‘s dip in the polls accelerated around that time.
Sanders, by contrast, refuses to get too bound up in identity politics and settling scores. He strikes voters as authentic — and he has always stood by his principles, unlike Warren whose own ideological history is potted, to put it mildly. She has a public personality problem; he doesn’t: one New Hampshire poll found that 4 percent of voters found her likable, whereas some 20 percent liked Sanders.