Thousands pack Waterfront Park for Elizabeth Warren town hall

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SAN DIEGO -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, one of three top-polling candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, visited San Diego Thursday.

An estimated 8,500 people packed Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego to catch a glimpse of Senator Warren's 139th town hall.

Many in the crowd support her plan to wipe out student debt for millions of Americans and provide free public college tuition.

Sen. Warren talked about her "ultra-millionaire tax" -- a two-cent tax for more than $50 million. She promised to end government corruption and rebuild the middle class.

"A minimum wage job in America will not keep a mama and a baby out of poverty. That is wrong and that is why I am in this fight," Warren told the crowd.

Small groups of protesters also gathered outside of the town hall.

"She's not saying anything about how she's going to pay for this," one protester told FOX 5.

This was Warren's first visit to San Diego County since formally launching her campaign in February. Warren has steadily climbed in the race and has separated herself from the rest of the field along with former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Her visit comes shortly after a Los Angeles Times and UC Berkeley poll from Sept. 13-18 found that 29% of likely voters in California support her, with Biden in second at 20% and Sanders in third at 19%. Several polls have also found Warren leading in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two states to vote in the primary.

Other polls have found Warren and Sanders within a few points of Biden in California while other prominent candidates like Sen. Kamala Harris have fallen to single digits. Warren, Biden, Sanders and Harris are part of a candidate field of roughly 20 Democrats that also includes South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, technology entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former El Paso, Texas, Rep. Beto O'Rourke.

Hours after the town hall ended, Warren stayed behind to take photos with members of the crowd. Her next stop is Los Angeles.

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