December 18, 2018

Democratic Primary Polls

Polls of the Democratic primary both nationally and in Iowa show former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the lead, followed by Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX).
CNN, Des Moines Register

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From the Left

The left is leaving open every possibility.

“Even if political junkies are already sick of hearing about the presumed top contenders in the 2020 Democratic presidential field, most of America isn’t yet familiar with them… Roughly half of Americans have never heard of Harris or Booker; Warren fares a little better, but one-third say they haven’t heard of her either… The 2020 campaign is just starting.”

In addition to the familiar names, there is a long list of as-yet-unknown 2020 hopefuls. “On the speaking list at Progress Iowa's sixth annual holiday party: California Rep. Eric Swalwell, businessman Andrew Yang, Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg… In the last week, Julian Castro [also] threw his hat into the ring -- kind of -- by launching a presidential exploratory committee.”

“With everyone racing to the left, maybe Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has a shot at owning a moderate lane all to himself and sneaking in. Or with everyone talking about health care, maybe Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has a shot at owning climate change as a distinctive issue and sneaking in… in a field that big, really anyone can win.”

Regarding O’Rourke, some posit that “so much of centrist-Democrat fantasizing about 2020 already seems aimed at repeating a golden past… For Democrats excited about O’Rourke, his primary draw is his similarity to Barack Obama… If all the Democrats can manage is to hark back to the past and focus on winning for its own sake, they’re missing an opportunity to lay out a blueprint for the future.”
Washington Post

Others counter that “as a presidential candidate, O’Rourke would rightly ensure that criminal justice reform, campaign finance reform and Medicare for everyone are prioritized by the Democratic Party… Ignore the skeptics. Beto O’Rourke has the policy chops to run for president.”
Houston Chronicle

Regarding concerns that the current front-runners are all white males, many note that “Democrats have come too far to be stuck still in entrenched factions and the false perception that an African-American woman can't represent white men, or a white man can't represent African-American women. All wings of the party have more in common than they have differences, especially when compared with Trump…

"Instead of asking what kind of candidate can win, the question should be: What makes a good President?

From the Right

The right argues that Democrats would be best served by nominating a candidate who can appeal to midwestern voters.

The right argues that Democrats would be best served by nominating a candidate who can appeal to midwestern voters.

“Democrats' best hope of defeating Trump may be the Biden or Bernie strategy — appealing to the white working class… Racial minorities and women might be able to energize the Democratic base, and there may be a perfect candidate out there that can galvanize midwestern white working class voters and minority voters the same way Barack Obama did, but as of now it does seem one of the three Bs might be Democrats' best chance against Trump in 2020.”
PJ Media

“Voters [in the Iowa poll] said they are looking for a seasoned hand rather than a young upstart to challenge Trump, with 49 percent reporting they’d prefer an experienced candidate compared to 36 percent who called for a fresh face… The results bode well for Biden, who at 76 is reportedly considering a run and looking to 46-year-old O’Rourke as a possible running mate whose youth could balance out the ticket.”
New York Post

Meanwhile, “Bernie Sanders may be done – thanks, ironically, to his success in getting the Democratic Party to swallow his mantras and then digest them. Sanders is no longer radical, standing outside the party. He’s in the mainstream of the party, and there are more attractive candidates in the mainstream than a near-octogenarian with a penchant for wild misstatements.”
Daily Wire

“After Biden and Sanders, both in their late 70s with many vulnerabilities, there is a huge drop-off… The fact that O'Rourke, without doing much, could leapfrog all of the other candidates who had been clearly positioning themselves to run for years, suggests that none of the Democratic candidates enter the race in a particularly strong position.”
Washington Examiner

Interestingly, “when asked recently who Republicans should fear most in the 2020 presidential campaign, two prominent GOP figures, both women speaking independently of each other, gave the same response: Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

“She pleased her party base in the hearings on the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh when she challenged him about his use of alcohol… [but] also won re-election this year with more than 60% of the vote in the one state Trump forces lost in 2016 but think they have a legitimate chance to flip their way in 2020… Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio [could be]… the dream ticket.”
Wall Street Journal

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