Democratic Primary 2020

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Democratic Primary 2020

Postby gisambards » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:42 pm

Discussion on this has already started elsewhere, with some talk on the Trump thread and a thread having been created devoted to one specific candidate, but this is definitely something that will need its own thread eventually, so why not start it now?
As of right now, the obvious questions are:
Who do you think will be running?
What are the pros and cons of likely candidates?
Who do you want to win?
Who do you think will win?
What are their chances against Trump?

Personally, I think the three people who are both very likely to run and have some potential to win the candidacy are:
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, and Cory Booker.

Out of those, I would prefer Biden, but as Doods has pointed out on the Trump thread, age is a real factor there. If he won both the primary and the general election, he would be 78 by the time he came to office, and at that age it doesn't really matter how healthy he seems because he could deteriorate very quickly. There would be a very definite sense that he'd only be able to serve one term at the most, and that could hurt his chances. Age aside, though, I think he'd do very well - he has a genuine charm that people respond to, but does also manage to exude a good sense of both intelligence and capability, and there's no doubting he's experienced. I think post-Trump, people will be looking for stability, and he's a rare candidate that could both promote a sense of stability but also get people excited, a combination it would be very hard to compete against. But age really will be a factor - there's a solid chance he just won't be able to run, and it will definitely be something people will be concerned about. Of course, if he did win the primary, I don't think Trump (who, despite being slightly younger, definitely wouldn't be able to use the age card) would stand a chance.

I don't actually know much about Harris or Booker. Both seem perfectly acceptable, although I'm sure both have their issues. Sellers has explained some potential issues with Harris on his thread regarding her, although personally I think even taking those into account she's an acceptable candidate. I think she'd have a hard time against a regular Republican (but even then definitely could win), but I think she'd beat Trump pretty handily.

I know next to nothing about Booker, besides that a lot of people seem to like him but another lot of people seem to dislike him, and that he was a fireman. Personally there is something about him that rubs me up the wrong way, but it's hard to put a finger on. I do think he might exude a bit too much of a sense of just assuming he'll be president one day, which a lot of people will find off-putting, but that might be more the way elements of the media talk about him than anything he's doing himself. Much like Harris in the general election, I don't think he'd be a definite winner under normal circumstances but in this case I think he'd be a safe bet.

The Obama camp have apparently been pushing former Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick to run. I don't know much about him, but some pretty basic research digs up that he's actually got a couple of controversies attached to him that I think would instantly sink a presidential campaign if a rival candidate started using them, and thus I don't see him as a possibility.

There will also probably be a Sandersite candidate who could potentially do pretty well, although it's not obvious who that is yet. The two obvious names are Elizabeth Warren (although she's said she won't) and Bernie himself, although actually I wouldn't expect either of them to do that well this time around, as their main rival will either be a much fresher, quite likely ethnic-minority face, or Joe Biden, both of which I think will bring attention to the issues with Sanders' politics. Harris or Booker would both likely manage to give off a better sense of modernity, which I think young people will actually respond to more if it's offered, and both - being relatively young, relatively black and (although one would assume this will matter less if it's Warren running) in Harris' case a woman - will bring out the worst of the Bernie Bros, whose actions - whether one thinks it's fair for Sanders to take the blame or not - will almost certainly have a negative impact on public perceptions of a Sanders or Sanders-successor campaign. And if Biden's in the race, I think his down-to-earth nature would definitely show up the professor-ish air of either Sanders or Warren.
If Sanders or Warren did somehow win the primary, I think the election would be close. I don't believe Sanders was more likely to beat Trump than Clinton - quite the opposite - and I certainly don't believe he'd do better than Biden, Harris or Booker. Warren I think would get a similar result - the only real difference with Sanders is I think she'd manage to court a higher percentage of younger people but I think she'd lose a lot of what support he had among working class people.
What might stand a better chance in both primary and general election is a younger successor to Sanders (by which I mean someone in their late 40s or 50s, not a Wild in the Streets situation), although I can't think of anyone who could be this. Even then, I think a safer candidate would win the primary.

And finally, a total wildcard who, if he's serious (although I don't think he is), I think could actually do surprisingly well: the Rock. It's hard to tell if he was joking, and even if he wasn't I think if all he had to say for himself was the usual "I'm not a politician" stuff celebrity candidates usually resort to then he probably wouldn't get very far, but he's got charisma and social media skills and a lot of people like him, so if he genuinely puts a good case for himself forward, with the way things are right now, Dwayne Johnson could stand a chance.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Cpt._Funkotron » Thu Sep 28, 2017 11:24 pm

I marched for Bernie back in the primaries, in fact he was my first vote ever (voted Clinton in the general), but I agree that he'll be too old in 20 and 24, a younger, preferrably female and/or minority pick would be best to carry on the torch.

I'm curious to see if Al Franken's going to be anyone's pick for running mate, one of Clinton's problems was a general lack of charisma. Franken was a writer and entertainer most of his adult life, and he's gotten nothing but positive press so far this year that I"ve seen.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:51 am

I agree with your first two, gis, but I don't think Booker has a chance in hell. He's seen (and somewhat justifiably) as being way too comfortable with Wall Street, which is a huge no-no with Democrats right now.

Biden--if he runs, and judging by the fact he's been putting in calls to a foreign policy institute, it seems like he wants to--would be the most likely nominee. He just has a different way of speaking to people he disagrees with and talking about the dignity of work that's very different and I think would cut through some partisanship. I don't think he'd get much in the way of Republican votes, mind you, but he'd be such a counteranswer to Trump, with an economic message to boot. Age would be a problem here, but I don't think people will particularly care at that point--especially given that Trump is pretty goddamn old, too. Personally, I think he'd be one of the few candidates who might actually be able to halfway heal this country after what Trump's doing/will do to it.

Harris I think is the good balance between practical and ideological, between leftist and centrist. She has some resistance from the Bernie crowd who think she's not liberal enough, but I think that will settle down once they get a longer, better look at her. She will definitely bring in minority voters, more than Hillary did, along with centrists and maybe some liberals here and there. If Biden doesn't run, I suspect she'll pick up the nomination instead. She does need to be careful, though, about promising things she doesn't intend to do in order to appease liberals.

Warren I would still put third if Biden doesn't run and some controversy came up with Harris, and I don't know if I shouldn't be putting her second. You talk about charisma, but Hillary had the charisma of a concrete wall and still managed to win the popular vote. It's about having the right enemies, and Warren was a progressive shouting down Wall Street before it was fashionable. Age will be a factor, of course, but I also think that liberal voters will want their own answer to Donald Trump, rather than a president who brings us together. Rather than following the right's version of Carter with the left's version of Reagan, we'll probably just get a firebrand instead. Warren would certainly be the antagonist they want.

Bernie would be fourth. I may be underestimating him, here, but I think by 2020, the hype will have died down.

Do keep in mind that the primary is likely to be a crowded one. There's a good chance that a repeat of the 2016 Republican primary plays, where the winner coming out of it only gets 30-40% of the primary vote but the field was so crowded that they won anyways. So you have to evaluate them on that measure, too.

As for who has the best chance in the general election, Biden would be the obvious answer. He'd be old, but so would Trump, and Biden would be able to slap him around about the working class and how he's ignored them, etc. He'd probably get back a lot of those Obama-Trump voters. Harris would have a pretty good shot, Warren would be a toss-up. I know a lot of people on the right keep sneering and being like "Oh yes, pick Warren so we can win another term" but my answer to that would be "Funny, people on the left said more or less the exact thing about Trump. Be careful what you wish for."
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Bromo » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:17 am

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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:03 am

gisambards wrote:Discussion on this has already started elsewhere, with some talk on the Trump thread and a thread having been created devoted to one specific candidate

Wrong! I've created two threads devoted to one specific candidate. First one was on Tammy Duckworth, right after the last election. Sadly, she has made not the slightest hint that she's interesting in running.

I think the four mostly likely candidates to run are Booker, Harris, Kaine, and Gillibrand, but I agree that neither Kaine nor Gillibrand is likely to win the nomination, in both cases because of association with Hillary: Kaine was her running mate and Gillibrand is a blonde New Yorker who reminds people of Hillary despite not being a Clinton. Of those four, I like Booker the best. I'm still not thrilled with how close he is with pharmaceutical companies, but that's the only issue I have with him so far and like that he's an advocate for criminal justice reform.

I already started a thread with my thoughts on Harris, and I mentioned in the Trump thread I'd give her around a 30% chance of being the eventual nominee, the highest of any potential candidate. Gillibrand from what I've seen is uninspiring, but I don't think Kaine would be a bad candidate. As a moderate he's probably not going to win back the Rust Belt (except maybe Michigan), but as a Virginian he'd have a shot at flipping some Southern states and as a Spanish speaker he'd have a chance at flipping Arizona as well as better odds in Texas in Florida (which are also Southern States).

I do currently like Biden better than any non-Duckworth potential candidate and think he'd probably have a better shot of winning both the nomination and general if he ran than any of the four I mentioned, but he's old, and would lend credence to the idea that the Democrats have a very shallow stable. I also have difficulty picturing Biden as a two-term president, though that could be a good thing if he picks a strong VP who goes on to serve two terms after him, allowing him to serve as a kind of elder statesman.

One name I see a lot is Elizabeth Warren. As I've said repeatedly, I think it's unlikely that she'll run and highly unlikely that she'll win the general election. However she has the advantage of being A. a woman and B. part of the Sanders wing of the party, which means that if she did run I think she has a decent chance of winning the Democratic nomination, which worries me. On another thread Crimson observed that it would be hard for the Democrats to find a candidate as bad as Clinton for 2020, but I think Warren might be that. While she's not tainted by the Clinton brand, she combines the politics of Bernie Sanders with a reputation as someone overly fond of identity politics, which was one of the issues Clinton faced.

Sanders himself might also run again, though like Biden he's really old. I voted for Sanders mainly because A. I didn't like Clinton and B. I'm from New England have have grown up seeing him as one of the most trustworthy politicians in the area, but I'm not as much a fan of his politics. The only clear member of the Sanders wing of the party I like for 2020 is Tulsi Gabbard, but that's because she focuses on a lot of issues which aren't typical progressive issues, and because she's a veteran and I think that's an electoral asset.

To win the electoral college, a Democrat will have to either make inroads in the Sun Belt (Arizona, Texas, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina), or take back the Midwest. I don't know of any Democrat who's particularly suited to the former (you'd need to recreate something like the Obama coalition without alienating Southern whites without a college degree), but there are at least two names I see a lot of who might be able to take back the Midwest (aside from Duckworth and Biden, whom I've already mentioned): Sherrod Brown and Amy Klobuchar.

I personally dislike Sherrod Brown quite strongly. He's an unabashed protectionist and a co-author of PIPA. Though nowhere near as conservative on social issues, he's an old-fashioned populist firebrand who reminds me of William Jennings Bryan. If the Democrats nominated him, I would absolutely vote for a third-party, even if it looked like the election could come down to my home state. The question is: how many college-educated white independents are likely to feel this way about him but not other members of the Sanders wing? With the exception of Brown I'd vote for any of them in the general election against Trump, and I may be weird in this respect.

Klobuchar is a little weak on civil liberties, which I dislike, but mostly seems to be a fairly typical liberal Democrat and I've so far not seen anything I particularly like or dislike about her. The fact that she's from Minnesota is clearly an asset in trying to take back the Midwest, and should also give her a leg up in the Iowa caucuses if she runs.

A few other names I've heard floated are Maria Cantwell and Patricia Murray, both of Washington State, Jeff Merkley of Oregon, and Jason Kander of Missouri. I can't comment on the folks from the Pacific Northwest beyond saying that they all seem to be fairly typical Democrats and I don't think "Oregon" and "Washington" are slurs in Middle America to nearly the same degree that "California," "New York," and "Taxachusetts" are. However Kander is interesting, since he's a very liberal candidate who nonetheless nearly won against a popular incumbent in deeply reddening Missouri. If he runs, he'd probably be fairly high on my list of candidates I liked.

Two other possible candidates people keep bringing up: Michelle Obama and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Obama has shown no interest in running, which is good, because she would sweep the Democratic nomination and I'm not sure she could win the general election. I'm also absolutely certain I would note vote for her in either the primary or general election: my hatred of nepotism is too strong for that. I don't think Johnson will run either and I'm pretty sure he'd make a terrible president, a la Jesse Ventura, but I think he could easily win both the primary and general if he did run. I would probably vote for him in the general if he won the Democratic nomination, resigning myself to a president who is likely to be almost as incompetent as Trump, if at least much less mean-spirited.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby tinyrick » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:55 am

I'm holding out hope for that senator from Rhode Island. This country needs President Whitehouse. He'll be living in the Whitehouse White House.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Ladki96 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:05 am

Isn't it a bit early to start discussing the next American election in earnest :? Why do you guys want to rush things :P
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Cpt._Funkotron » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:18 am

Ladki96 wrote:Isn't it a bit early to start discussing the next American election in earnest :? Why do you guys want to rush things :P


No, we had a year of relative peace and shared disgust with the current president, now begins the pregame for the next round. This thread is maybe six months early, but as a rule American election cycles are agonizingly long.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby cmsellers » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:33 am

Ladki96 wrote:Isn't it a bit early to start discussing the next American election in earnest :? Why do you guys want to rush things :P

Have you seen out current president, Lads?

tinyrick wrote:I'm holding out hope for that senator from Rhode Island. This country needs President Whitehouse. He'll be living in the Whitehouse White House.

Whitehouse defeated Lincoln Chafee who was my second-favorite Senator at the time (my favorite was and is Ron Wyden), so I still hold a grudge against him.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Krashlia » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:49 am

I'm hoping Jim Webb runs again.
Webb 2020: Com'on! He killed a guy!
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:50 am

Ladki96 wrote:Isn't it a bit early to start discussing the next American election in earnest :? Why do you guys want to rush things :P


I should point out that Trump has already filed for the 2020 election and held several "2020 campaign rallies" so we've been pretty patient by comparison.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Marcuse » Fri Sep 29, 2017 8:53 am

I'm just going to hold a candle for President Rock from now until he's elected as President of the World.

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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby sunglasses » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:54 pm

Nooooo, I'm not falling victim to the American habit of starting to talk about me campaigns 3 years before we vote.

#rock2020
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Doodle Dee. Snickers » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:37 pm

cmsellers wrote:
gisambards wrote:Discussion on this has already started elsewhere, with some talk on the Trump thread and a thread having been created devoted to one specific candidate

One name I see a lot is Elizabeth Warren. As I've said repeatedly, I think it's unlikely that she'll run and highly unlikely that she'll win the general election. However she has the advantage of being A. a woman and B. part of the Sanders wing of the party, which means that if she did run I think she has a decent chance of winning the Democratic nomination, which worries me. On another thread Crimson observed that it would be hard for the Democrats to find a candidate as bad as Clinton for 2020, but I think Warren might be that. While she's not tainted by the Clinton brand, she combines the politics of Bernie Sanders with a reputation as someone overly fond of identity politics, which was one of the issues Clinton faced.


Are you sure it's not just because you seem to despise California and the Northeast more than any person I've seen in my entire life (and that includes a lot of conservatives)?

For real though, she joined the Armed Services Committee out of the blue this last year, and a senator or representative who's big on economics but joins a foreign policy-heavy committee out of left field (or vice versa) is usually a decent sign that they're thinking about running. I'm also not sure what identity politics you speak of, since the people she makes the biggest habit of attacking are Wall Street and banks, two entities I think the last election made pretty clear that the left and right increasingly despise. I don't think she'll get a lot of Republicans crossing over (though I should point out, literally anyone you list is going to get shit on by Trump or Fox News even if literal Jesus Christ came down to Earth to take the nomination) but if Democrats are smart, they'll make Donald Trump's selling out of the middle/working class their theme, and it's hard to argue that there's a more consistent messenger except Sanders (who I don't think will run) or Biden. Imagine Booker trying to do it, it'd be like when Clinton was like "Ignore my paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, Trump is the REAL friend of Wall Street".

Not that I'm pitching here, I'm just talking general election chances, I just don't really get your argument about her. Is it that "She's too liberal?" Because not that long ago, everyone was saying "Trump's too racist", but the Republicans grudgingly lined up anyways. I also think Warren comes with a better sheen of competence than Bernie did. His heart's in it, don't get me wrong, but let's not pretend like he always had the numbers behind him.

Also, let's be real, short of nominating Anthony Weiner, there's no way the Democrats can find someone as reviled as Hillary Clinton Although I have underestimated their skill of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory before.
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Re: Democratic Primary 2020

Postby Crimson847 » Fri Sep 29, 2017 3:06 pm

Doodle Dee. Snickers wrote:Are you sure it's not just because you seem to despise California and the Northeast more than any person I've seen in my entire life (and that includes a lot of conservatives)?


While I also don't see much sense in cm's political decision-making process, I'm not sure how this follows given his fondness for Chafee and his vote for Sanders, both Northeastern politicians.


That aside, I'm with Sunny; personally I don't have much interest in discussing the matter until people actually declare their candidacies and announce platforms and such. It's nearly 100% speculation at this point--anyone remember in 2012/2013 when Paul Ryan was considered a leading contender for the 2016 Republican nomination? Or in 2005 when nobody knew who the hell Barack Obama was?
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