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Election watch: 2020 Edition

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  • #46
    Another surefire Democratic presidential candidate: Kamela Harris

    Kamala Harris shutters state campaign committee amid talk of 2020 bid

    Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is closing down her state campaign committee amid growing speculation that she’s preparing to enter the 2020 presidential race.

    The California Democrat will shutter the committee, “Harris for Governor 2026,” and donate the roughly $1 million account balance to 19 different organizations, according to a person familiar with Harris’s plans.

    The decision to close the committee was first reported by Politico on Tuesday.
    It is possible that Harris is just happy to be in Congress and doesn't want to be President or Governor, but I don't think anyone believes that. The closing of her gubernatorial campaign office makes it pretty obvious that she's eyeing the White House instead.

    She's going to have the same problem that I noted with Elizabeth Warren. There are a lot of lefty wingnuts lining up to run for President and she's just one more in the parade, appealing to the same voters as Bernie and Liz.

    Recall that in 2016 the Republicans fielded a plethora of centerists (Bush, Kasich, Rubio, Pataki, Walker, Jindal, Christie, Santorum, Fiorina, and Gilmore) who essentially split the "sane" Republican vote. When the smoke cleared, that left loudmouth hardliners Ted Cruz and Donald Trump standing.

    It may be that the herd of "progressives" lining up to run results, in similar fashion, in a centerist Democratic candidate. Thus fare only two have indicated they're considering a run: Joe Biden and Tim Kaine. These guys would like nothing more than to see every whackadoodle hardcore lefty line up and get on the primary ballot. So far, it looks like that's going to happen.

    Pete (thinks the key question then is whether the Democratic voters show up and support the centerist or refuse again like in 2016)


    • #47
      Speaking of whackadoodle hardcore lefties:

      ‘Not a whole lot of red lights’: Beto O’Rourke leaning toward 2020 run

      Beto O’Rourke is leaning toward running for president, according to four people who have spoken with him or his advisers in recent days.

      But for a presidential contender, his radio silence is becoming increasingly awkward.

      In Iowa and New Hampshire — where Democrats are accustomed to being courted aggressively by presidential contenders — calls from Democratic Party organizers to O’Rourke’s advisers go unreturned. And a report in the Wall Street Journal on Monday that O’Rourke won’t make any decision before February and is preparing for a solo road trip — but avoiding early nominating states — bewildered even his supporters.

      “I have no idea what that is, what that means, what the strategy is,” said Tyler Jones, a Democratic strategist in South Carolina working on a campaign to draft O’Rourke into the presidential race. “Beto’s always done things more unconventionally than other Democratic leaders, so I think it’s very much on brand … I’m sure he has a strategy, and just because we don’t know what it is doesn’t mean it’s not a good one.”
      First off, my lead-in is a bit unfair. O'Rourke's politics (at least on paper) are at least somewhat centerist. You don't make a race of it in Texas spouting liberalese. But what is fair is to say that O'Rourke's following is exactly the same people who are energized by Bernie, Liz, and Kamala. O'Rourke, if he runs, might end up eating into Kaine and Biden voters, but he won't start out that way.

      The reason for that is the same as the reason for his "radio silence," he's got no credentials. Simply put, O'Rourke is a 1-term representative who recently lost a senate bid. That's hardly the resume of a serious Presidential contender. If he runs (and I believe he will) he will be "striking when the iron is hot" and trying to tap into his surprising groundswell of popularity following his failed attempt to unseat Ted Cruz in Texas.

      Accordingly, he gains more by "laying low" and letting his "legend" build than he does by declaring an early run and exploiting his fame too soon. The way a guy like O'Rourke capitalizes on pent-up optimism is to wait until his supporters are literally and publicly begging him to run before he declares his candidacy.

      Does he have a shot?

      Maybe. The charisma is there despite the lightweight credentials, following the pattern of the most recent Democratic successful candidate, Barack Obama. The trouble for O'Rourke is going to be figuring out which voters he wants to go for...does he target the progressive wing that currently adores him but is likely to be very fractured, or does he target the mainstream of the party which will be less well contested. Because he has virtually zero track record, he can probably choose whichever path he wishes.

      Pete (notes that being a relative neophyte offered great flexibility to President Obama too)


      • #48
        You keep mentioning Bernie in this potential crowded progressive field. How sure are you that he's running again?

        dusty (isn't)
        For every ailment under the sun - There is a remedy, or there is none;
        If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it. -- Mother Goose

        "We've always assumed that you can't bring back the dead. But it's a matter of when you pickle the cells." -- Peter Rhee


        • #49
          Bernie himself threw his hat into the ring last November:

          Now it's possible he won't run, but when you say you might run, people just assume you will be, because most people who might run aren't even willing to say they might run!

          Pete (is simply taking him at his word)


          • #50
            Originally posted by Plezercruz View Post
            Bernie himself threw his hat into the ring last November:


            Now it's possible he won't run, but when you say you might run, people just assume you will be, because most people who might run aren't even willing to say they might run!

            Pete (is simply taking him at his word)
            that must be why this is Pete's 2020 election watch, not dusty's :-)

            dusty (watches this thread while Pete watches the election news)
            For every ailment under the sun - There is a remedy, or there is none;
            If there be one, try to find it; If there be none, never mind it. -- Mother Goose

            "We've always assumed that you can't bring back the dead. But it's a matter of when you pickle the cells." -- Peter Rhee


            • #51
              Another day, another left wingnut joins the race. If you're paying attention, Kamala Harris has been running for President for about a year now, but she made it official today:


              Kamala Harris to run for president in 2020

              Kamala Harris announced Monday that she is running for president in 2020, arguing that the time has come to fight against what she views as the injustices of the past two years of the Trump presidency.

              In a brief video from her campaign that was released on social media Monday morning at the same time she appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America," Harris called on her supporters to join with her to "claim our future."

              "Justice. Decency. Equality. Freedom. Democracy. These aren't just words. They're the values we as Americans cherish. And they're all on the line now," Harris said in the video, teasing her official kickoff in her birthplace of Oakland next Sunday.
              Harris is probably going to be the wing-nuttiest of the bunch, positioning herself well to the left of Bernie, Liz, or Kirsten, especially on economic issues, where she's as far to the left as you can go. Her political track record is short (which is good for Presidential hopefuls) but she has favored expanding Medicare, Obamacare, Social Security, and Medicaid. She favors forcing employers to hire minorities outright (rather than simply requiring equal opportunity). Her tax plan (released in late 2018 when she wasn't running for President yet, honest!) basically amounts to adding some 15 million people to the group that pays no taxes at all and trying to make it up by taxing a few rich people, which is totally unfeasible.

              Only two things prevent her from being a "hardcore liberal" candidate: The first is a penchant for populism (see the tax plan above). The second is her incongruous love of law enforcement (she is against cops wearing body cams, wants to refocus the war on drugs and take on city gangs directly, and is generally pro-police or silent whenever there is a high-profile police shooting). Her past history as a district attorney may color her politics on this issue, or perhaps, she'll change her position to run for President.


              Pete (is pretty sure he'd oppose her if she ended up being the nominee, which is saying something)
              Last edited by Plezercruz; 01-21-2019, 10:40 AM.


              • #52
                The previous post reminds me...I never posted up Kirsten Gillibrand:


                Kirsten Gillibrand enters 2020 presidential race

                Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand entered the 2020 presidential race on Tuesday, telling Stephen Colbert that she was forming an exploratory committee just days before she heads to the critical state of Iowa.

                "I am filing an exploratory committee for president of the United States tonight," the New York Democrat said, adding that she is "going to run for president of the United States because as young mom I am going to fight for other people's kids as hard as I will fight for my own, which is why I believe health care should be a right, not a privilege. It is why I believe we should have better public schools for our kids because it shouldn't matter what block you grow up on. And I believe anybody who wants to work hard enough should be able to get whatever job training they need to earn their way into the middle class."

                Shortly after taping the show, Gillibrand officially filed with the Federal Election Commission and released her first campaign video, which highlighted her work on the 9/11 health bill, women's rights and fighting President Donald Trump.

                "I am not afraid of him," Gillibrand said of the President.
                Raise your hand of you've never heard of Gillibrand. You wouldn't be alone. 55% of respondents of a poll conducted shortly after her announcement expressed no opinion on her whatsoever. Just to give you a feel for what a longshot Gillibrand is, she's running at a 40-1 underdog at and a 33-1 underdog at Nikki Haley, a Republican, has exactly those odds on those two sites.

                There's really not much to say about her politics. GIllibrand is a hardcore liberal. There's not even anything interesting about her. No exceptions. No strange departures into populism, communism, or any other ism. The only hiccup in her brand of American liberalism is that she was once, a long time ago, somewhat conservative (something the wingnuts will likely ravage her for). My belief is that if Gillibrand becomes a household name, she will appeal to the "mainstream liberal wing" of the Democratic party, the ones we called wingnuts before the new crop of "progressive wingnuts" took their place, the ones that liked Dennis Kucinich or Al Gore or Howard Dean. I'm just not sure there are all that many of those people left in the Democratic party.


                Pete (likes people who are consistent)
                Last edited by Plezercruz; 01-21-2019, 03:34 PM.


                • #53
                  (sigh) where do these idiots come from? taxes are a problem for the poor, but we shouldn't have cams on cops? Either you're interested in protecting the downtrodden (I'm not convinced that cutting taxes to people who barely pay taxes will do much), or you don't give a crap about them (what other value to cops wearing body cams than to protect the populace?).

                  (yes, I'm ignoring... what's her name again?)
                  They speak in bulletpointese leftist nutjob drivel. It doesn't matter. Nothing is as great a motivator as the chance to truly be free.
                  -Mr. Raceboy


                  • #54
                    Add one more wingnut to the ranks of Democratic hopefuls:


                    Amy Klobuchar Enters 2020 Presidential Race

                    Amy Klobuchar, the third-term Minnesota senator, entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday, hopeful that her moderate politics, Midwestern roots and carefully cultivated history of bipartisanship can appeal to a broad swath of voters in contentious times.

                    I'm not sure what she means by "moderate politics." Perhaps it's this:

                    Ms. Klobuchar backs a less expansive college affordability proposal, has not embraced Senator Bernie Sanders’s “Medicare for all” legislation and has not joined the movement to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
                    Ye Gods! If the American left is so far gone that the think this is "moderate" they're going to let Trump have another 4 years.

                    Let's take a moment to talk about who's probably not going to win the 2020 Democratic Primary:

                    1. A woman. Klobuchar is the fifth woman to declare herself for the 2020 nomination. No doubt these women all ran polls, and the polls showed a woman is viable. I wonder how many of them ran their polls splitting the "female candidate votes" five ways. Probably none of them. Like the Republicans found out when they ran too many moderates against Trump, splitting votes makes you a loser.

                    2. A senator. Winning a nationwide election is hard enough for a Congressperson. A voting record can be the kiss of death when you're trying to appeal to all Americans at once. Even those who wave won from Congress typically have short stays with very few votes to exploit. Klobuchar is the fifth senator, and seventh congressperson, to enter the race, and she is a three-term senator, with a voting record spanning over a decade. She's going to have a tough time with that.

                    3. A wingnut. OK...I'm a bit out on a limb here, but so far the Democrats are excited, and they're lining up wingnut after wingnut to seek the nomination. Despite my note above, Klobuchar is actually probably the most moderate Democrat to announce so far...but look at the diamond below...she's still a raging lefty in a field of raging lefties. Differentiation is king in primaries (ask Trump and the gang of moderates he beat!) and she's going to be one of at least seven people competing for the hard left vote. Those aren't good odds. Still, she is currently the most moderate candidate out there, but she won't be if Biden or even Beto O'Rourke choose to run.

                    Amy Klobuchar is a Populist-Leaning Liberal.

                    Pete (thinks Klobuchar is a huge underdog to win this race)


                    • #55
                      Originally posted by Plezercruz View Post
                      Bernie himself threw his hat into the ring last November:


                      Now it's possible he won't run, but when you say you might run, people just assume you will be, because most people who might run aren't even willing to say they might run!

                      Pete (is simply taking him at his word)
                      And now it's official:


                      He's In For 2020: Bernie Sanders Is Running For President Again


                      Sen. Bernie Sanders has confirmed to VPR that he is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

                      His official announcement video was posted online Tuesday morning.

                      "I wanted to let the people of the state of Vermont know about this first," Sanders told VPR's Bob Kinzel. "And what I promise to do is, as I go around the country, is to take the values that all of us in Vermont are proud of — a belief in justice, in community, in grassroots politics, in town meetings — that's what I'm going to carry all over this country."
                      This is a blessing and a curse for Democrats. It's a blessing because Sanders brings a fan base to the electorate. It's a curse because Sanders is unlikely to win in 2020, both in the primary (because he's surrounded by other wingnuts) or in the general election (because he's not going to appeal to enough voters).

                      The key question for Democrats in 2020 is: How will Bernie backers react if he fails to win the nomination again. If they stay home like the did in 2016, the Democrats have big problems. If they learn from 2016 and come out and vote, Bernie's presence might propel them to a big win.

                      Pete (can't predict that one way or the other)


                      • #56
                        I'm not sure if anyone else is saying this (I did a quick google search and found nothing except a reddit post about it) but I'm starting to become increasingly worried that the Democrats are lining themselves up for an extremely contentious primary process.

                        I'll go over the factors first, then I'll assemble them:

                        1. The Democratic field will be very crowded.

                        There are already 33 people who have either declared they are running for President, have exploratory committees actively researching the issue, or have PACs fundraising for a potential run. It's likely at the low end Democrats will be fielding 20 candidates. They might field up to 40. The reason is simple...virtually any Democrat can run polling that says they can beat Trump in 2020.

                        2. The Democratic Primaries all use a proportional delegate assignment system.

                        While they vary state-by-state, the Democratic primaries are not like the Republican primaries, which tend to assign all of a state's delegates to one candidate, or sometimes to a few. The Democrats use proportional primaries to allot all delegates in all states. Some have bonus or at-large delegates to award to the top vote getter, but these are typically small in number compared to the overall delegate base. Still other states have thresholds to reach (no delegates unless you get 15% of the vote for example) which may be difficult for most (possibly all) delegates to reach with the vote split many ways.

                        3. The Democratic Party has an ideological split

                        This is a key issue for the Democrats in 2020. There is a mainstream Democratic party (which largely backed Hillary Clinton in 2016) and a "progressive wing" (which largely backed Bernie Sanders in 2020). Not unlike the tea party for the Republicans a decade ago, this is going to cause the Democrats a lot of primary headaches, as the cast of characters which please the progressives will not appeal to the country at large, or even to half the Democratic party. It may be worse for the Democrats than it was for the Republicans, because this time around it seems like the left wingnuts may even be in the majority within the party.

                        4. The Democratic Party has decreased the number of superdelegates and prevented them from voting.

                        Superdelagates (party insiders who tip the scale of a primary in a party's favor) are a REALLY good idea. It's not just the effect of deciding a close primary election that makes them valuable...they are instrumental to convincing fringe candidates that they really have no shot at the election. In most primary cycle, the majority of candidates know before the first vote is cast that they have no hope of winning the nomination unless they have a big day in Iowa or New Hampshire or South Carolina, because they have to make a big splash to overcome the superdelegate advantage of the establishment candidates. The Democrats have removed this advantage entirely (superdelegates are not able to vote in the first round of the convention voting). Accordingly, nobody has any reason to drop out of the race until they run completely out of money.

                        5. California is now an early-voting state.

                        I'm not making this up. For a host of reasons, California has moved its primary into early March (the fifth overall primary day). The reason for early voting states is to keep costs down for candidates. Iowa and New Hampshire get to vote early because they have three main characteristics: They are relatively small, cheap to campaign in, and generally nonpartisan. As a result, a party can get a good barometer on the viability of a candidate by testing in those states first. California meets none of these criteria.

                        Worse, California has some features that cause chaos. It contains many of the wing-nuttiest of the Democrats, so this move gives life to fringe candidates that never would have made it out of March. And since over 60% of California voters voted by mail in 2016, in reality, despite the early March primary date, a slew of delegates will be assigned already before first New Hampshire election results are announced. The balloting for Democrats is open in California too, meaning that Republicans can happily vote for whatever Democrat they think has the least chance of winning. You might think someone is too unelectable to win the primary, but this makes it all possible.

                        6. The Democratic Party is determined to appear impartial

                        After a 2016 primary election in which the Democratic Party was caught being overtly in favor of Hillary Clinton, the party is doing everything it can to convince voters that they are in control in 2020. Accordingly, much of the party's machinery that steers elections toward an electable candidate that serves the party's interests will be neutered this time, including possibly even party fundraising efforts.

                        7. 12 debates.

                        Having learned nothing from the debacle that was 2016 for the Republicans, the Democrats have decided to match them in 2020 with 12 sanctioned debates.

                        Putting this all together

                        Skipping to the conclusion, the result is going to be that it is increasingly possible that no candidate in this primary can gain a majority of the delegates, that the party will effectively have to choose for the people (in the form of a brokered convention), and that there are going to be a lot of pissed-off Democrats.

                        I'll try to paint a picture of how this could go down:

                        - The Debates -

                        Starting in June 2019, the Democrats will start their marathon of debates. The Republicans had a nightmare trying to accommodate 12 candidates for their debates, eventually capitulating and having an "A" and "B" debate. The Democrats are going to try to share a stage with twice that many, if not three times that many.

                        But they also have to deal with optics that Republicans didn't have to deal with. Who gets to be on the A stage? The Republicans had zero qualms about putting a bunch of white men on the A stage and all the women and the black guy on the B stage. Can the Democrats afford this? There will probably have to be a C stage, and can the Democrats possibly afford the optics of an A stage full of white people and a B and C stage full of minorities? How on earth are they going to pull this off with dozens of candidates? 8 debates happen before anyone votes, and the party divisions might already be at a fever pitch by this point.

                        - Before the first primaries -

                        Unlike previous years, we will not see all the candidates rush to Iowa and New Hampshire. Some will, but others will avoid them entirely, choosing instead to campaign in California for its early primary or in Texas, which votes on the same day as California this time around. Kamela Harris (a Californian) will probably not bother with any of the early voting states and campaign hard in California, and Beto O'Rourke (a Texan) will probably stay in Texas, each hoping to score a big win in their early-voting home states. The remaining 20-40 candidates will have to choose where they want to make an impact, trying to score a big "win" to appear viable. They are likely to take extreme, press-grabbing positions (a la Donald Trump) to try to differentiate themselves from a crowded field. Any legitimate contender is likely to avoid New Hampshire altogether, conceding it to Bernie Sanders (who is likely to dominate there anyway).

                        - Early state results announced -

                        In February, New Hampshire, Iowa, Nevada, and South Carolina will announce their results. Again, keep in mind that many super-Tuesday delegates have already been decided, so these results will not impact those voters as heavily as you might otherwise think. Because of the vast field of candidates, the need to score "one big win," the radical differences in these four states, and the impact of the upcoming Super Tuesday, we're likely to have 4 different winners in these states, and 4 other runner ups. Maybe a few of the candidates drop out. Probably not too many.

                        - Super Tuesday -

                        Ten states announce results on March 3, 2020. I expect about six or seven different winners, without a great deal of overlap with the first four. By this time it will start to dawn upon the national press that something is wrong with this election cycle. They'll look at the delegates each candidate has won (remember that Texas and California are a huge share of the pie) and start to realize nobody is likely to come close to 50%. After super Tuesday, some candidates will drop out. We might even get down to 12 (where the Republicans started in 2016). Nobody can claim to be the true frontrunner, because nobody has superdelegates they can brag about. The race remains clear as mud.

                        - March and April -

                        Thirteen more states are awarded in March and April, and unlike most prior election cycles, now the majority of the delegates are already assigned (this wasn't true when California and Texas voted late, as they combine to be about 20% of the population by themselves. With two months left to go in the primaries and with the field narrowed to maybe 5 or 6 viable candidates who have no incentive to quit, the party which tried to stay aloof has to start pressuring people to quit the race. They squawk. Their supporters are livid. The party favorites start talking party unity. The party's outcasts start chanting "PUMA!"

                        - May and June -

                        Somewhere between 2-4 candidates continue to survive, with no clear outright winner. I suspect the most likely result is a mainstream Democrat (say Joe Biden) has somewhere like 40% of the delegates while three wingnuts (Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamela Harris perhaps) share 60%. Nobody is dropping out. They know that Biden can't win the first vote at the convention, and there aren't enough superdelegates to put him over the top on the second vote either. They also know that the eventual winner will be one of the wingnuts (their voters are likely to go to another wingnut and not Biden) so they all stick with it.

                        - The Convention -

                        On the first vote, predictably, nobody gets the required 50.01% of delegates to win the nomination in the first round. On the second vote, nobody wins either. I honestly have no idea how superdelegates actually vote here, but it doesn't matter. They only account for 14% of the total (down from 20%) and they're not all voting for the same person, so they may not be able to push anyone over the top. Now there is pressure for whoever has the fewest votes to drop out, or for that person's delegates to pick someone else. This of course is very public, and supporters of that candidate are again pissed. This repeats until someone mercifully gets 51%.

                        - The General Election -

                        2016 taught us that Democrats don't like it when their candidate is marginalized by the machine. 2020 might give us a whopping second helping of that, despite the Democratic Party doing everything they can to avoid it. Their rules changes simply were not well thought out, and if this ends up like I am describing, they really have only themselves to blame.

                        Pete (thinks sane parties have 25% insider delegates, limited numbers of debates, and winner-take-all primaries)
                        Last edited by Plezercruz; 03-04-2019, 10:47 AM.


                        • #57
                          Thank you for that write up Pete! Your analysis is second to now. I appreciate the effort you put into that post!
                          Originally posted by Mr. Raceboy
                          I'm a lot more worried about the commies running DC than I am about commies half way around the world.


                          • #58
                            I appreciate the effort, although the reality it reveals is far from comforting.
                            They speak in bulletpointese leftist nutjob drivel. It doesn't matter. Nothing is as great a motivator as the chance to truly be free.
                            -Mr. Raceboy


                            • #59
                              I’m not overly concerned about the Democratic primary. Let the chips fall where they may. The last one was the polar opposite and a lot of good it did. If there is any justice in this world, Mad King Donald will be in prison soon and you can game out Pence’s chances.
                              "I guess I just hate the fact there is public property at all." - Mr. Raceboy.


                              • #60

                                John Hickenlooper Says He Is Running in 2020, Citing a ‘Crisis of Division’

                                John Hickenlooper, the two-time Colorado governor and former brewpub owner who has overseen Colorado’s remarkable economic expansion, declared his candidacy for president on Monday.

                                Mr. Hickenlooper, 67, a socially progressive, pro-business Democrat who has called himself an “extreme moderate,” had long said he was considering a run, and made early visits to Iowa and New Hampshire. His biggest challenge will be distinguishing himself in what is sure to be a packed field of potentially history-making candidates and deep-pocketed household names.
                                John Hickenlooper is a longshot to win the nomination, but I can't stress enough (citing my last post) that the nominee in this crazy primary could be almost anyone. Name recognition will be an issue for him, as he is relatively unknown outside his home state. He is actually a moderate (no, really!) and a good candidate to grab the votes of the nonpartisan electorate, to the degree that it still exists (see past posts where I have postulated that this demographic is largely nonexistent). The radical wing of the party will hate him, but since they'll have a dozen candidates of their own, that might not matter.

                                Hickenlooper's candidacy also tells us two things:

                                First, it tells us that the field of Democrats seeking the nomination is likely to be closer to 30 or more candidates, and not under 20. I mentioned above that 33 candidates had "declared" to some degree that they were at least considering running. Hickenlooper was not among them, so he's number 34. The more candidates are in the mix, the more any given candidate can see an opportunity, however slim, to win the nomination. In a very real sense, the more crowded the field becomes, the more it encourages others to join it.

                                Second, Hickenlooper is the first "centerist" candidate to join the race, and that's significant because we already have 9 hard-leftists in the running and will likely add at least a half dozen more. Recall that I predicted that the likely winner will be someone who benefits from lack of vote-splitting. Hickenlooper splits the mainstream Democrat vote one more way. His introduction into the race is a small boon to the progressive wing, as he will draw votes away from the likes of Biden and Bloomberg.

                                Pete (wonders if there are enough moderate Democrats left to make Hickenlooper viable)