Biden, Warren Lead Race For Democratic Nomination

Two weeks after the most recent debate, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are pulling ahead in the polls.

The first polls after last month’s fourth Democratic debate showed former Vice-President Joe Biden seemingly reasserting the lead that he’s had ever since he first entered the race notwithstanding the rise of Senator Elizabeth Warren, suggesting that Democrats still view him as the best hope to beat Trump in 2020. The same seems to be happening in a new round of polls that came out over the weekend that continue to show Biden in the lead, with Senators Warren and Sanders battling it out for second place while Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues gathering strength:

The top three candidates are far ahead of the rest of the pack in the 2020 Democratic presidential field, according to three national polls released Sunday.

Washington Post-ABC News poll showed former Vice President Joe Biden at 28 percent among Democrats and Democratic-leaning registered voters, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren at 23 percent and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders at 17 percent. Those three are the only candidates with double-digit support. (Among all voters, the numbers are Biden at 27 percent, Warren at 21, and Sanders at 19.)

An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll offered similar results, with Biden at 27 percent, Warren at 23 and Sanders at 19. A Fox News poll had the best news for Biden, showing him at 31 percent, Warren at 21 and Sanders at 19.

The three polls were released exactly one year before Election Day 2020.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., sits in fourth place in all three polls, with his current support ranging from 6 to 9 percent. Buttigieg, however, has recently shown greater strength in individual states, polling at 20 percent, for instance, in an Iowa poll released Thursday by Iowa State University.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, who was polling in double digits during the summer, was in fifth place in two polls and sixth (behind Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar) in one of them. One bit of good news for her: Harris’ 4 percent showing in the NBC/WSJ poll was sufficient to qualify her for the Democrats’ December debate being sponsored by POLITICO and PBS.

These numbers are roughly comparable to other polling put out since the last time we looked at the national polling:

  • The most recent Harvard/Harris poll put former Vice-President Biden at 33%, followed by Senator Sanders at 18%, Senator Warren at 15%, Senator Harris at 5%, Mayor Buttigieg at 4%, Senators Klobuchar and Booker at 3%, Andrew Yang at 2%, and all other candidates under 2%
  • The most recent USA Today/Suffolk poll has Biden at 26%, Warren at 17%, Sanders at 13%, Buttigieg at 10%, Congresswoman Gabbard at 4%, Harris and Yang at 3%, and Klobuchar and Booker at 2%, and all other candidates at or under 1%;
  • The most recent Economist/YouGov poll has Biden at 27%, Warren 23%, Sanders at 14%, Buttigieg at 7%, Harris at 4%, Yang at 3%, and Klobuchar and Gabbard at 2%, with all other candidates at or under 1%.
  • The most recent Politico/Morning Consult poll has Biden at 32%, Warren and Sanders tied at 20%, Buttigieg at 7%, Harris at 6%, Yang at 3%, Klobuchar, Yang, and Booker at 2%, and all other candidates at or below 1%.

In several of these polls, Beto O’Rourke, who dropped out of the race on Friday, was polling at either 3 or 2%, so it will be interesting to see where his support might go, although it’s not likely to have a major impact on the race.

In any case, this puts the RealClearPolitics average as follows:

  1. Joe Biden —- 29.1%
  2. Elizabeth Warren — 20.3%
  3. Bernie Sanders — 17.1%
  4. Pete Buttigieg — 7.1%
  5. Kamala Harris — 3.9%
  6. Andrew Yang — 2.7%
  7. Amy Klobuchar — 2.6%
  8. Tulsi Gabbard — 2.0%
  9. Cory Booker — 2.0%
  10. All other candidates under 2%

The poll average chart, meanwhile, appears to show Biden moving back up while Warren backs away from her peak:

Of course, as is the case with the General Election, it’s the states that matter more than the national polling, and there we get a bit of a different picture.

]n Iowa, for example, the RealClearPolitics average looks like this:

  1. Elizabeth Warren — 22.7%
  2. Pete Buttigieg — 17.0%
  3. Joe Biden — 15.7%
  4. Bernie Sanders — 15.3%
  5. Amy Klobuchar — 3.7%
  6. Kamala Harris — 3,0%
  7. Tom Steyer — 2.7%
  8. Tulsi Gabbard — 2.3%
  9. Andrew Yang — 2.0%
  10. Cory Booker — 1.3%
  11. All other candidates under 1%

In New Hampshire, the average looks like this:

  1. Elizabeth Warren — 25.0%
  2. Joe Biden — 21.0%
  3. Bernie Sanders — 20.0%
  4. Pete Buttigieg — 8.7%
  5. Kamala Harris — 4.0%
  6. Andrew Yang — 3.7%
  7. Amy Klobuchar — 3.0%
  8. Tulsi Gabbard — 2.7%
  9. Tom Steyer —- 2.7%
  10. Cory Booker — 1.7%
  11. All other candidates under 1%

In Nevada, which has seen only limited polling, the average looks like this:

  1. Joe Biden — 25.0%
  2. Elizabeth Warren — 19.7%
  3. Bernie Sanders — 18.3%
  4. Kamala Harris — 4.7%
  5. Pete Buttigieg — 4.0%
  6. Andrew Yang — 3.7%
  7. Tom Stever — 3.3%
  8. Cory Booker — 1.7%
  9. Tulsi Gabbard — 1.0%
  10. All other candidates under 1%

Rounding out the February contests with South Carolina we see this:

  1. Joe Biden — 35.0%
  2. Elizabeth Warren — 15.5%
  3. Bernie Sanders — 12.8%
  4. Kamala Harris — 7.8%
  5. Tom Steyer — 4.5%
  6. Pete Buttigieg — 4.0%
  7. Cory Booker — 3.5%
  8. Andrew Yang — 2.3%
  9. Amy Klobuchar — 2.0%
  10. Tulsi Gabbard — 1.3%
  11. All other candidates at or below 1%.

Finally, looking ahead to the biggest primary of the year in California, we find this:

  1. Elizabeth Warren — 24.5%
  2. Joe Biden — 23.5%
  3. Bernie Sanders — 20.3%
  4. Kamala Harris — 8.0%
  5. Pete Buttigieg —- 6.3%
  6. Andrew Yang — 3.0%
  7. Cory Booker — 1.5$
  8. Amy Klobuchar — 1.5%
  9. Tulsi Gabbard — 1.3%
  10. Julian Castro — 1.0%
  11. All other candidates under 1%.

What all of these poll results tell us is that the race for the Democratic nomination, at least for the moment, is down to a four-person race whether you look at it from the state or national level. At the top, generally speaking, we have former Vice-President Biden and Senator Elizabeth Warren, a matchup that suggests that the race is slowly but surely shaping up to be the showdown between the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, most likely represented by Senator Warren and the mainstream center-left of the party represented by the former Vice-President. Biden, Behind them, there’s Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg, who has managed to gain momentum over the past several weeks.

At the state level, things are getting interesting. Warren and Buttigieg, both of whom have spent a lot of time on the ground, seem to be pulling ahead in Iowa with Biden in third place. In this respect, it’s important to remember that historically Iowa has been a place where the candidates who finish in the top three slots end up being those who get the most momentum after the caucuses. In New Hampshire, which holds its primary just over a week after Iowa, we have the trio of Warren Biden, and Sanders leading the pack while Buttigieg is in a close fourth place. If Warren manages to win one or both of these first two contests, then she’ll be well on the way toward making Sanders and Harris, the other competitors for the progressive vote, far less relevant going forward. The final two February contests, in Nevada and South Carolina, appear to be in the Vice-President’s column but that could easily change as momentum shifts once actually voting begins. Finally, in the biggest prize of the first five weeks of voting, Harris appears to be in danger of being rejected by the same voters that put her in the Senate. If she doesn’t improve her numbers in the Golden State then that could be the end of her campaign.

All of this comes just under one year before Election Day and 92 days before the Iowa Caucuses. There’s still time for things to change, but the patterns are beginning to seem obvious.

FILED UNDER: Bernie Sanders, Campaign 2020, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Politicians, US Politics,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jen says:

    First, the NYT Upshot column has a piece looking at voters/likely voters in states Trump narrowly won in 2016, and among likely voters only Biden comes up beating him.

    Next, Fivethirtyeight runs a tracking of Democratic party endorsements, and the results of that are completely out of whack with current IA and NH polling. Biden, Harris, Booker, followed by Warren.

    I am vacillating between telling myself it’s still early, that voters really aren’t focused on the race yet on one hand, on the other I’m bordering on an anxiety attack thinking that yes, there are still people out there who not only will vote for Trump but think he’s doing a good job (good gawd), and that it’s still feasible that we end up with four more years of this buffoon.

  2. EddieInCA says:

    I am vacillating between telling myself it’s still early, that voters really aren’t focused on the race yet on one hand, on the other I’m bordering on an anxiety attack thinking that yes, there are still people out there who not only will vote for Trump but think he’s doing a good job (good gawd), and that it’s still feasible that we end up with four more years of this buffoon.

    I’ve been screaming it from the rooftops. The Democratic Party is stuck in a loop where they believe because Trump is so awful that anyone will beat him. As long as Progressives keep pushing policies and ideas that don’t factor in the reality of the 2020 electorate, they’re pushing the Dems into a losing position. The 2018 midterms were won by putting CENTRIST Dems into Trump districts. Progressives wouldn’t have won alot of those seats.

    I want Speaker Pelosi, not Spaker McCarthy. I want Majority Leader Shumer, not McConnell.

    Read Jonathan Chiat today. I agree with is take completely:

    In 2018, Democratic candidates waded into hostile territory and flipped 40 House districts, many of them moderate or conservative in their makeup. In almost every instance, their formula centered on narrowing their target profile by avoiding controversial positions, and focusing obsessively on Republican weaknesses, primarily Donald Trump’s abuses of power and attempts to eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans.

    The Democratic presidential field has largely abandoned that model. Working from the premise that the country largely agrees with them on everything, or that agreeing with the majority of voters on issues is not necessary to win, the campaign has proceeded in blissful unawareness of the extremely high chance that Trump will win again.

    A new batch of swing state polls from the New York Times ought to deliver a bracing shock to Democrats. The polls find that, in six swing states — Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Florida, North Carolina, and Arizona — Trump is highly competitive. He trails Joe Biden there by the narrowest of margins, and leads Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

    http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/11/poll-trump-beats-democrats-swing-state-biden-warren-sanders.html

    3
    1
  3. CSK says:

    @Jen: If you speak to a true Trumpkin, you’ll know that Trump is God’s chosen.

  4. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    I hear you, but do you have no anxiety about Biden? He’s a pitiful debater, a boring speaker, often seems lost in the weeds.

    8
    1
  5. Pylon says:

    Obama was more or less a centrist, but that’s not why he won. In fact, I suspect most voters thought he was more liberal than he actually was, based on RW propaganda and false impressions of a black guy from Chicago. He won because he was a good communicator, a good organizer, had broad based proposals that were easy to understand and because he came across as a good person.

    HRC was a centrist who lost. She lost because she had poor communication skills (at least in large forums) and because of a huge negative impression based very little in fact and a lot in media narrative.

    Any of the top 3-4 Dems should beat Trump handily if they stick to honest messaging, if they communicate plainly and because they have very little negative past impression. Frankly, Warren is a lot more centrist than the narrative goes. Biden is probably the bigger risk, because one on one I think he’s vulnerable. Dems properly have not taken the runs at him that Trump would.

    7
    1
  6. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA: You and others who back Biden continually make two arguments: that running to the left is a losing proposition, and that head-to-head matchups show Biden with the advantage.

    You can hold either one of these views. But you can’t hold both and be perfectly consistent, since these two lines of evidence are in conflict.

    The fact is, the polls have revealed no general pattern that the moderate candidates do better against Trump than the left-leaning ones. They’ve consistently shown Biden doing better than the rest of the field. But for a long time, they also showed the leftmost candidate of all, Bernie Sanders, doing better than everyone but Biden. Warren, for her part, has seen her head-to-head matchups with Trump steadily increasing since the beginning of the summer. But both she and Sanders do better than anyone else in the field besides Biden, including relative centrists like Buttigieg. If these polls reveal Biden to be the strongest candidate, it’s not for the reasons you’re assuming.

    Of course I do not believe these polls show Biden to be the strongest candidate. One point that tends to get lost is that Trump’s overall share of the vote is more-or-less the same no matter who he’s up against. The main difference in the polls with Biden is that there are fewer undecideds. You can choose to interpret that as suggesting voters who are wary of Trump are uncertain about Warren and Sanders. But a lot of this has to do with little more than name recognition. The candidates do better against Trump relative to how well-known they are. This explanation makes more sense of the data than their place on the ideological spectrum.

    One thing I find ironic is that a lot of people citing head-to-head matchups now were some of the same people dismissing that very line of evidence in the 2016 cycle when it showed Sanders doing better against Trump than Clinton. There’s an element of the Texas sharpshooter fallacy here (where you fire a gun then draw a bulls-eye around wherever the bullet happens to land). You cite whatever data seems to support your argument then ignore that same data when it doesn’t.

    The case for Biden, I’ve noticed, seems based almost entirely on his on-paper qualities as a candidate–his resume. He’s a moderate! He was Obama’s vp! His poll numbers look good now! Seldom to they consider his actual skills on the campaign trail. We are not in the age of Eisenhower, where a candidate can just coast to electoral victory on gravitas alone. We need someone tough, who can withstand the slime machine. We need someone who can excite voters. Biden was an overrated candidate with a major foot-in-mouth problem back when he wasn’t ridiculously old, back when he appeared to have significantly more energy than he does now.

    But Biden’s supporters seem to be defining his strengths almost entirely in terms of what he isn’t. Never in modern history has this way of thinking produced a winning candidate. It has produced a series of losing ones, from Dukakis to Gore to Kerry to Hillary. Risk avoidance is simply not an effective strategy.

    14
  7. Eddie says:

    @Michael Reynolds: @Michael Reynolds:

    Yes. Absolutely. But it’s my belief, and I could be wrong (certainly wouldn’t be the first or last time), that one on one Biden can take Trump. One on one on a debate stage, I think the street fighter from Scranton can take the bully from Queens. Hillary never went at Trump directly. Biden will. Warren will be attacked with Pocahontas/Harvard Law Professor/Medicare for All, and she will come back with policy papers proving them right. Sanders will be chewed up by “Socialist” and come back with “I won’t get into that sort of discourse”, and he’ll be squashed.

    Trump is sitting on $150,000,000 of campaign cash. He will be able to tar almost any candidate with that war chest…. or maybe not if the candidate is already well known. What can he say about Biden? He’s old? He’s Low Energy? He’s a lousy campaigner? Yeah. Maybe. But Biden can counter in ways Sanders and Warren can’t. Biden can say to Trump, to his face, “You’re a two-bit con-man who has lied repeatedly to the American people. You’re a fraud who has cheated the American people of the President they deserve. You’ve coddled dictators. You’ve alienated allies. You’ve sullied the office of the presidency. Your time is over.”

    I can’t see Warren making that case credibly, but if she’s the nominee, I’ll vote for her.

  8. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: I’m not blind to this, I was a Republican who worked in party politics/campaigns for a number of years. I’m fully aware that policies that are too far left are absolutely no-goes for a vast number of voters. These are the same people who describe themselves as “independent,” and “socially liberal but fiscally conservative,” and yet depending on how questions are asked are totally supportive of far more liberal policies than they realize. They hate paying taxes but want tons of services. It’s….frustrating.

    @Michael Reynolds: I have MAJOR anxiety about Biden. He seems like he’s wandering around in the dark, keeps bumping into furniture, etc. It’s awful. It’s why he hasn’t been raising any money. I will vote for him in a heartbeat if he’s the nominee, but I am very, very concerned about motivating turnout if he’s the nominee. Democrats win when they nominate young, good communicators.

    My big concern with Warren–again, who I will happily vote for–is that I’m juuuuust not sure about how this country views women. We’re hearing the same exact bullsh!t with her that we heard about Hillary “too shrill”, “school-marm-ish”, “scolding”, etc. and then we have the short-sightedness of her healthcare plan–meaning, her attempt at that basically slapped a YUGE target on her own back.

    I really weep at the messaging; Dems try SO HARD to be earnest and it gets them precisely nowhere.

  9. Kylopod says:

    @Eddie:

    Hillary never went at Trump directly.

    Hillary called Trump a liar, a fraud, and a con artist, not to mention a racist and sexist. She brought up his failed businesses and the numerous people he stiffed. She went after his failure to disclose his tax returns. She called him a Russian puppet. She called him temperamentally unfit for the office. How exactly did she not go after Trump directly?

    11
  10. EddieInCA says:

    @Kylopod:

    @EddieInCA: You and others who back Biden continually make two arguments: that running to the left is a losing proposition, and that head-to-head matchups show Biden with the advantage.

    Others might be making those arguments. I’m not. I’m supporting Biden for one reason and one reason only. I believe, based on my time in Georgia, Texas, and Florida, that Biden can draw enough Trump voters from 2016 in those swing states, to give him the Electoral College victory. It’s that simple. I think he gets enough WWC to turn WI, MI, and PA back to blue. Everything else can stay the same. It’s a simple calculation for me. Biden wins PA. Biden, I believe wins MI and WI. I don’t think Warren or Sanders can win PA or MI, based on 2016. I think Biden puts AZ and GA in play. I don’t think Warren or Sanders do.

    I have nothing concrete on which to base this, other than anecdotes and life experience. This is just me spitballing what I think. I supported Kerry. I supported Edwards a long time ago. I supported Gore. I supported Hillary. I’ve supported many losers of elections. I don’t have any magical insight. But I was also an early supporter of Bill Clinton. I was an early supporter of Obama. Why? Because they spoke to what I was looking for at the time. I’m only looking for one thing this time: Beating Trump.

    I’d vote for a used pair of sneakers for President over Trump. So, if the Dem nominee is a used pair of Nikes, I’ll vote for it.

    Others

    3
    1
  11. EddieInCA says:

    @Kylopod:

    We can re-litigate 2016 if you’d like…

    One example… When Trump was stalking the stage behind Clinton during the first debate, Clinton should have said, “Why are you stalking. It’s creepy. Save that for one of your Playboy Playmates or porn stars”.

    Boom! Election over.

    Hillary attacked him like Cruz, Graham, Bush, Fiorina, Rubio, and the rest attacked him; on his turf by his rules. No one, including Hillary, ever punched him in the mouth rhetorically.

    1
    2
  12. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA:

    I have nothing concrete on which to base this, other than anecdotes and life experience.

    Fair enough.

  13. Kylopod says:

    @EddieInCA:

    When Trump was stalking the stage behind Clinton during the first debate, Clinton should have said, “Why are you stalking. It’s creepy. Save that for one of your Playboy Playmates or porn stars”.

    Boom! Election over.

    Just before the first debate, Trump and Clinton were very nearly dead-even in the polls (in fact his poll numbers were better at that point than they would be just prior to Election Day). After the first debate, Hillary’s poll numbers shot up and Trump’s took a nosedive. The gap increased even more following the release of the Access Hollywood tape (an event that had numerous people saying “Boom! Election over”).

    What happened after that? Well, it starts with C and ends with Y, and I don’t mean “colonoscopy” (though that would have been a lot nicer).

    The simple fact is that Hillary was plenty aggressive against Trump. You can always imagine some hypothetical “zinger” having made all the difference, but the notion that she “never went at Trump directly” is simply not accurate. She built practically her entire campaign around going after Trump, to the point that it distracted her from making a positive case for her own candidacy or even a negative attack on Trump based on policy. (A study after the election found that Hillary’s anti-Trump ads focused almost entirely on his personality and very little on policy.) In the end, her downfall wasn’t that she was too nice–it was that she was almost as toxically unpopular as he was, and enough voters decided that he was the lesser of two evils, especially when the final week of the campaign was dominated by anti-Hillary coverage.

    Hillary attacked him like Cruz, Graham, Bush, Fiorina, Rubio, and the rest attacked him; on his turf by his rules. No one, including Hillary, ever punched him in the mouth rhetorically.

    Well I’m guessing you don’t count either Rubio’s questioning Trump’s penis size, on the one hand, or Fiorina’s quite respectable rejoinder to his attack on her looks, on the other. Either way, you’re assuming he won the election on the strength of his schoolyard antics. There’s no evidence this is true. It may have helped him win the GOP primary, because it was before an audience that was receptive to those kinds of antics. But there’s no evidence it helped him in the slightest in the general election. On the contrary, it helped make him the single most unpopular presidential nominee in modern history. He was only able to win because he was faced against the second-most unpopular nominee in modern history. And even then he just barely did, while getting millions fewer votes nationally. That isn’t the sign of a skillful candidate, it’s the sign of a lucky one.

  14. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Michael Reynolds: It may not matter how boring and in the weeds Biden seems if the primaries continue along the path they’re heading now. You go to the election with the constituents you have, not the ones you wish for. It’s possible that Democrats at large are no wiser nor more insightful than Republicans. And Democrats have the unfortunate circumstance of having broader more diverse constituency, so they’ll find themselves easier to break into tribes as the train goes off the rails.

  15. Gustopher says:

    I’m not enthused by Biden, and I have a lot of concerns that Warren is too far to the left. But, I think we need a candidate that gives people a reason to vote for them, rather than just against Trump. So, between the two, it’s Warren for me.

    I know what Warren wants for America. I don’t think she can get it, but I know what she wants and what she is aiming for. And I want us to fight for that, even if it ends up that all we can do is a public option on the exchanges and a few items off Inslee’s global warming plan.

    Biden? He wants to be a caretaker president, near as I can tell, who will try to put the toothpaste back in the tube. I’m not inspired. I don’t think he wins in a nasty negative race because he doesn’t give people anything to vote for to offset all the negativity that makes people want to walk away from the process. And that’s if he learns to campaign.

    I wish one of the other candidates would catch fire. Preferably figuratively, but spontaneous human combustion would be entertaining.

    If Buttigieg could broaden his base of support, or Harris could do something, or Booker came out as an angry black man filled with passion, or Klobuchar made a persuasive case for incrementalism, or Beto got back in the race with a plan to personally swear at each Trump voter in Iowa… I would be delighted if any of that caught on.

    Warren is a risky candidate. Further to the left than most of America, tacking hard left. I’d love for her to put out a second, more modest health reform plan with an explanation of “depending on the Senate, we also have this plan. It’s not as good, but it’s better than where we are now. I’ve got lots of plans.”

    But Biden is going to lose when the race gets ugly. To win against someone who is inspiring*, you also have to be inspiring. If he gets the nomination, I hope he proves me wrong.

    *: Trump is inspiring to a lot of people. Bad people, perhaps, but they will turn out to vote no matter what.

  16. Kit says:

    @Gustopher:

    Biden? He wants to be a caretaker president, near as I can tell

    What the country needs is a leader with a plan, willing to fight, and with a majority in Congress. A Warren without a majority, or a Biden without a plan might just be worse than another four years of Trump, as difficult, dangerous and distasteful as that might be to contemplate. Holding the line is not enough, as that only gives R’s 4-8 more years to turn up the crazy to 12. If the electorate is not yet willing to turn back, perhaps, like during the Bush years, things simply need to grow worse. And just maybe the hour has grown too late, and we are too stupid and corrupt to change.

    2
    2
  17. al Ameda says:

    Joe Biden —- 29.1%
    Pete Buttigieg — 7.1%
    Elizabeth Warren — 20.3%
    Bernie Sanders — 17.1%

    Actually, what I notice now is that the center (Joe and Pete) are at 36.2%, and the left (Elizabeth and Bernie) are at 37.4%. Dead even.

    Dead even – with Biden sputtering, Warren making a big tactical error in putting out details of her M4all plan, Bernie having a heart attack, Buttigieg moving up – AND we haven’t had a single caucus vote or primary vote. That is, a long way to go with Trump still holding the the midwest swing states that gave him the win in 2016. The only person who can beat Trump is Trump.

    5
    2
  18. Scott F. says:

    @Kit:

    This exactly.

    What’s the plan if Biden wins (Fighter Joe rises to the occasion and outshines Old Joe in a head to head with Trump!)? Let’s say he maybe even pulls along the Senate to a thin majority. What then? 4 years for some tweaking around the edges of ACA, an Elena Kagan-esque successor for RBG, and some reputation repair in our international relationships? Trump is defeated, but the disease lingers on. Is the next Democratic presidency the one that will deal with climate change, and massive wealth inequality, and broad corruption, and the poor outcomes from our healthcare system? You know, the radical agenda???

    If the last 3 years of Trump hasn’t shown the profound, existential need for the country to change course to enough of the electorate to swing the election to a Democrat with a vision, then what will it take? Another term with Trump – vindicated by acquittal in the Senate and emboldened by re-election pushing us into recession with his trade misplays – just may be the wake-up call we need to finally, FINALLY, start to deal with the challenges we face. God, I wish it weren’t so, but maybe things do need to get worse before they get can better.

  19. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @al Ameda:

    The only person who can beat Trump is Trump.

    If that is actually true, don’t expect Trump to lose. He’s running 90% approval in his constituency most of the time. No one seems to be walking away that wasn’t already gone.

    I don’t happen to think the statement is true myself, but I don’t know Democrats. For most of my lifetime, it has seemed, to me at least, that the Democratic constituency is significantly enough larger to carry the day if they can agree on what they want. Circle the wagons and you’ll be fine. Now the question is can you.

  20. Michael Reynolds says:

    Biden slogan: Resume Normal.
    Warren: And now for something completely different.
    Buttigieg: Come on, you know I’m right.

    I think probably half of Democrats want completely different, and half want an Obama restoration. Buttigieg is the compromise point. He’s left of center, a moderate, smart as hell, gay, and an ex-soldier. He is ‘something new’ and also a resumption of normal.

    Personally, I’m fine with any of the three. The cynic says: Biden. The romantic says: Warren. My inner Spock wants Buttigieg.

  21. Michael Reynolds says:

    I hear the arguments about an inspirational choice and I love Warren. But the country may just be tired of the madness and need a breather. The social justice Dems have pushed further than the country as a whole. They’ve been sidelined a bit, but if you add lingering irritation at those people to suspicion of big, sweeping and impossible change, the whole package may be too much for the electorate to swallow.

    After Nixon we had the soothing Gerry Ford and as a final chaser, Jimmy Carter who was in no way radical. So: 1) Crazy Time, 2) Temporary respite, 3) a moderate southern bible-thumper. That’s just one case study and aside from Nixon I’m not coming up with any other parallel, so not exactly dispositive, but fits with what I know of human nature. When shit hits the fan people want the fan turned off and cleaned, they don’t immediately want to crank the fan up to a higher setting.

    I want to see what the African-American vote says. The white liberal contingent is well out in front of AA’s on social justice issues. And I think we’re assuming facts not in evidence if we assume a woman candidate will energize women voters. The AA vote is in many ways the calm center of the Democratic Party, strategic.

  22. Kit says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    After Nixon we had the soothing Gerry Ford and as a final chaser, Jimmy Carter who was in no way radical. So: 1) Crazy Time, 2) Temporary respite, 3) a moderate southern bible-thumper.

    Followed by: 4) Reagan who, in a quiet way, really was radical. So perhaps the lesson is to resist the easy path of taking a holiday from history.

    Where I think this really falls apart, however, is that Ford and Carter existed in sane times. Even if Biden replaces Trump, the Republican crazy will not go back to sleep. There will be no breather.

  23. EddieInCA says:

    National
    Trump vs. Biden -10
    Trump vs. Warren -7.3
    Trump vs. Sanders -7.9
    Trump vs. Buttigieg -4.5
    Trump vs. Harris -5.3
    Trump approval -13

    Arizona
    Trump vs. Biden -1.7
    Trump vs. Warren 0.7
    Trump vs. Sanders 5.3
    Trump approval -4

    Florida
    Trump vs. Biden -2.0
    Trump vs. Warren 0.3
    Trump vs. Sanders 1.0
    Trump approval -2

    Iowa
    Trump vs. Biden 1.5
    Trump vs. Warren 4.5
    Trump vs. Sanders 1.0
    Trump vs. Buttigieg 4.0
    Trump approval -14

    Michigan
    Trump vs. Biden -7.7
    Trump vs. Warren -3.0
    Trump vs. Sanders -7.3
    Trump approval -10

    North Carolina
    Trump vs. Biden -5.4
    Trump vs. Warren 0.2
    Trump vs. Sanders -2.4
    Trump approval -3

    Ohio (no recent polling)
    Trump vs. Biden -7.0
    Trump vs. Warren -1.5
    Trump vs. Sanders -5.0
    Trump approval -5

    Pennsylvania
    Trump vs. Biden -7.3
    Trump vs. Warren 1.7
    Trump vs. Sanders 5.4
    Trump approval -8

    Wisconsin
    Trump vs. Biden -5.7
    Trump vs. Warren -1.0
    Trump vs. Sanders -2.7
    Trump approval -11

    https://morningconsult.com/tracking-trump-2/

  24. Jen says:

    @EddieInCA: Maybe I’m reading something wrong, but in the above are you saying that despite being -14 approval in Iowa, Trump beats any of the Dem candidates?

    (The way I’m reading any Trump v. X (number) is that the number following is how Trump does, e.g., in Trump v. Biden -5.7, I read that as: in a race of Trump versus Biden, Trump is down by 5.7 points.)

  25. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    I appreciate your cogent assessment here, but I’m with Kit that it may not fit the times, as it is an argument for saner times.

    As has been written of at great length at OTB over the last few years (by both blog hosts and commenters), Trumpism is not an aberration, but the endpoint of a trajectory where the Republican Party has devolving over 3 decades or so.
    I would counter your fan analogy with one of my own. The nation is a car with the steering wheel pinned as far to the right as it will go, turning all of us (both passengers and drivers) toward a precipice. Straightening the wheel will offer some relief, but it won’t do enough to keep the nation car from careening over the cliff. A strong yank of the wheel to the left is necessary merely to regain the middle of the road. I feel strongly that Warren is only radical when viewed through a lens warped by our current political conditions. She is anti-corruption, not anti-capitalism. She favors economic efficiency through government action, not pure socialism.

    I completely get that Human Nature may not accept this analysis of the situation, but I believe this is where the facts show we are as a country. Warren is the corrective we need, even if we may not want it.

    I’d be okay with Buttigieg, too. In my view, he at least sees the scale of the change that is needed, though as a younger guy he’s willing to take a longer path to get to the new. (He’d at least keep us on the edge of the cliff.). I’d be happy with Harris, too, because I think she’d relish the chance to prosecute Trump and I believe there would be benefits to the society in some direct action against the diseased politics of which Trump is a symptom. (She’d apply some brakes.) Only Biden scares me. We still go over the cliff with Biden.

  26. EddieInCA says:

    @Jen:

    Correct. Even that underwater in Iowa, Trump still beats them all, based on that poll.

    I went back to the original source to double check. Yep. As of now, he beats them all, even being underwater 14 points. Sanders does best (within a point) and Biden is at 1.5 points down. Both Sanders and Biden are within the margin of error.

  27. Pylon says:

    It’s not my site but these posts are clearly offside the site’s policies.

  28. Monala says:

    @Kit:

    Warren without a majority, or a Biden without a plan might just be worse than another four years of Trump, as difficult, dangerous and distasteful as that might be to contemplate. Holding the line is not enough, as that only gives R’s 4-8 more years to turn up the crazy to 12.

    There is no way in hell, no matter how weak a Biden or Warren administration might be, that it would be worse than another 4 years of Trump.