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Who are the top 10 Democratic candidates right now?

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With an historically unprecedented field (and it might get even larger), just making the top 10 is an achievement at this point.

Who are the top 10 Democratic candidates at this point?

Here's my list.

1. Biden, 2. Sanders, 3. Beto, 4. Harris, 5. Buttigieg, 6. Warren, 7. Klobuchar.

To me, those are the easy ones. Who fills the other 3 spots? I would put

8. Booker, 9. Yang, 10. Williamson.

Interestingly to me, this leaves out both the Governors who are running, so there isn't one Governor running for President on the Dem side in the top 10!

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1. Sanders

2. Biden

3. Beto

4. Buttigieg

5. Warren

6. Harris

7. Yang

8. Klobuchar

9. Booker

10. Gillibrand 

 

I put Warren in front of Harris because I think her bold and substance filled policy plans make her the better candidate and if the media starts actually covering it her numbers will go up. 

Gillibrand has been polling abysmal but she is in the top 5 for cash on hand thanks to her senate campaign, so that could help her which is why I have her at 10. 

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So far, this is what I think

1. Biden

2. Sanders

3. Harris

4. Beto

5. Buttigieg

6. Warren

7. Klobuchar

8. Booker

9. Gillibrand

10. Yang

Gillibrand has more potential than Yang does in my eyes, and therefore ranks ahead of him. When it comes down to votes, Gillibrand will likely end up ahead of him. 

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  1. Biden
  2. Sanders
  3. Buttigieg
  4. O'Rourke
  5. Harris
  6. Warren
  7. Yang
  8. Booker
  9. Gabbard
  10. Swalwell

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Here are my top 10, and this is based off

1. Biden [So far #1. He's leading in the polls (most of the time) and he isn't even in the race yet. He has the highest name ID. He still has a very high favorability despite the minor scandals. I don't expect him to win, but he's #1 for right now.]

2. Sanders [No Democrat is raising more money or getting more media attention. The recent Emerson poll has him at #1, but Biden is still generally leading these. He was impressive in the Fox Town Hall debate, many of the moderator's questions kind of backfired on them. To Fox's credit, it seems like they didn't screen the audience, so it wasn't filled with Conservatives as I expected the Town Hall would be.]

3. Buttigieg [I really think he will be the nominee. The last Emerson polls makes it seem like he may be draining votes from Biden.]

4. O'Rourke [He's technically overperforming when comparing how much support he has with his low name recognition. However, he also seems to have not done as well as I expected earlier on, possibly because Buttigieg has turned out to be the candidate O'Rourke was being pushed to be.]

5. Harris [She's in a good spot, but far below the #2 or #3 spot that she though she'd be in, since O'Rourke and Buttigieg have surpassed her. Harris is waiting for Biden to fall most likely.]

6. Warren [Underperforming. This includes in fundraising. Sanders has taken her supporters. I think she drops out before Iowa, and Gabbard enters this top 10 list at some point.]

7. Yang [Came out of no where and is consistently getting 2 or 3% in the polls]

8. Castro [He's starting to pick up a little. He's gone from 0% to 3% more often than not]

9. Klobuchar [Already lost the steam she had from when she jumped in]

10. Booker [Is leading in endorsements, but can't get higher than 4% in the polls]

Everyone not mentioned here could end up dropping out before Iowa. I think only Gabbard and if she jumps in, Stacey Abrams, have any chance of getting in the top 10. @admin_270 mentioned  Williamson, but she almost never gets 1% in a poll. @MysteryKnight mentions Gillibrand, who has been the greatest underperformer. In fact, both Gillibrand and Williamson were beat by Mike Gravel (!) in the latest Emerson poll. Gravel got 1% and both Williamson and Gillibrand, who were included, got 0% Gillibrand also raised the least amount of money of the candidates holding national office. Gillibrand also has among the fewest endorsements among candidates holding national office. 

Shot in the dark: Mike Gravel will be the 2020 Bernie Sanders for being twice as liberal and twice as old! He will be twice as underdog and twice as successful! He will Gravelanche the Convention! 

 

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1. Biden (I think he'll fade as the primaries get closer)

2. Sanders

3. O'Rourke

4. Harris

5. Buttigieg (Could benefit from Biden fading)

6. Yang (I think he'll continue to rise.  He knows the issues and sounds smart)

7. Warren

8. Booker

9. Klobuchar

10. Gabbard

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4 hours ago, admin_270 said:

8. Booker, 9. Yang, 10. Williamson.

I was just at a conference in DC this past weekend as many of you may know, where I happened to meet Andrew Yang. He was in town for his Sunday CNN Town Hall. He was staying at the hotel where I was and I walked past him in the lobby, did a double talk, saw the campaign button and walked over to him. We had a short conversation which confirmed him as one of my favored Democrats, we took a picture, and I was on my way.

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3 hours ago, vcczar said:

Here are my top 10, and this is based off

1. Biden [So far #1. He's leading in the polls (most of the time) and he isn't even in the race yet. He has the highest name ID. He still has a very high favorability despite the minor scandals. I don't expect him to win, but he's #1 for right now.]

2. Sanders [No Democrat is raising more money or getting more media attention. The recent Emerson poll has him at #1, but Biden is still generally leading these. He was impressive in the Fox Town Hall debate, many of the moderator's questions kind of backfired on them. To Fox's credit, it seems like they didn't screen the audience, so it wasn't filled with Conservatives as I expected the Town Hall would be.]

3. Buttigieg [I really think he will be the nominee. The last Emerson polls makes it seem like he may be draining votes from Biden.]

4. O'Rourke [He's technically overperforming when comparing how much support he has with his low name recognition. However, he also seems to have not done as well as I expected earlier on, possibly because Buttigieg has turned out to be the candidate O'Rourke was being pushed to be.]

5. Harris [She's in a good spot, but far below the #2 or #3 spot that she though she'd be in, since O'Rourke and Buttigieg have surpassed her. Harris is waiting for Biden to fall most likely.]

6. Warren [Underperforming. This includes in fundraising. Sanders has taken her supporters. I think she drops out before Iowa, and Gabbard enters this top 10 list at some point.]

7. Yang [Came out of no where and is consistently getting 2 or 3% in the polls]

8. Castro [He's starting to pick up a little. He's gone from 0% to 3% more often than not]

9. Klobuchar [Already lost the steam she had from when she jumped in]

10. Booker [Is leading in endorsements, but can't get higher than 4% in the polls]

Everyone not mentioned here could end up dropping out before Iowa. I think only Gabbard and if she jumps in, Stacey Abrams, have any chance of getting in the top 10. @admin_270 mentioned  Williamson, but she almost never gets 1% in a poll. @MysteryKnight mentions Gillibrand, who has been the greatest underperformer. In fact, both Gillibrand and Williamson were beat by Mike Gravel (!) in the latest Emerson poll. Gravel got 1% and both Williamson and Gillibrand, who were included, got 0% Gillibrand also raised the least amount of money of the candidates holding national office. Gillibrand also has among the fewest endorsements among candidates holding national office. 

Shot in the dark: Mike Gravel will be the 2020 Bernie Sanders for being twice as liberal and twice as old! He will be twice as underdog and twice as successful! He will Gravelanche the Convention! 

 

I agree with your list and I also agree with Gabbard and Abrams have the best chance of getting in out of everyone else. I think Abrams would actually throw a wrench in the delegate count if she ran and there were at least 3 other major candidates throughout the primary season, would make for an interesting convention. 

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1.Bernie

2.Warren

3.Buttigieg

4.Biden

5.Booker

6.Harris

7.Gravel

8.Inslee

9.Beto

10.Castro

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4 hours ago, vcczar said:

Williamson, but she almost never gets 1% in a poll

She's my long-shot candidate. If I were to pick one Dem candidate to place a small $ bet on with a big potential pay-off, it would be her. She is well spoken, > average charisma, inspirational, will have the donor base requirement for the debates.

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@vcczar

I'm also trying to figure out what kind of candidate could defeat Trump. I think Trump has most politicians' numbers - they simply can't compete at the game he is playing.

Williamson has a unique skill-set (like Trump) which is based outside of politics (like Trump) but who has developed various skills that can be leveraged in a political campaign (like Trump) - watching her town hall impressed me on this. I don't think you can defeat Trump (a street-fighter) with another street-fighter. I don't think it's likely he will be beaten by a conventional politician. I think it will require someone with above average charisma and a powerful, inspirational message (I was impressed by how she continually re-framed questions into inspirational, unifying themes). Could a candidate like Williamson be the antidote for the electorate to Trump?

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28 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

@vcczar

I'm also trying to figure out what kind of candidate could defeat Trump. I think Trump has most politicians' numbers - they simply can't compete at the game he is playing.

Williamson has a unique skill-set (like Trump) which is based outside of politics (like Trump) but who has developed various skills that can be leveraged in a political campaign (like Trump) - watching her town hall impressed me on this. I don't think you can defeat Trump (a street-fighter) with another street-fighter. I don't think it's likely he will be beaten by a conventional politician. I think it will require someone with above average charisma and a powerful, inspirational message (I was impressed by how she continually re-framed questions into inspirational, unifying themes). Could a candidate like Williamson be the antidote for the electorate to Trump?

I really don't know that much about her yet. I'm a little concerned that anti-Trump voters (Democrats, independents, never Trumpers, regretful Trumpers, etc) would think another non-politician is the antidote to Trump. Obama's weakness was that he lacked experience--imagine if he had had experience. Part of Trump's weakness as a president is his lack of political experience (and I'm not talking about the politics of campaigning). Nevertheless, I'll take any Democrat over Trump, experience or not. 

I still think Biden beats Trump head-to-head. I think Buttigieg does too. They're the only ones I have maximum confidence in, even though neither are my ideal choice. 

If I didn't need to be asleep in 10 minutes, I'd consider "what kind of candidate could defeat Trump." I think it might not just be one kind that can; although, there are certain traits that I think all of them will need to have and all of them will need not to have. One thing that isn't asked, "Is it a good strategy for Trump to just redo pretty much what he did last election." Does he have to be a different kind of candidate?

On another note: There must be a significant portion of people that voted for Trump over Clinton, but had voted for Obama, that voted for Trump out of some intense dislike of Clinton. With no one even remotely close to as unfavorable as Clinton in the Democratic race, what happens with these voters?

 

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3 hours ago, Reagan04 said:

I was just at a conference in DC this past weekend as many of you may know, where I happened to meet Andrew Yang. He was in town for his Sunday CNN Town Hall. He was staying at the hotel where I was and I walked past him in the lobby, did a double talk, saw the campaign button and walked over to him. We had a short conversation which confirmed him as one of my favored Democrats, we took a picture, and I was on my way.

Awesome. 👍

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1. Biden (seems to get less support from voters)

2. Sanders 

3. O'Rourke 

4. Harris

5. Yang (For the Dem primary, I am currently with the Yang gang)

6. Buttigieg

7. Warren

8. Booker

9. Castro

10. Klobuchar

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11 hours ago, vcczar said:

Obama's weakness was that he lacked experience--imagine if he had had experience.

Yes, but I don't think that was a large weakness in terms of winning in 2008 - his other strengths overrode the argument about lack of experience.

Now that the precedents are Obama and now Trump, I think arguments about lack of political experience have lessened in weight. W. Bush, on the other hand, had *lots* of executive, political experience, but how did that turn out from the perspective of Dem voters?

Note that no one with just a House background has won the Presidency in a *long* time - that applies to 8 of the candidates. A Mayor has never won, regardless of city size (and South Bend is a small city, 100K) - that's another 2. Senate experience is pitiful when it comes to the executive challenges of running the largest organization in the U.S. (Senators basically have experience running a small office of employees). That's almost all the rest. That leaves Biden, Yang, Williamson, and the two Governors.

So I think the experience argument against someone like Williamson isn't as strong as it might seem, especially when considering recent precedent and the rest of the Dem field. 

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11 hours ago, vcczar said:

I think Buttigieg does too. They're the only ones I have maximum confidence in, even though neither are my ideal choice.

Buttigieg has never run a national campaign, or even a state-wide campaign, so he's untested. Obviously he has campaigning strengths, but I think having maximum confidence might be premature at this point. I would say let the winnowing and testing process of the primaries work their way on the candidates -  that's the genius of having a relatively open and robust primaries process, unlike what happened in 2016 on the Dem side, where it was basically a rigged monopoly.

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What will Biden's message be? Will he be able to create a strong, inspirational, unifying message? How will that jell with his persona and life trajectory? It will have to be something about the Obama administration, I assume, but of course we don't know what it will be because 1. he isn't running yet, and 2. it will probably be hammered out by an army of political consultants - which means it probably won't be very good, like what happened with Clinton and her menagerie of slogans. Time will tell - at this point, we don't even know if Biden will declare. I assume at this point he will, but if he doesn't, the experience argument becomes even weaker.

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35 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

Yes, but I don't think that was a large weakness in terms of winning in 2008 - his other strengths overrode the argument about lack of experience.

Now that the precedents are Obama and now Trump, I think arguments about lack of political experience have lessened in weight. W. Bush, on the other hand, had *lots* of executive, political experience, but how did that turn out from the perspective of Dem voters?

Note that no one with just a House background has won the Presidency in a *long* time - that applies to 8 of the candidates. A Mayor has never won, regardless of city size (and South Bend is a small city, 100K) - that's another 2. Senate experience is pitiful when it comes to the executive challenges of running the largest organization in the U.S. (Senators basically have experience running a small office of employees). That's almost all the rest. That leaves Biden, Yang, Williamson, and the two Governors.

So I think the experience argument against someone like Williamson isn't as strong as it might seem, especially when considering recent precedent and the rest of the Dem field. 

George W. Bush was governor of a state that might have the weakest governor. It's not really comparable to the presidency. You can pretty much do nothing and succeed as governor of Texas. A state with a strong governor would probably be the best experience for the White House. According to a study I read on Gubernatorial powers, only 9 states have strong governors--Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, New York, Ohio, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Of recent candidates for office, based off experience, John Kasich, Jon Huntsman, and Scott Walker--while unexciting candidates for their party--were the most president-ready candidates. Although, governor experience is helpful and it certainly helped Bush at times, I think his errors could probably be argued to have occurred because he was in a weak governor system, and if applied to the presidency, then the VP and Secretaries, and advisers would be making most of the decisions for him. He would just have to keep his feet on the desk and sign anything that required a signature.  

I listed to a lecture by HW Brands on political leadership. He mentioned that CEO/Business executive experience would be unhelpful for the presidency (This lecture is from 2008). This is basically due to Business execs generally working formulas, bottom lines, etc, etc ,etc. which don't really play into the presidency. I'll have to listen to it again, but he makes a great case for avoiding businessmen as presidents (Bloomberg, Perot, and other prompted this part of the lecture). 

He also stated how Senators and US Reps often don't make for great crisis or war time presidents, since their experience is more about finding common ground than for emergency action. He cites LBJ as bungling Vietnam but succeeding domestically, mainly because he operated in the White House as a senior legislature, rather than as an executive. 

I also remember Brands saying that a Federal Judge would probably make the best kind of president, but that we don't have enough data to test if that is the case. One could argue Taft, who would later be a judge, was of that mentality, but he hadn't that experience going in. 

I think preferring no or limited experience is foolhardy. I can understand preferring a candidate for things other than the candidate's experience, which is why I like O'Rourke and Buttigieg over Biden. If O'Rourke and Buttigieg had no political experience, I'd favor Biden. 

In regards to Williamson, who I don't know, I figure she'd probably do better than Trump would as Trump is both inexperienced and disharmonious. I don't expect Williamson would attack everyone that disagrees with her, even if they might be trying to offer helpful constructive criticism. 

51 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

Buttigieg has never run a national campaign, or even a state-wide campaign, so he's untested. Obviously he has campaigning strengths, but I think having maximum confidence might be premature at this point. I would say let the winnowing and testing process of the primaries work their way on the candidates -  that's the genius of having a relatively open and robust primaries process, unlike what happened in 2016 on the Dem side, where it was basically a rigged monopoly.

Trump never ran a national or state-wide campaign. 

47 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

What will Biden's message be? Will he be able to create a strong, inspirational, unifying message? How will that jell with his persona and life trajectory? It will have to be something about the Obama administration, I assume, but of course we don't know what it will be because 1. he isn't running yet, and 2. it will probably be hammered out by an army of political consultants - which means it probably won't be very good, like what happened with Clinton and her menagerie of slogans. Time will tell - at this point, we don't even know if Biden will declare. I assume at this point he will, but if he doesn't, the experience argument becomes even weaker.

He's already sort of labeled himself as an Obama-Biden Democrat on TV recently. He's going to run on Obama nostalgia. He will try to be more than that, but I think he will be pigeon-holed into it. I think this will help him with some voters but it might restrict him in the primaries if his inter-party opponents and the media constrict him to being only this. 

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5 minutes ago, vcczar said:

I think preferring no or limited experience is foolhardy.

Sure, I'm not trying to say experience is irrelevant to running the White House. On the contrary, experience is hugely important, and was one of Obama's weaknesses - once he got to the Whitehouse. I'm talking about it as a campaigning issue, and responding to the idea that anti-Trump voters might not want another non-politician in office. For these people, it's not Trump's lack of political experience that's the problem, it's his policies and, to a lesser extent, style. If Trump's pugilistic style was in support of policies they liked, I think their problems with Trump would be much diminished.

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17 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

Sure, I'm not trying to say experience is irrelevant to running the White House. On the contrary, experience is hugely important, and was one of Obama's weaknesses - once he got to the Whitehouse. I'm talking about it as a campaigning issue, and responding to the idea that anti-Trump voters might not want another non-politician in office. For these people, it's not Trump's lack of political experience that's the problem, it's his policies and, to a lesser extent, style. If Trump's pugilistic style was in support of policies they liked, I think their problems with Trump would be much diminished.

Ok thanks for clarifying. That makes sense. 

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Yang and Williamson are non entities.  They are the Lawrence Lessig of the 2020 Presidential election.  Who is Lawrence Lessig?  Exactly.  Out of a pool of no more than 5 candidates, he fails to even be remembered as having existed.  That's Yang and Williamson.

In order of most likely to win the nomination...rather than most likely to win the general election or most likely to win my personal endorsement:

1. Bernie Sanders
2. Pete Buttigieg
3. Elizabeth Warren
4. Cory Booker
5. Joe Biden
6. Kamala Harris
7. Beto O'Rourke
8. Amy Klobuchar
9. John Hickenlooper
10. Kirsten Gillibrand

I definitely haven't left anyone off who will go anywhere, but I think you could say "Who are the top 5" and safely not leave anyone important out as well.

I think the candidates who actually have any chance in hell of getting the nomination are Sanders, Buttigieg, Warren, Booker, and Biden.  In that order.

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14 hours ago, vcczar said:

 

On another note: There must be a significant portion of people that voted for Trump over Clinton, but had voted for Obama, that voted for Trump out of some intense dislike of Clinton. With no one even remotely close to as unfavorable as Clinton in the Democratic race, what happens with these voters?

 


In 2008, Obama won with 70 million votes.  McCain had 60 million.  Turnout was 58%

In 2012, Obama won with 66 million votes.  Mitt Romney had 60 million. Turnout was 55%

In 2016, Clinton lost with 66 million votes.  Trump won with  63 million. Turnout was 56%

I think you've got millions of voters who showed up for Obama and not Clinton...and millions who showed up for Trump but not McCain or Romney.  But that doesn't make them the same people.

 

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1 hour ago, Actinguy said:


In 2008, Obama won with 70 million votes.  McCain had 60 million.  Turnout was 58%

In 2012, Obama won with 66 million votes.  Mitt Romney had 60 million. Turnout was 55%

In 2016, Clinton lost with 66 million votes.  Trump won with  63 million. Turnout was 56%

I think you've got millions of voters who showed up for Obama and not Clinton...and millions who showed up for Trump but not McCain or Romney.  But that doesn't make them the same people.

 

That’s true for some of them, but there was a large portion of people that were Obama/Trump voters. I saw a documentary about such voters in a county in wisconsin a couple of years ago

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3 hours ago, Actinguy said:

Yang and Williamson are non entities.  They are the Lawrence Lessig of the 2020 Presidential election.  Who is Lawrence Lessig?  Exactly.  Out of a pool of no more than 5 candidates, he fails to even be remembered as having existed.  That's Yang and Williamson.

I happen to remember Lessig, but if you were to say Yang, who is outpolling folks like Hickenlooper and Gillibrand, is a Lessig, you'd be kidding yourself.

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2 minutes ago, Reagan04 said:

I happen to remember Lessig, but if you were to say Yang, who is outpolling folks like Hickenlooper and Gillibrand, is a Lessig, you'd be kidding yourself.

I actually find myself agreeing with you on liking Yang (imagine that :P ). He has some very good and refreshing ideas. Of course, like all candidates, he has ideas I'm not in full agreement with, but I find him more attractive as a candidate than most mentioned here (and certainly far more so than Trump).

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