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2020 Candidate Primary and General Ranking

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This morning I was considering which possible 2020 candidates would do well in the primaries, and which in the general. I think the 2020 primaries will be different in that there will be a huge drive to find candidates that are very much the opposite of Clinton or Trump. That is, high integrity and high corruption. 

Primary Ranking (1. National reputation, 2. high integrity, 3. low corruption, 4. somewhat of an outsider of the establishment who also plays to the base, 5. has money and a campaign, 6. favorable)


Tier 1. Has realistic shot at winning the primaries, because they have about all of the traits I list above, or because they are the incumbent president

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken, Donald Trump (In 2016, I would have but him in tier 3. If he had lost in 2016, he would be in tier 5 with Clinton)

Tier 2. Has a realistic shot at winning the primaries if he/she gains national reputation through a strong pre-primary showing (debates), and wins IA and/or NH

Gavin Newsom (only if he becomes Gov of CA by 2020; otherwise, tier 4), Sherrod Brown, CEO Howard Schultz, CEO Tom Steyer, Martin Heinrich, Kirsten Gillibrand

Tier 3. Only likely to win if no one in tier 1 runs or performs well, and/or if the people in tier 2 fail to accomplish their goals, and if they can convincingly brush away or improve one of their weaknesses 

Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Cory Booker, Terry McAuliffe, Martin O'Malley, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham

Tier 4. A real uphill battle, this would require a gain in reputation, money, and a shift in ideology towards the base on specific issues

Steve Bullock, John Bel Edwards, Jon Huntsman, Susan Collins, Susana Martinez, Tom Cotton, Ben Sasse

Tier 5. No real shot at winning, predominantly because of a  huge lack of national reputation, a low power office, a huge tie to corruption and low integrity, and possibly because of a lack of funding or campaign organization 

Hillary Clinton, Seth Moulton, Eric Garcetti, Tulsi Gabbard, Alan Grayson, Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, Lincoln Chafee

GENERAL ELECTION Strength, assuming Trump is renominated. This would require a candidate that has the charisma/humor to draw away some of the attention from Trump, has much higher integrity/lower corruption and higher favorability than Trump, won't turn away their base, can reach centrist independents that are tiring of Trump, can steal way some of the Midwestern/Rust Belt white/male, low education vote in order to win WI, MI, PA, and possibly OH, won't insult Trump voters. 

Tier 1 - Has all the required traits to beat Trump, or is missing just one. Very good chance at beating Trump, if they can even win the nomination. 

Al Franken, Sherrod Brown, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg

Tier 2 - Has nearly all of the above traits, but might not have enough of a message or history to convince independents or midwestern voters to go Democrat. Toss-up chance at beating Trump, if they can even win the nomination. 

Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Gavin Newsom, Howard Schultz, Tom Steyer, Martin Heinrich, Steve Bullock, Seth Moulton, Eric Garcetti, Tulsi Gabbard, Julian Castro

Tier 3 - A mix-match of the above general election traits (probably tied to corruption, low charisma, too establishment, to low of integrity) that won't even excite the base, a very reluctant candidate that could end up losing the election from the jaws of victory, like Clinton in 2016. Like Clinton, might win the popular vote, but will probably lose to Trump. 

Kirsten Gillibrand, Andrew Cuomo, John Bel Edwards, Terry McAuliffe, Cory Booker, Martin O'Malley, Alan Grayson, Lincoln Chafee

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6 minutes ago, avatarmushi said:

Al Franken said he isn't going to run


There's over three years to the election. As many past candidates who said early on, often seemingly firmly, they weren't going to run, and then ended up running anyways by the time the race began prove, this statement can't necessarily as an absolutely reliable declaration, despite the fact it's been quoted several times on these forums.

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2 hours ago, jvikings1 said:

I think you have Lindsey Graham too high.  The only way I see him having a chance is if the US gets hit with a massive attack.

I think Graham's position has improved not on his own accord, but because Trump's foreign policy is such an aberration compared to the normal Republican foreign policy. I think Graham will look more favorably in 2020 than he did in 2016. Additionally, his profile has risen, since the election. He's often on the front page news, interviewed consistently. In my last ranking I had him low, but I think the situation has potentially changed.  

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