Peering At The Tea Leaves
Another group of mobilization-focused candidates are offering a somewhat more restrained agenda and betting on energizing new voters because they embody demographic and generational change. Those contenders include Harris and Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and the long-shot younger House members in the field, including Seth Moulton of Massachusetts and Eric Swalwell of California.
The lines between these approaches are not inviolate. Harris edges close to Warren and Sanders in the leftward lean and ambition of her agenda Buttigieg, though a powerful symbol of change as a gay millennial candidate, tilts more toward the centrists than the progressives in his agenda and demeanor. And every candidate hopes, at least to some extent, to both mobilize nonvoters and persuade swing voters.
Real elections evolve, Greenberg said. You are at a point in the race where people are carving out their space early in the process, with a lot of candidates but I wouldnt assume those strategies dont become blended as you move toward the election, after youve established your early wins and are running more broadly. I wouldnt assume that this is where they end.
Data Suggest That One Democratic Candidate Would Do Better Than Others Against The President In November
DEMOCRATS CAST their first votes in this years presidential primaries at caucuses in Iowa on February 3rd. Their ultimate goal is to nominate a candidate who can beat Donald Trump in November. That will not be easy. Despite much political tumult and an impeachment trial, the president still has a clear path to re-election.
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Mr Trump is unpopular in national polls. Yet he is a stronger candidate than headline figures suggest. His approval ratings have hovered around ten percentage points below his disapproval ratings. Although since 1950 such an unpopular president has never won re-election, the historical relationship between a presidents approval and his share of the two-party vote suggests Mr Trump should still win about 49% of votes cast for Democrats and Republicans in November. The economy may help. The Federal Reserve forecasts GDP to grow by about 2% this year. Such an increase has been associated with past presidents winning about 50% of the vote.
Of course the electoral college, not the popular vote, determines who wins. Here, too, Mr Trump has an advantage. Because pivotal midwestern states such as Wisconsin and Michigan lean slightly more Republican than the nation as a whole, The Economists analysis of polling data suggests Democrats need to win the popular vote by about two-and-a-half percentage points to win the White House.
The End Of Real Social Networks
This years election will be no typical struggle between two parties that differ more in degree than in kind. But first, the Democrats must select their candidate, and this time that contest is exceptionally fluid.
Former Vice President Joe Bidens third attempt to win the countrys top job isnt going much better than the first two. Biden is a well-liked figure a decent, empathetic man who lacks a mean streak. But Bidens very likability might well be his electoral undoing. He lacks what I call presidentialness a certain dignity and remoteness that conveys the sense that crossing him or her would be unwise. He also lacks a message: reminding Democrats that he was Barack Obamas vice president tells voters little about how he would govern.
Nor is it surprising that the air has gone out of Elizabeth Warrens campaign. At the outset, she responded to questions by saying, I have a plan for that. Shes knowledgeable about domestic government and has attracted a passionate following. But she seemed not to grasp that enacting so many new programs would be impossible. Several of her Senate colleagues including allies told me early on that she wouldnt wear well. They dislike her holier-than-thou attitude. Theres a coldness to her that all the selfies with fans dont quite overcome.
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Cory Booker Kirsten Gillibrand Amy Klobuchar Kamala Harris
Being the establishment candidate in the current political climate is the kiss of death. Which is why even candidates who fit that mold will do everything they can to avoid the label including co-sponsoring Mr. Sanderss Medicare for All.
Mr. Booker, a New Jersey senator, has seemingly been running for president since he was a Rhodes scholar at Oxford in the 90s. But some of the well-heeled backers he picked up along the way including Big Pharma and Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are now political poison in a Democratic primary. He may end up spending as much time distancing himself from his old supporters as cultivating new ones.
Ms. Gillibrand, a New York senator, is similarly well liked on Wall Street. Shes recast herself as a tough-talking liberal in recent years introducing legislation that would institute paid family leave but her obligations to the financial services sector will hamper her.
Kamala Harris, a freshman California senator, has become a liberal rock star with her tough questioning of Jeff Sessions and other Trump administration officials during Senate hearings. Its her record as California attorney general, her previous job, that could trip her up: She , the bank once headed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, for alleged foreclosure violations. Still, Ms. Harris seems the most promising of this group not least because she has less of a voting record her opponents can use against her.
Who Can Beat Trump Hint: Its Not Just Other White Dudes
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As much as a patriarchal society would have us believe that only elder white malesnamely Joe Biden and Bernie Sanderspossess the all-powerful electability to defeat President Trump in the 2020 election, a new poll offers at least one data point to the contrary. According to Quinnipiacs latest national poll, Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, andCory Booker could all handily beat Trump, too. Hows that for electability?
Quinnipiac found that Biden remains ahead by landslide proportions: in a head-to-head match-up against the president, the former vice president would win by double-digits53% support to Trumps 40%. Sanders is not far behind, with the poll predicting a 51% win over Trumps 42. But perhaps the most illuminating finding is that these veteran straight, white males arent the Democrats only hope to defeat Trump. Quinnipiac found that women can win: both Harris and Warren would safely beat Trump, with 49% of the vote to his 41 and 42%, respectively. And so could an openly gay candidate and a candidate of color: Buttigieg and Booker are tied with 47% over Trumps 42.
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Biden Leading National Presidential Polls
National polls are a good guide as to how popular a candidate is across the country as a whole, but they’re not necessarily a good way to predict the result of the election.
In 2016, for example, Hillary Clinton led in the polls and won nearly three million more votes than Donald Trump, but she still lost – that’s because the US uses an electoral college system, so winning the most votes doesn’t always win you the election.
With that caveat aside, Joe Biden has been ahead of Donald Trump in most national polls since the start of the year. He has hovered around 50% in recent months and has had a 10-point lead on occasions.
Joe Biden Can Beat Trump In 2020 But Will The Democratic Party Let Him Run
Five monthsfive agonizing months. That’s how long it had been since Joe Biden’s eldest son, Beau, died of an aggressive brain tumor. For three years, Joe had cared for Beau, an Iraq War veteran and Delaware’s attorney general, but by the spring of 2015 he was gone. The pain of his son’s death was still raw for the vice president as he stepped behind a microphone in the White House’s Rose Garden in October 2015, flanked by his wife, Jill, and President Barack Obama.
You could see Joe Biden’s hurt his normally ebullient smile was gone, replaced by a fatigued grimace. Facing a small crowd and live cameras, Biden announced what many had long expected: He would not be running for president in 2016. The longtime senator was not emotionally ready. The “grieving process,” Biden said, “doesn’t respect or much care about things like filing deadlines or debates and primaries and caucuses.”
The plan was in place, but the night before Biden’s Rose Garden speech, Donilon suddenly reversed course. “You shouldn’t do this,” he told Biden, who had to admit he was right. For months, he had been wrestling with Beau’s death, sometimes welling up in public, most notably in an appearance on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert in September, and he’d come to believe he wasn’t capable of giving all his energy to a presidential bid.
America may want him to run, but do the Democrats?
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Who Won The Presidential Debates
Donald Trump and Joe Biden went head-to-head in two live TV debates.
The first, on 29 September, was a chaotic affair, with Mr Trump’s combative approach stamping out any chance of a real debate.
A CBS News/YouGov poll taken straight afterwards suggested it was a good night for Mr Biden.
Of those who watched, 48% said Mr Biden was the winner while 41% went for Mr Trump – a similar split to national polling averages. Nearly 70% of people said the debate made them feel “annoyed”.
In the second debate, on 22 October, organisers introduced a mute button to help police the arguments.
But it was a much more restrained President Trump on show and there was a much greater focus on the policies of the two candidates.
While that seemed to help Mr Trump somewhat, snap polls still suggested viewers thought Mr Biden’s performance was more impressive.
A CNN poll found 53% of viewers thought the Democrat had done a better job in the debate, while 39% went with Mr Trump.
A YouGov snap poll was similar, with 54% saying Mr Biden had won compared to 35% for the president.
So while Mr Trump put in a better performance, it’s unlikely to have been enough to change the balance of the race on its own.
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Trump Has Been Running And Losing Against Biden For Months
Ultimately, the 2020 primary issue Democrats care about most is who can stand up to Trump and beat him. Biden is in a unique position. Hes faced almost a year of attacks by Trump and it hasnt hurt him.
In the fall, the American public learned that Trump had enlisted his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani to gin up dirt on Bidens son Hunter Biden by leaning on the government of Ukraine. While these revelations ultimately ended in the presidents impeachment, they also led to months and months of Trump attacking Joe Biden.
Amid all this, Bidens fundraising skyrocketed, and he paid no penalty in the polls. Biden remains up over Trump in head-to-head polling in Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania.
Why are you so obsessed with me, Mr. President?
Bidens campaign made an ad about Trumps attacks, which Biden tweeted with a joke, Why are you so obsessed with me? Sometimes a joke is funny because it gets at the truth.
% Of Democratic Voters Believe Bernie Sanders Would Beat Trump In 2020 Election New Poll Shows
Nearly three-quarters of Democratic voters believe Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont would defeat incumbent President Donald Trump if Sanders were selected to be the party’s presidential nominee, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released Wednesday.
Pollsters asked respondents who were Democrats or leaned Democratic which candidate they thought would win against Trump if that candidate were to represent the party in November. Seventy-two percent said that they thought Sanders would defeat Trump in a one-on-one match-up, while 24 percent thought Trump would win and 4 percent had no opinion.
Of all the Democratic candidates, Sanders was the one who respondents said they believed had the best chance of defeating the incumbent. Billionaire businessman and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg performed second-best in this question69 percent of respondents said they thought he could beat Trump in the general, while 28 percent said they thought the victory would go to Trump and 3 percent said they did not have an opinion.
Former Vice President Joe Biden, who performed first in most national polls prior to the February 3 Iowa caucuses, was third. Sixty-eight percent of respondents to this question said they expected him to win against Trump if he were selected to represent the party, while 28 percent thought Trump would win and 4 percent had no opinion.
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Eric Garcetti Mitch Landrieu
Its a long step from the mayors office to the White House, but with so few Democratic governors and with the partys strength in urban areas it seems an opportune time for a Democratic mayor to take it.
Eric Garcetti, in his second term as Los Angeles mayor, is considered by many Democrats to be a top political talent. And while a run for Congress or the governors office might be more realistic, his articulation of an urban agenda, with a focus on infrastructure and immigration, could strike a chord in a presidential race.
Mitch Landrieu, wholl finish his term-limited tenure as New Orleans mayor early next year, struck a chord in May when he gave a speech explaining why the city was taking down its four Confederate monuments. In the wake of Charlottesville, his words have become even more resonant.
America Is Not Ready For Trumps Second Term
And he could win, fair and square.
About the author: David A. Graham is a staff writer at The Atlantic.
The United States was unprepared for the scope of President Donald Trumps attempt to steal the 2020 presidential election. By Election Day, Trump had spent months calling the election rigged, and historians and democracy experts warned of the damage that these false claims could make. But when the president stepped to a lectern in the White House late on Election Night and insisted hed won, many Americans were taken aback. Much worse was still to come: Trump calling Georgias secretary of state, asking him to find 11,000 votes attempting to weaponize the Justice Department and instigating the failed January 6 insurrection.
Americans are ready now. If anything, theyre overprepared. Many members of the uneasy coalition of Democrats and former Republicans who oppose Trump are frantically focused on the danger of Trump and his GOP allies trying to steal the 2022 and especially 2024 elections. This is not without justification many of Trumps henchmen, meanwhile, are frantically focused on stealing it. But these watchdogs risk missing the graver danger: Trump could win this fair and square.
The possibility remains that they might try everything else and then opt for the wrong thing after all.
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Woo Everyone And Start Early
Democrats in Michigan are ready to go. In the past, we made the mistake of only showing up for our voters when election season rolled around. But not this time. The state party is investing in a robust network of offices and staff across Michigan to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2020. Weve already recruited hundreds of volunteers who are knocking doors, making phone calls and highlighting our positive vision for the future. Our voters are motivated, and were channeling that passion into action.
So take the early 2020 polls with a grain of salt and ignore the hot takes. Lets get to work on a plan that delivers a resounding victory for Democrats in Michigan and across the country. The path is clear: Talk to people about things that affect their lives and share your values, go everywhere, compete to woo the entire coalition we need to win and don’t wait until the general election. Do it during the primary campaign. If we follow Michigan’s 2018 playbook, we can put an end to the Trump nightmare.
Lavora Barnes is chair of the Michigan Democratic Party, Eric Goldman managed Gretchen Whitmers 2018 gubernatorial campaign and Brian Stryker was her pollster. Follow them on Twitter: @LavoraBarnes, @ericlawgoldman and @BrianStryker