The Democrats/progressives 2020

Written by  //  January 27, 2020  //  Politics, U.S.  //  No comments

2020 Presidential Election Calendar
Check out the Democratic field with our candidate tracker.
Introducing the Post Pundit 2020 Power Ranking.
The Democrats/progressives 2019
The darker side of Rep. Adam Schiff

David Frum: Bernie Can’t Win
But unless other Democrats take a page from his book—stressing the practical over the theoretical, the universal over the particular—they won’t prevail either.
There are many ways to divide the Democratic field: by ideology, by gender, by ethnicity, by age. But perhaps the most important is this: For Buttigieg, for Bloomberg, as for me and very likely for you, reader of The Atlantic, one of the most decisive days of our lives was the day we received the fat envelope of acceptance from a selective educational institution.
Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden speak to Americans for whom the fat-envelope/thin-envelope decision means little, if it means anything at all. It’s not accident or name recognition that explains why they lead the field. They are both being carried by something big and real. The challenge for the person who will succeed in beating Trump in 2020 is not merely to ride that force, but to guide it.

26 January
Biden and Sanders are breaking away from the pack of candidates among Democrats nationwide, Washington Post-ABC News poll finds
A Post average of recent New Hampshire polls shows Sanders and Biden virtually tied, with Warren and Buttigieg not far behind. Nationally, however, the competition has moved in the direction of Biden and Sanders, with Warren, Buttigieg and others now clearly behind. Among Democrats and Democratic-leaning registered voters, Biden is favored by 32 percent with Sanders at 23 percent, according to the new Post-ABC poll. In both cases, those percentages are slightly better than what each received in an October Post-ABC national poll.

24 January
Could Bloomberg’s Billions Boost the Odds of a Contested Convention?
By Ed Kilgore
(New York) Some observers roll their eyes when the very subject of a “brokered” (or more precisely, “contested”) presidential nominating convention comes up. After all, there hasn’t been a convention where the outcome was in serious doubt when the opening gavel was struck since 1976, and the last multi-ballot convention was in 1952. The emergence of the modern primary-based nominating process with no bosses controlling blocs of delegates and no favorite sons for them to vote for until the deal goes down has made all that a nostalgic fantasy.
…as I and others have noted, the combination of an unusually large presidential field, a fairly compressed primary schedule, and the Democratic Party’s strictly proportional delegate award rules makes it possible, if not likely, that Democrats could arrive in Milwaukee in July without a candidate having already nailed down a firm majority of delegates.
Having already set up a model for predicting primary results and delegate awards, FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver runs a bunch of simulations and develops some projections on the likelihood of a “contested convention:”

19 January
One of These People Could Beat Trump, Right? Two weeks out from the Iowa caucus, it’s an unprecedented four-way deadlock. Ready, set, go!
(New York) Come February 4, more than two-thirds of Democrats will be at least some amount of disappointed by who wins Iowa, with a whole lot of them much more panicked than that: If, after a year of seemingly nonstop campaigning, none of the candidates has really pulled in front, how confident can you be, they might ask, that any of them could actually take down Trump? The campaigns know this, and know that after Iowa the field of real contenders is likely to narrow even further — which is why they are all, even the most ideological candidates, so focused on February 3 as a way of demonstrating electability. Because the first and last thing every voter is asking themselves right now is, Who can win in November?

19 January
The NYT editorial board announces its endorsement and surprises by endorsing two candidates, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren
American voters must choose between three sharply divergent visions of the future.
The incumbent president, Donald Trump, is clear about where he is guiding the Republican Party — white nativism at home and America First unilateralism abroad, brazen corruption, escalating culture wars, a judiciary stacked with ideologues and the veneration of a mythological past where the hierarchy in American society was defined and unchallenged.
On the Democratic side, an essential debate is underway between two visions that may define the future of the party and perhaps the nation. Some in the party view President Trump as an aberration and believe that a return to a more sensible America is possible. Then there are those who believe that President Trump was the product of political and economic systems so rotten that they must be replaced.

14 January
Frank Rich: What’s Wrong With the Democratic Primary? Everything.
what’s at stake in tonight’s Democratic debate, the vote to start the Senate impeachment trial, and the Trump administration’s crumbling explanation for its strike killing Qasem Soleimani.

13 January
Bernie Sanders’s campaign goes on the attack as he seeks a victory in the Iowa caucuses
(WaPo) Although Sanders (I-Vt.) mostly had resisted comparing himself with other candidates, over the weekend, his surrogates and aides intensified their attacks on Biden, targeting his past positions on racial issues and his vote to authorize the Iraq War.
At the same time, his campaign went after Warren (D-Mass.), with whom Sanders has shared a nonaggression pact for much of the primary season.
Sanders’s emergence at the center of the clashes reflected his pivotal position in the race for the Democratic nomination. Little more than three months after suffering a heart attack that some thought would drive him from the race, he has moved to the top of the polls in Iowa, which opens the voting on Feb. 3, and remains in a strong position elsewhere, too.
His more aggressive moves — and the countering blows by other candidates who previously treated him as an unthreatening holdover — ushered in a final three weeks of campaigning here with myriad possible outcomes. Voters have been averse so far to most candidates who launched broadsides against their rivals, and Sanders as much as any candidate has tried to craft a positive image.
Cory Booker ends 2020 presidential campaign
(CNN) The New Jersey Democrat’s announcement came a day before six presidential candidates will participate in the CNN/Des Moines Register’s debate in Des Moines, Iowa. He did not qualify for the event. It also came as the Senate gears up for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.
His announcement marks another departure of a high-profile black candidate from the 2020 race. After not making the December debate, Booker criticized the rules that kept him from qualifying for the event and was outspoken about the growing lack of diversity on stage. The looming impeachment trial, which would have kept Booker off of the trail for some time, was “a piece, but not a big piece” of his decision. [See also the transcript of NYT editorial board interview with Senator Booker]

7 January
Both Trump and Democrats see political benefits to U.S. killing of Iranian general
Many of Trump’s Democratic challengers believe the president’s actions carry a political benefit for them among swing voters fearful of yet another war, who could more sharply question Trump’s worldview and fitness for office.
On the campaign trail in Iowa, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) repeatedly has blasted the killing of Soleimani as “reckless” and said she would not have ordered the strike were she president. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) has been critical as well, trying to rally antiwar Democrats to his side ahead of what his advisers envision as a potential showdown with former vice president Joe Biden for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Klobuchar has stressed her experience, while Buttigieg, a retired military intelligence officer, has spoken about understanding the cost of war. “My mind is with the troops who are moving to the Middle East, and having known what it’s like to be on the inside of one of those airplanes, you need to be able to trust that everybody up your chain of command has thought through what’s ahead.”

4 January
(New York) The 2020 Democratic primary has been driven largely by fear, namely the fear of Trump’s reelection, which has manifested as an outsize focus on electability. As became plainly clear when he dropped out this week, Julián Castro was not seen by many Democrats as electable. Castro’s policy ideas and focus on the human rights of black and brown people were widely praised, but as Zak Cheney-Rice writes in “Julián Castro’s Campaign Was Not for the Fearful,” the former San Antonio mayor and housing secretary fell victim to a Democratic electorate that, thanks to Trump, is feeling extremely risk averse.

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