The number one question pollsters and pundits ask is which candidate has the best chance of winning the White House in 2020. To find out the answer you have to split the question into three. First, you look at who’s running on the Democratic ticket and see who is most likely to secure the nomination. This doesn’t always mean the best person for office will win, more of who can out-fund raise and out-campaign the others. The next is to look at the Republican side and apply the same logic. As much as I would like to see a third party candidate make a serious go of it no one who has said they were seriously considering running as of yet. Once you have your picks you match the two up and see who can win over the independent voters in the middle, which typically are 10-15% of the population.
If you look at the Democratic side there are currently 17 remaining candidates. As qualifications for future debates grow more stringent you will see the field dwindle to single digits. The first few primaries are being held in February. Once March rolls around we will have more than half the country making their decision on who they want to see as the face of their party. Big money donors and small money contributors will vote with their wallets, causing the field to shrink even smaller. You can’t run a campaign without money and one by one reality will set in for those that are remaining. Inevitably they will repeat the phrase of being proud of their campaign but now was not their time.
Polls change weekly and candidates gain and lose momentum. Of the 17 on the Democratic side who are still in the race, the following are those whom I feel should save their time and energy along with their donor’s money and call it a day. My feeling is these candidates know in their heart of hearts that they don’t have a shot of winning but pride, future cable TV and cabinet positions are on their mind.
- Michael Bennet, Senator, Colorado
- Steve Bullock, Governor, Montana
- John Delaney, Former Representative, Maryland
- Wayne Messam, Mayor, Miramar, Florida
- Tom Steyer, Billionaire
- Marianne Williamson, Self-Help Author
Of the remaining 11, the following are those who have the least to the best chance of securing the nomination. One quick side note. There may be a late entry in the form of 2016 runner up Hillary Clinton. She has been making news again by attacking Tulsi Gabbard and receiving a lot of attention for it. Clinton has never gotten over or accepted her defeat to Trump and feels she should be the current occupant of the White House since she won the popular vote. Seeing as how that was her second attempt at the throne and many in her party are looking to move on I would be surprised to see her make a go of it. Stranger things have happened.
- Andrew Yang. His proposal for universal basic income is a losing message for anyone living above the poverty line.
- Julian Castro. As the only remaining Hispanic in the race, he may last longer than some but his lack of name recognition is a hurdle he won’t be able to overcome.
- Robert Francis O’Rourke aka Beto. His rise to popularity in the media was due to a large money push in his Senate race against Ted Cruz. As he has since gone across the country trying to connect with the public via social media posts that are the epitome of TMI, his dream of becoming president will bear the same results as his Senate run. Only this time he won’t be on the final ballot.
- Amy Klobuchar. I like Amy. She speaks with common sense and appeals to many in the middle. She has a fighting spirit, which was evidenced by her announcement to run during a snowstorm. Her polling and fundraising numbers have kept her on stage for now. As the race gets tighter she will have a hard time with both which will ultimately bring her party to an end.
- Kamala Harris. Kamala caught fire during the initial Democratic debate when she attacked Biden on his past actions to block the Federal government from deciding on school busing for African Americans. She has failed to put up a solid performance on the debate stage since. Her incoherent message, which changes positions like the wind, makes it hard for voters to know what she stands for. Trying to be everything to everyone will make you the nominee and leader of no one.
- Pete Buttigieg. The South Bend, IN Mayor, is well-spoken and on paper has many qualities that liberals and progressives look for. As one of the two combat veterans who are vying for the parties’ nominee, his recent attacks on the opposing party and claiming God would never be a Republican has alienated half the voting block along with the majority of the evangelical base. God and guns are two sacred areas you don’t touch. Mayor Pete has gone after both. My prediction is he will feel the wrath of the voters who strongly believe in both.
- Cory Booker. As a former mayor of New Jersey’s largest city, Newark and current Senator, he lacks the ability to come across in a way that is hopeful. Quite the opposite, unless he is talking about his love life, he appears angry when his goal is to sound passionate. Spartacus, he is not. He lacks the charisma of Obama and doesn’t have a track record of success he can run on. A solid debater without substance, Booker’s campaign will go further than the others but not enough to take him to the finish line. He might be a good choice for Vice President for whoever secures the parties’ nomination.
- Tulsi Gabbard. By far she is the most moderate. As the only other combat veteran on the ticket and active duty member, she is everything the party could hope for. Well-spoken, articulate, experienced. She checks off many of the identity politics boxes. Her downfall was when she went against the DNC and Clinton in 2016 by resigning from her committee position and backing Bernie Sanders. The party and Clinton have not forgotten. Recent smears of being a Russian asset by Clinton, CNN and the NY Times tell you all you need to know about who controls the narrative and pulls the strings in the mainstream media. While she is my choice for who would be best to defeat Trump in 2020, unfortunately, the powers that be will not deem it so.
- Bernie Sanders. Bernie’s time was in 2016. He ran a good campaign then but the DNC wanted Clinton. Like a good soldier, he fell in line and swallowed his pride. Many like myself feel his supporter’s felt slighted and stayed home on Election Day effectively giving Trump the win. The DNC has learned from their bias by allowing over two dozen candidates to run this time around. While Bernie still has strong support from people who were fond of him last time his socialist message will not resonate with the majority of the country. He rounds out the top three on my list but will not be on the ballot in November. Ultimately his recent health problems may cause concern for voters who would otherwise consider voting for the elder statesman.
- Elizabeth Warren. The Senator from Massachusetts is currently the front-runner in several recent polls. She is a fighter who has used her skills as a lawyer to polish her message and her attacks on the President. While she promotes herself as a capitalist her positions are equivalent to Sanders. Just as Warren has falsely appropriated Native American heritage, the President’s label of Pocahontas is one that she won’t be able to shake. Her message of tax the rich and free everything is appealing to some. With a lack of details on how her generosity will be funded voters will ultimately see that they will all get stuck with her bill and they will send the Senator back home.
- Joe Biden. That leaves the former Senator from Delaware and Vice President under Obama as your ultimate Democratic nominee for President. Joe is a seasoned political veteran. He has many friends in high places and the media has done its best to cover his gaffes and mistakes. His son Hunter’s financial dealings with Ukraine and China while Joe was in charge of foreign relations with the two countries are casting a large cloud over his candidacy. Whether or not he can fend off those attacks for the remainder of the primaries is yet to be seen. If Joe can secure the nomination he will have to keep his son out of the spotlight and make sure his message to the people as to why he is the best candidate for the position is undeniable and clear.
On the Republican side, you have Mark Sanford, Joe Walsh, and Bill Weld. None have a shot against an extremely popular Donald Trump who holds 90% support amongst his base. This is evidenced by the Republican Party’s recent consideration to not have primaries held in several states and award those delegates to the President. Trump has also raised more money than any Republican in history and twice as much as Obama during the same period of his reelection efforts. Money talks and fuels down-ballot campaigns. As much as many on the right do not like the President’s demeanor they stay quiet when it comes to receiving financial support.
My prediction is it will be Biden versus Trump for the White House. Trump will keep Mike Pence as his VP. While the rest of his cabinet changes like the weather, Pence has and will remain. The religious base loves him and in turn, will give their support to the President. Trump has fulfilled many of his campaign promises, though not all.
Democrats have been trying to impeach Trump since he won the election. If they are successful it will be a stain on his presidency that will severely impact his ability to get reelected. For Biden to defeat Trump he needs the impeachment to pass the House. Without it he will have to do it the old fashioned way; outwork him. Biden will have to pick a running mate that compliments him. Someone who can appeal to the majority of the country and checks off the diversity boxes he’s lacking in. While I am strongly opposed to identity politics and feel it does more to divide a country than unite us many on the left feel it’s the best way to differentiate between the two parties. To appease that portion of the base Biden will most likely pick a woman with a skin pigment that is darker than his. The natural fit would be Kamala Harris. As a former District Attorney from California and a current sitting Senator, she is an experienced debater who has gained national name recognition from her current campaign. While she would not be my choice for President she would make a good fit as Biden’s Vice President. Perhaps lightning will strike twice and Biden will make it back to the White House, only this time as commander in chief. Only time will tell. Trump has two Supreme Court justices on his resume and an economy that is the envy of the world. His personality is a double-edged sword. What’s certain is that the upcoming election will be as bitter as the last and cost just as much if not more. Our nation will remain divided and half the country will be unhappy with the results. As much as many in the media claim the world will come to an end if either side wins, it will not, and we will continue going on with our lives. The best we can hope for is for someone to be elected who will keep the country on a sound fiscal course that will try to reduce spending and bring a sense of civility back to our discourse. I may be naïve in my wishes, as we haven’t had a president achieve that balance since Reagan, but one can always hope. May the best person for the people win!