Tonight is New Hampshire, so I’m going to update my earlier predictions and then compare them against what I said last time for some candidates. However, given that a) the Libertarian and other third parties are going to get vanishingly small percentages this time, and b) Trump is clearly going to be the Republican nominee, I’m only going to spend time talking about the Democrat candidates.
Bernie Sanders: Short of the DNC cheating him out of it, or everyone uniting behind someone else prior to Super Tuesday, I now think this is Bernie’s to lose.
Mayor Pete: I said before that I don’t think he will be the nominee. Short of some shenanigans I still believe that. However, I think those shenanigans might be likely after Iowa. I don’t think he can win in the general election.
Amy Klobuchar: I know who she is now. I think she’s going to turn into the “mainstream choice” if Mayor Pete is unable to capture that.
Joe Biden: He left New Hampshire early because he knows it is over. The man has been acting odd for several weeks now, including shoving one voter and telling him to vote for someone else and also calling a girl a “lying dog-faced pony soldier.” I think he expected to just be crowned and the resistance to him has pushed him over the edge.
Elizabeth Warren: The more people see of her, the worse she does. Short of Bernie dying of a heart attack and his supporters rallying to her, she’s done. She doesn’t have the capability to compete on a national stage, and I think a lot of Democrats recognize that.
Tulsi Gabbard: No chance she gets the nomination, but she will hang in to the end. Gave up her fight for re-election, too. I’m not sure what her game is.
Mike Bloomberg: Want to see Trump win 48 states? This guy is an unmitigated disaster. He’s not running because he thinks he can win, he’s running so he can direct his resources toward what he wants to happen.
Andrew Yang: 0% chance the DNC would let him be the nominee, even if he got the delegates. They’d find a way.
Deval Patrick: All I know about this guy is that he’s running, and I think he was a governor (MA maybe?) or the Mayor of Boston. Zero chance he gets the nomination.
Tom Steyer: Want to see Trump win all 50 states?
Let’s see what I said about the high-profile folks who have since dropped out:
Kamala Harris — for all her wokeness, her prosecutions of people for minor offenses — when she had the ability and power to let them off — will hurt her with a lot of folks.
I’m Nostradamus over here. Tulsi Gabbard beat her to death with that record in one of the early debates.
Corey Booker — I hope he wins just so I can see people make Booker/T-Bone bumper stickers. He’s got nothing about him that stands out. He’s not charismatic like O’Rourke, he’s just sort of perpetually outraged from what I’ve seen. He’s not going to be the nominee
Robert O’Rourke — he may be Skateboard Jesus but I don’t see him carrying the party. He’s damaged for a lot of reasons — the most notable being that his claim to fame is losing an election.
Now his claim to fame is losing an election, a nomination, and also failing to get someone else elected.
Eric Swalwell — cannot believe I forgot that this dude is running
And that’s all the digital ink Swalwell is worth.
The General Election
Democrats face a much steeper uphill battle than a lot of people think. I’m going to attempt to present this as neutral, so don’t take it personal if you disagree. This is just how I see the race unfolding, as someone who dislikes most politicians and also is very interested in politics.
Virginia is in play: The Democrats swept into power in Virginia, and they are foolishly over-stepping their bounds. This happened nationally in 2008 — when they forced the Affordable Care Act through without a single Republican vote or even allowing input or any compromise — and they paid for it dearly in the 2010 midterms. Attempting to outlaw most gun magazines (seriously even my small Glock came with 15 round mags) is going to turn the turn out for the other team up in 2020. The Democrat nominee may win the state but will have to defend the state, which takes precious resources elsewhere.
Medicare for All is a loser: Outside of the Twittersphere and media-bubble, this is going to hurt with a lot of households, including traditionally strong Democrat voters: Union voters. A lot of union people negotiated pretty nice healthcare packages as part of their union gigs, and in many cases did so in lieu of salary increases. These people are going to give you the sideways look if you want to take that away from them (without them having any chance of getting those salary increases they missed out on) and they are also going to start fashioning shivs out of toothbrushes if the plan is also to raise their taxes to pay for their now less capable plan.
Raising Taxes Loses: Ask Walter Mondale to explain it to you.
Fighting Fossil Fuels is also a loser: Look, we all want clean air and stuff. The problem is that a lot of the people with their names in italics up there have promised to fight hard against fracking and oil production jobs. There are a lot of these jobs. A lot of them are in the Rust Belt. Families depend on these jobs. Nobody is going to vote for someone who has promised to eliminate their job. It’s just not feasible. Also, now we have all the frackers, all the oil refiners, all the insurance employees, and all the coal miners out of work. Where do they find new jobs?
I know that “industries die all the time.” But nobody in government tried mandating away an entire industry. Horse buggies died out naturally not because someone decided to make them illegal. I’m telling you, that is a political loser at the ballot box.
Big Picture: I feel like beating Trump should be, on paper, a possibility. He’s endured years of negative media coverage, he says zany things on the Twitter, and he’s caused himself enormous harm over his term. Yet he remains popular among his base (90%+ approval rating among Republicans) and I feel like a lot of this is because the other side keeps going off the deep end with their pipe dreams.
The economy is booming. People are working (and only people who don’t understand unemployment numbers contest this). Wages are going up. We haven’t started any new wars. If this keeps up…
Depending on who the nominee is, I think the President will win every state he won in 2016, plus maybe two or three pickups (Nevada, New Mexico, Maine, Virginia). If the nominee is especially out there I think it might be a bloodbath.
I think I’ll come back with part three on Super Tuesday, or maybe the day after. Then we will have a clearer view of who one side might pick.