2020 Democratic Presidential Candidates: Do They Have Policies? What Are Their Policies? Let's Find Out!

It’s weird; it feels like such a small pool now, but back in '16 it was really only Sanders and Clinton - O’Malley and that guy who went on some tangent about killing a man (??) were such non-entities by this point that they weren’t mentioned on the news. Here we’ve got, barring the billionaires, Biden, Buttigieg, Bernie, and Warren. With a few stragglers (Yang, Gabbard, doubt we’ll see Booker again but who knows) with enough media attention that they might make it to another debate or two.

4 might feel small compared to what it was earlier this year, but it’s actually a huge number of candidates. In Dec 2015, the Republican primary (which was seen as having too many candidates) was down to four candidates polling over 10%. Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Marco Rubio, according to this graph.

But even then, Trump’s numbers were double his competition. Sure, many pundits were arguing that the rest of the party would eventually coalesce around Cruz or Rubio, but Trump’s momentum carried him through.

For the Democrats, Biden is the clear front runner but he has zero, possibly negative, momentum. According to Politico, he’s the first choice for many people, but the second choice for very few. Warren had a recent surge that leveled out, while Bernie has lost momentum overtime, but is back on the upward swing. Buttigieg is polling under 10% but has momentum, especially because he’s currently leading in Iowa and New Hampshire.

I expect we’ll hear a lot of talk about Bernie needing to drop out to throw his support behind Warren in the coming months.

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I know we shouldn’t give Hillary Clinton the time of day, because that’s exactly what she wants, but how is it possible for just one person to SUCK this much?

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The ride never stops. Ever. Welcome to Hell.

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I follow most standard liberal news outlets, and I have a question about Biden: every time I see a news article about its either “he’s leading in the polls” or “here’s a gross thing he said or did”. They talk about how popular and “resilient” he is all the time. Am I missing something? Based on the way these same outlets report on him, he’s an anachronistic toxically masculine guy who does nothing but mess up and trade on his time as Obama’s VP for good points. The seeming contradiction is confusing and I guess people just love an established old white guy. Any particular insight into Biden’s seeming popularity would be appreciated.

there are a lot of middle-aged and old moderates and centrists in this country who don’t particularly care how odious someone is if they’ll maintain the status quo that has given them moderately comfortable lives. they see him as a safe pick to unseat trump, which is the main thing they care about, because he’s a known quantity and not trying to rock the boat with policies anywhere left of center.

edit: also, despite how it might look, a lot of people aren’t paying attention yet. things tend to change quickly once the primaries actually start. he has the most name recognition so if someone isn’t paying much attention, he’s the likely answer

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Thank you for this! That all makes sense. I also forget how early it is because our political cycle is hellish and long.

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There are a lot of theories on this I’ve seen:

  1. “It takes an old white dude to beat an old white dude.” And Biden challenging people to a push-up contest and an IQ test and calling a dude fat without seeing a single repercussion for it out of the press is exactly the kind of thing that Trump usually gets away with, which makes people think Biden might be a valid choice.
  2. He’s still skating on the penumbra of Obama’s popularity among Democrats.
  3. Universal name recognition.
  4. He has extremely strong numbers among the African American community. Jemele Hill theorizes that it might be because he’s the “safe” option (and they can’t imagine white people voting for anyone else). It may also have something to do with 2 and 3.
  5. Biden has been campaigning on what functionally amounts to a “return to normalcy,” i.e. get rid of Trump and you can go back to ignoring politics again. Nostalgia is a powerful force in politics, even if it’s only for like, a decade ago.
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here we gooooo

Thus the snake eats its tail once more.

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I have a headache.

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Buy your Biden/Klobuchar 2020 shirts now folks!

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so fucking tired

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I think it’s a bit funny that Warren is warning of factionalism when her campaign is the one that seems to be running to the end zone with these kinda dubious claims

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So, this obviously comes up tonight right? I feel like the Warren team is not happy with where this story is going, despite being the ones dropping it, but do we think Warren addresses it? CNN will obviously ask about it, because their CEOs don’t want a Bernie president.

Edit:

lol

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Not to be overly pessimistic but I really can’t imagine any positive resolution to this scandal now. And if this ends up visibly kneecapping Sanders in the early primary states I’d actually be really worried it repressing the turnout of his supporters in the general.
idk this is just bleak

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I’m so mad.

But also? Regardless of who gets the nominee and who wins…

We’re not voting climate change away.

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I feel like the odds of this actually sticking to Sanders is minimal, probably? Warren campaigners are already being advised to de-escalate, because I highly doubt an extended PR battle to “prove” Bernie is a misogynist is what Liz really needs right now

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One of the benefits of every day being 10,000 years long nowadays is that nothing really sticks around for long. Bernie and Warren will be friends again by the end of the week.

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I hope it doesn’t stick, it just seems like the kind of story that the media would just love to exploit and poke at for as long as possible. But I suppose if both Warren’s and Sanders’ campaigns are committed to being reasonable about this it might not be as bad as it initially seemed.