This is worse than “The Brady Bunch”…
As I’ve noted before, I’m a size queen where it comes to a poll’s sample size, and polling outfit Morning Consult’s sample sizes are huge — so much so that their margins of error are only plus or minus 1 percent, a margin of error that no other polling outfit bothers to achieve (margins of error of around 4 percent to even 6 percent are the usual, making these polls fairly worthless, in my book).
So, the only current poll of nationwide 2020 Democratic Party presidential preference that I’m going to talk about here is Morning Consult’s poll taken from April 1 through April 7. Its sample size was more than 13,600. (Most polling outfits don’t obtain even 500 respondents for one of their polls.)
In the aforementioned Morning Consult poll, Joe Biden garnered 32 percent. The poll was taken after Biden was taken to task in the national conversation about his handsiness.
I’m thinking that Biden has lost a bit of his support, but not much; the Morning Consult poll taken from March 25 to March 31 had him at 33 percent, and the Morning Consult polls taken from March 18-24 and from March 11-17 had him at 35 percent.
Most Biden supporters are, I think, like “President” Pussygrabber’s supporters: They are die-hard partisans who put their partisanship, their political party identity, their tribalism, above such “trifles” as whether or not their chosen candidate put his hands (and mouth) on women whether they welcome that or not.
It’s sick and twisted that Biden supporters apparently believe that you only can fight fire with fire — that you must counter one old white lech with another old white lech — but that is what it is.
Also, of course, Biden supporters — those who aren’t old and wealthy and who want to preserve the status quo because it always has benefited them and they know that as president Biden would do very little to change things — are unimaginative and uninformed. They’re only going for party label and for perceived electoral strength, which they apparently gauge primarily by how long you have been around. Biden is Billary 2.0.
All of that said, there remains plenty of time for Biden to implode. Look at how he quasi-“apologized” for Bodyspacegate, for example, and then immediately went on to make jokes about touching people only with their permission. (Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!)
Biden’s advisers and staffers probably wear adult diapers — because they know that Biden could make them shit themselves at any time.
In second place in Morning Consult’s April 1-7 poll was Bernie Sanders, at 23 percent.
Bernie apparently has lost a little bit of support, too; in Morning Consult’s February and March polling, Bernie had hit 27 percent several times.
I posit that Bernie, at least for the time being, has had more of his supporters peeled off by young upstart Pete Buttigieg than has any other candidate. Why? Because both Bernie and Buttigieg appeal to younger voters.
Buttigieg intrigues me, but you don’t go from being mayor of a mid-sized city to president of the United States, and I don’t know how I feel about Buttigieg’s claim to be a left-wing Christian and his apparent claim that left-wing Christianity will beat right-wing Christianity at the ballot box in November 2020.
I much, much prefer Bernie Sanders’ secularism, at least in terms of how he campaigns. (I suspect that Bernie is an atheist or agnostic, but of course I don’t know what he does or doesn’t believe where any grand deity is concerned. I do know that he is a moral person, that his sense of right and wrong is strong, which is my No. 1 concern, not petty religious tribal affiliation.)
Promoting any one religion, even left-wing Christianity, by nature excludes and alienates those of other beliefs, and if Buttigieg is so damned smart — he was a Rhodes Scholar, has degrees from both Harvard and Oxford, reportedly speaks several languages, etc. — then how can he believe in God, who (which?) basically is a Santa Claus on crack?
Also, of course, I have to wonder how much of Buttigieg’s professed Christianity comes out of political necessity — I mean, he is mayor of South Bend, Indiana, for fuck’s sake — and how much of it is sincere. Has he done the political calculus that in South Bend, Indiana, as mayor he can get away with being a gay man but not with being an agnostic or an atheist?
Those in the United States and in the world increasingly aren’t identifying with any one religion — and I wholly agree with a Scientific American writer’s assertion that “This shift away from the dominance of any one religion is good for a secular society whose government is structured to discourage catch basins of power from building up and spilling over into people’s private lives” — so I don’t know if smarty pants Buttigieg’s strategy of pushing for a left-wing Christianity remotely is even a good idea politically.
Nor will I engage in tribalism and support Buttigieg primarily or even only because he’s a white gay man like I am.
But all of that said, I surmise that Buttigieg is one to watch. He is ambitious and talented, to be sure.
Buttigieg went from 1 percent or less in several Morning Consult polls in a row to 5 percent in Morning Consult’s April 1-7 poll — which put him 1 percent ahead of Cory Booker, only 2 percent behind Elizabeth Warren, only 3 percent behind Beto O’Rourke and only 4 percent behind Kamala Harris.*
Do I think that Buttigieg will keep climbing and climbing in the polls? No. I agree with Slate.com’s Josh Vorhees’ conclusion that
… [Buttigieg’s] national profile really is on the rise, but he has a long way to go before he’s in the same ballpark as Warren, O’Rourke, or Harris — let alone Biden and Sanders, who currently enjoy near-universal name recognition.
For now, then, Buttigieg’s standing is largely a matter of perspective: His current position looks remarkable given where he started, but it’s also a long way from where he’ll need to finish.
Don’t get me wrong; I have given Buttigieg a little bit of money (I want to see him in the Democratic presidential debates, and fund-raising and polling success are required to participate in them) and I find him intriguing and likable enough to have purchased his book.
But do I believe that in November 2020 we’ll have our first openly gay presidential candidate? Um, no.
And I remain a strong supporter of Bernie, who not only who is secular, but who has been functioning in Washington, D.C., since the 1990s (first as a U.S. representative and then as a U.S. senator) and who thus knows the game — and who proudly, unabashedly calls himself a democratic socialist.
(Capitalism cannot be reformed. Even just a little bit of evil always wants to grow into greater evil, which those “Democrats” who espouse capitalism or capitalism lite should know if they don’t already.)
Finally, a discussion of the tiers:
At this point it seems clear to me that Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders comprise the first tier, which I’ll define generously as garnering at least double digits (even low double digits) in the nationwide polls of Democratic presidential preference.
Kamala Harris apparently still remains in third place, behind Biden and Bernie, but she doesn’t garner even low double digits in most nationwide polls these days, so I think it’s fair to put her in the second tier, along with the others who garner from, say, 3 percent to 9 percent. (That would include also O’Rourke, Warren, Booker and now, Buttigieg.)
The third tier would be those who can’t reach even 3 percent in the nationwide polls.
If you can’t get even 3 percent, come on — why are you even in this? I mean, it’s past time for Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro and Tulsi Gabbard (and several others) to exit — and it’s fucking bizarre that we still have newcomers who don’t have a fucking chance (like U.S. representatives Eric Swalwell and Tim Ryan) entering the race.**
But the winnowing should begin soon enough. The first Democratic presidential debate is scheduled for June 26.***
*Indeed, on March 24 I wrote:
… Methinks that the 2020 Democratic field is pretty set. It’s not impossible for a third-tier candidate to break into the second tier (Pete Buttigieg, for example, strikes me as quite capable of that), but I don’t see the top tier changing; Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders have been at No. 1 and No. 2 for a long time now (and Harris has been at No. 3 for a long time now, if we also want to include her in the top tier, even though she has no more than half of the support that either Biden or Bernie does). …
Again, I no longer consider Harris to be in the top tier, but to be in the second tier, and speaking of the second tier, at this point I’ll also point out that O’Rourke, predictably, never caught fire like so many had expected him to. That’s because with O’Rourke there is no there there.
**I am OK enough with Swalwell, but the next Democratic presidential candidate will not have been only a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (or a mayor or a presidential cabinet member).
***Because the field is so large, the Democratic National Committee plans to break the first debate into two dates, June 26 and June 27. The DNC has said that which candidates debate on which of the two dates will be determined randomly.