Kamala Harris has had at least 17 billionaire sugar daddies whereas Bernie Sanders hasn’t had even one billionaire donor, but Harris has tried to co-opt Bernie’s progressive message nonetheless. She is pictured above in September 2017, after she signed on to Bernie’s Medicare for All bill, and since then she has flip-flopped on what Medicare for All should look like. (Her current plan, I gather, still keeps for-profit insurance companies in the game. Not a shock, given her corporate fundraising.)
I don’t think that a day goes by that I don’t look at the latest nationwide polling in the race for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.
Candidates indeed go up and down in the polls, so much so that if you watch the polls over time, you know that a bump or a slump could reverse itself, and thus it’s often a bad idea to write a candidate’s political obituary, as is done for Bernie Sanders probably more than for any other candidate (as I’ve noted before, this is wishful thinking on the part of center-right sellouts).
Pete Buttigieg apparently already peaked a while ago, although he’s never reached even 10 percent, and Kamala Harris, after she attacked Joe Biden in the first debate in June, peaked at more than 15 percent, but now she’s back down below 10 percent; her average nationwide polling as I type this sentence is 8.4 percent (Buttigieg’s is 6.1 percent).
I’m glad that it was Tulsi Gabbard who (fairly and squarely) went off on Harris in the second debate. It’s always nice when a candidate who has a snowball’s chance does the dirty (but necessary) work so that your viable candidate (in my case, Bernie Sanders) doesn’t have to and thus doesn’t get his or her hands dirty (and isn’t accused of being “racist” or “sexist” for daring to do what you’re supposed to do in a political campaign: point out your opponents’ weaknesses as well as your own strengths).
Harris, like most of the 2020 Democratic contenders, in my book is not qualified and/or is not ready to be president, and, a la Ted Kennedy, has yet to enunciate a clear reason as to why she should be president, so I’m not surprised to see that she has sunk below 10 percent again.
My feeling about both Buttigieg and Harris is that both already have shot their wads. I don’t think that there’s much more to either one of them, because neither is courageous. At the end of the day, they’re both just pro-corporate party hacks, like Biden; all three of them try to walk the line between pretending to be progressive and not daring to piss off any of their big corporate donors. This makes for a message that is milquetoast at best.
Both Buttigieg and Harris, in fact, court billionaire donors. Forbes.com recently reported that Buttigieg has the most billionaire sugar daddies (23 of them), followed by Cory Booker (18 billionaire patrons) at No. 2 and Kamala Harris at No. 3 (17 billionaires for her). Biden comes in at fifth place, with 13 billionaires supporting him.
“True to his campaign promise to take on the top 1 percent, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has not received any donations from billionaires,” forbes.com reports.
When I call someone a “corporate whore,” it’s for a reason, and I count Buttigieg, Booker, Harris and Biden all as corporate whores, and I don’t vote for (or otherwise support) corporate whores.
Joe Biden continues to poll nationwide at No. 1; his average nationwide polling right now is 30.1 percent, which is enough to earn him the title of front-runner, I suppose, but I still surmise that right now the bulk of Biden’s support in polls comes from name recognition because not enough voters are really paying attention at this point.
Biden is a shitty campaigner, as evidenced by the fact that this is his third time campaigning for the Democratic Party presidential nomination, and I give him the title of Most Likely to Implode. History usually is a guide.
For a while now, Bernie and Elizabeth Warren have been neck and neck at second and third places. Right now Bernie’s nationwide polling average is 16.8 percent and Warren’s is 17.2 percent. Again, I have to suspect that Warren is siphoning off a significant chunk of progressive/actually Democratic support that otherwise would be Bernie’s right now, but, again, it’s her right to run; it’s only the Democrats in name only (and others who despise the democratic process) who proclaim that a candidate (usually Bernie) shouldn’t even be running.
An indicator that Bernie’s support is pretty strong is the fact that The New York Times recently reported:
Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has a huge lead over other Democratic presidential candidates in the number of individual donors they have each accumulated so far.
This is the first time since the primary race began in earnest that we can estimate how many individual donors each candidate has attracted — a key indicator of how much they are catching on with voters.
Sanders is relying heavily on small donors to power his campaign, and he entered the 2020 race with a huge network of online donors who supported his 2016 presidential bid. The map above shows the breadth of Sanders’s roster of donors across the United States. …
Here is that map, with Bernie’s support in blue:
While the other candidates apparently draw most donations from their home states, Bernie clearly is popular nationwide. In fact, Bernie so dominates the map that the Times, in order to show how the other candidates are doing, published a second map, this one excluding Bernie in order to show his competitors’ geographic bases of support:
That Bernie has garnered more individual donors than any other candidate (more than 700,000 donors [Warren comes in at No. 2, with more than 400,000]) — and has raised more money than any other candidate, per the Times (at least $36 million [Buttigieg comes in at No. 2, with at least $32 million, and Warren at No. 3, with at least $25 million]) — is significant in that not too many people actually put their money where their mouth is. You have to be pretty jazzed about a candidate to give him or her money, and Bernie has hundreds of thousands of donors throughout the nation.
Of course, in the end, regardless of what the nationwide polls and the fundraising statistics say right now, who wins Iowa and New Hampshire in February is going to make a huge difference.
I’ll never forget that in 2004, John Kerry’s campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination was on life support until his surprise, come-back-from-the-dead win in Iowa, which then propelled him to win New Hampshire, and after he won both of those first states, he snowballed, and it was clear early on that the nomination was his.
It might seem unfair and bizarre that Iowa and New Hampshire have such an outsize influence on the nomination, but that’s how the system is set up. If people weren’t such sheeple, then Iowa and New Hampshire’s influence would be much less than it is. But people are sheeple and thus are highly influenced by those states that already have held a primary election or caucus.
So, in a nutshell: If you’re not consistently in the double digits in the nationwide polling (as limited an indicator that nationwide polling might be right now), I think you’re probably toast. I would be shocked if the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee were not Biden, Warren or Bernie.
As I’ve noted before, I think that Harris has a great shot at being the veep candidate, if she’ll accept it. (And that might have been her game plan all along: to one day become president via the vice presidency.)
And again: It seems to me that Harris and Buttigieg have stalled and that neither has anything more to offer up, so there is no reason to believe that either will spike in the polls again. With both of them what you see is what you get, I’m confident.
And: If Biden implodes again, it’s then going to be between Bernie and Warren.
As Bernie is beating Warren even in her home state of Massachusetts right now (in the admittedly sparse polling there), and as in 2016 Bernie came closer to Billary than anyone thought he would (and has had the experience of running a presidential campaign before), I’m thinking that Bernie has the upper hand on Warren.
P.S. Nate Silver calculates how candidates’ nationwide polling changed after the first and second Democratic presidential debates.
He calculates that Bernie went up by 1.8 percentage points, more than did any other candidate; that Warren went up by 1.6 percent; that Biden went down by 1.9 percent; and that Harris went down more than anyone else: by 2.8 percent.
Gee, could it be that the voters are truly sick and tired of the Repugnican Lite bullshit that was foisted upon us by Bill Clinton, Billary Clinton and Barack Obama, and continued by Biden and Harris (and by Buttigieg, whose polling went up by only 0.7 percent)?
Could it be that the more the voters hear actually Democratic candidates (that is, actually progressive candidates) speak, the more they like them, and that the more they hear the corporate whores speak, the less they like them?
If so, expect the corporate whores (already enumerated above) to pretend, more and more, suddenly to be progressive, when of course if elected as president they would have all of those favors to have to pay back to the billionaires who funded them.