On November 29 mariner published a post analyzing the chances of the zillion democratic candidates, projecting in the final analysis Joe Biden. This perspective was based on the expected response of democrats at the primaries as the campaign rolled out across the nation.
Today the democrats are revisited from the point of view of republicans and an important outlier bloc, estranged democratic voters who abandoned Hillary because they shared the economic angst of the working class across the rust belt and in many cases, also feared the demise of political power for agricultural states if the coastal democrats would realign Congress and eliminate the Electoral College.
Who still is viable:
To wit: If the democrats nominate any candidate who is not white (including Yang), it will encourage marginal democrats who may lean toward racist opinions to vote for Donald. This eliminates Yang.
If the democrats nominate candidates in the progressive channel, it will harden the republican business vote, rural vote and evangelicals. This eliminates Sanders and Warren.
That leaves Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Steyer. The last three are, in a metaphoric way, show horses in the parade. Each of them is an excellent ideological democrat; each draws attention, each is worthy of party support but none are brand democrats. The primary objective in this election is to defeat Donald. That requires a brand candidate who can attract at least part of the many identities split among the other candidates.
Further, in mariner’s opinion, wise democratic voters would prefer to keep the six Senators running for President to stay in the Senate where they are desperately needed. They are:
Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
This leaves Joe. He is a national brand democrat; he is a moderate, capable of drawing even a few disgruntled republicans; the democratic Hillary dissidents would feel comfortable voting for Joe; Joe still has the Obama aura among many African Americans. Joe is acceptable to the billionaire democrats – Donald has a record-breaking war chest.
Generally, the election won’t change many opinions. Joe isn’t a policy wonk but then neither is Donald. The popular vote will go to Joe; the electoral representation still is a tossup but maybe there will be enough old friends of Joe in the swing states to make the Electoral College moot.