Since The Colgate Maroon-News’ last coverage of the 2020 election back in May, both a lot and nothing has happened in the race for the Democratic nomination for President.
Former Vice President Joe Biden spiked in the polls after his initial campaign announcement only to return back to his long-term average a month later. Senator Kamala Harris (CA)got a boost in the polls after slamming Biden for his record on race only to drop back down after getting criticized for her record as a prosecutor by Representative Tulsi Gabbard (HI). Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), despite having adequate debate performances so far, has been continuously hovering around 16 percent in the polls. In fact, the only notable change has been the gradual rise of Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA), who is now effectively tied with Sanders in the polls.
This lack of significant change is evident in more long-term polling. On December 9 2018, the Real Clear Politics poll average had Biden at 29 percent followed by Sanders at 17.7, Warren at 6 and Harris at 5.3. As of August 2, the average had Biden at 28.9, Sanders at 17.1, Warren at 16.5 and Harris at 7.
With the only major change in the past three months being Warren’s steady upward momentum, many now speculate that the third debate next week may be an opportunity for her to stand out and challenge Biden as the frontrunner. After all, it will be the first time Warren and Biden have been on stage together. However, there is reason to be skeptical of Warren suddenly overtaking Biden.
One of the most significant barriers to success that Warren faces is that she occupies the same lane as Sanders in terms of progressive policies. In the second debate when the two of them faced-off against lesser known moderates, they essentially acted as a far-left tag team when combating criticism for their extreme positions. While this worked out well at the time, Warren will have to distinguish herself if she hopes to get ahead and pull
voters from Sanders.
Thinking of the Democratic primary in terms of the general election, speculating from over a year out is effectively useless. Afterall, polls at this same point in the 2016 election showed that Hillary Clinton would easily defeat Trump in a general election. However, as a conservative who would pick Trump over nearly any of the Democratic candidates, I currently find myself at odds in terms of who I’d like to win the nomination and take on Trump.
If I had to pick one of the top Democratic candidates for President, I would have to go with Biden. After all, he is the most moderate of the candidates despite him effectively saying he would ban handguns by suggesting a ban on “magazines that can hold multiple bullets” this past week. However, if I had to pick any of the candidates who I’d want to go up against Trump, I’d take Warren.
From what I’ve seen, Warren gets easily flustered whenever she is given a difficult question, dismissing one question from a CNN moderator as a “Republican talking point” during the second debates. Trump would have a field day with her on a debate stage. Not to mention that she is as extreme as Sanders on most issues, including wanting to eliminate private health insurance, a position the majority of Americans and even a majority of Democratic voters oppose.
In short, I just don’t see Warren being the candidate to win back blue collar workers in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, let alone many key demographics within her own party, given that her career has been built on posturing as a woman of color. This is already evident in her failure to capture minority voters so far in the race, since her core comes from the same educated, wealthy and overwhelmingly white Americans that support Bernie. However, we still have a long way to go until 2020. If 2016 taught us anything it’s that presidential elections are often unpredictable.