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democratic nomination horse race, early june edition

2020 Dem Race Early June

From the Real Clear Politics running poll average. 

By now, you’ll know if someone big is running for president and the field is crowded. Right now, we have about 20 (!) declared candidates but the story is now coming into focus:

  • Biden is leading, with about 30% or so.
  • Sanders is in 2nd place, with 25% to 15%.
  • There is a second tier: Warren, Harris, and Buttigieg in the high single digits.
  • There is a fourth tier of candidates in the low single digits or less (!).
  • In state polls, some candidates do better. Warren does well in Massachussets and North Carolina, Harris a little better in South Carolina.

Social science commentary:

  • This is a win, so far, for the Party Decides/UCLA school model. Insiders with lots of elite party support are doing well. Trump style outsiders will likely remain a historical fluke.
  • Why is Biden leading? Guess: Incumbency and not going to the hard left.
  • Who is leaning for Biden? If you go through poll data, he does particularly well with African American survey respondents, which is consistent with the historical pattern of the African American vote leaning toward the incumbent.
  • Why is Sanders in 2nd? He’s probably got a lock on left progressive whites. Everyone else is splitting up the remaining vote.

Color commentary:

  • Biden is a historically bad presidential candidate, having dropped out early in 1988 and barely cracking 2% in 2008. My hunch is that mainstream Democrats just moved to the Nearest Incumbent after the Clinton faction racked up post 2016. He seriously owes Obama for this one.
  • Earlier, I thought that Harris had promise as she’d lock down California and maybe win one in South Carolina, where she is polling well. However, this assumes that there is a campaign left for her by that point and the answer may be no.
  • News sources have reported a Warren boost in the polls. As you can see above, it is real, but it is small and she has not broken away from the second tier. Her appeal, so for, is among progressive educated whites. That’s a real voting block, but there’s serious competition for it from other candidates.
  • Mayor Pete is back in the second tier. He had a short boost. His campaign probably resembles various short lived GOP candidates who got short term boosts based on personality, but lost out on fundamentals (e.g., Michelle Bachmann, Herman Cain, etc.)

Final comment: I have this hypothesis that Elizabeth Warren could have been president in 2016. There weren’t many competitors in 2016, she didn’t have the negatives that HRC had and the Democratic base seemed really interested. Now, in 2020, people still seem to like her, but she’s got insane levels of competition from a former VP and a hard left protest candidate.

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Written by fabiorojas

June 7, 2019 at 12:01 am

Posted in uncategorized

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