We’ve had both nights of the second debate of Democratic candidates to take on Trump in 2020. Remember, this list is based on my preference and not a ranking of the candidates based on their polling. This is who I want to be the candidate, that’s all. I’m going to offer some commentary this time as well.
- Elizabeth Warren – up 1 spot. Good two debates. Has the policy chops, good debater and a fighter. I worry about her replacement in the Senate being nominated by a Republican governor. I haven’t hidden that I think the top spot should be a woman. She’s also head and shoulders above all the candidates for me right now.
- Julian Castro – up 3 spots. Had another good debate. Has some good policy ideas. I like the fact that he’s all in on the decriminalization of border crossing and making it a leadership issue. He’s not going to wilt in the fact of Republican attack on immigration. I really like him as Warren’s VP if she gets the nomination.
- Kamala Harris – down 2 spots. Very uneven debate last night. She’s still one of the top three most likely to get the nomination imo.
- Cory Booker – first appearance in the ranking. Really good debate last night. He’s carved out some good space in the criminal justice reform arena.
- Joe Biden – down 1 spot. Joe is still the candidate most likely to take on Trump next November. He had a better debate this time around, but he’s just not a good debater. Not quick on his feet. I don’t know if this is an age thing or it’s just not his strength. He needs to know his own plans better.
- Pete Buttigieg – down 3 spots. He had a hard time finding his place in the moderates v. progressives night of the debates. I’m not sure I see him at the top of the ticket, but a good VP candidate for any of the women candidates.
- Bernie Sanders – up two spots. Bernie had a good debate. I like how he sticks to his principles. He uses the same lines over and over.
- Kirsten Gillibrand – down 1 spot. I think she’s probably not long for the race. Not sure she’s going to qualify for the next debate. She brings a good focus on women’s issues though. Might be a good VP candidate for Joe.
- Andrew Yang – first appearance in the ranking. Most improved from first to second debate. Not likely to be the nominee or the VP, but he’s bringing something to the debate.
- Amy Klobuchar – down 4 spots. She’s staking out the Midwest and moderate lanes as an alternative to Joe. If she can stick around, she’s a dark horse for the nomination.
Dropped out: – Beto O’Rourke; Steve Bullock