I think we might be in a different world since the horrific shootings in El Paso and Dayton last weekend. A couple of candidates have shown up in the aftermath, so I thought it was time to update my rankings. 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.
- Elizabeth Warren – Staying steady. Senator Warren hasn’t done anything special since the last ranking, but I’m still a big fan, so she stays #1.
- Joe Biden – up 3 – The former VP does a good job with set pieces. He went after Trump hard in a speech this week. I want to see some more assertiveness from my candidate and he is, after all, the front runner with lots of support throughout the party. I’m still worried about the age and his ability to be quick on his feet in the debates. The September debates are going to tell a lot.
- Beto O’Rourke – previously out of the rankings – Didn’t waste his chance to make points after the shootings, but he did it with sincerity, rather than being calculated about it. I still see him as a VP candidate rather than in the top spot, but, for now, he’s earned my support.
- Julian Castro – Down 2 spots. I like him and he brings something to the overall debate. The tweet with Trump donors was, as the kids say, a baller move. Still think he’s a VP candidate, but I like what he’s been doing. I’ll probably donate in the next month or so to help him get on the next debate stage.
- Pete Buttigieg – up 1 spot. Has been solid in the aftermath of the shootings. Another VP candidate, but a bank shot away from being a serious contender for the top spot.
- Kamala Harris – down 3 spots. She’s just getting outpaced by some other candidates now. She’ll need a comeback at the next debate. Has a high ceiling, but I’d like to see her fine tune her message, instead of trying to walk the line between progressive and moderate.
- Cory Booker – down 3 spots. He’s in a good position to get some attention on the guns issue when it plays into his criminal justice and race issue focus.
- Bernie Sanders – down 1 spot. Bernie needs the gun issue to go away, because he has some baggage in this area. As long as Biden is viable and Warren is solid, Bernie has no shot.
- Amy Klobuchar – up 1 spot. She’ll be in the next debate and I’ve got her as the leader for Biden’s VP. Too many flaws for the top spot, though.
- Kirsten Gillibrand – down 2 spots. She’s probably not making the next stage. Not sure I see how she gets to Iowa. Also a contender for Biden’s VP.
Dropped out: – Andrew Yang