As I promised, I’m going to expand on the question of the other candidates in the race to be the Democratic nominee. Past history would seem to indicate that only the top 5 polling candidates in the Democratic primary right now have a shot to take the nomination. That means Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris, and Buttigieg. The other 7 on the debate stage are: O’Rourke, Klobuchar, Castro, Steyer, Gabbard, Yang, and Booker. Beyond that list of 12, we have a few candidates who are still in the race, but who could seemingly drop out at any time. They include: Williamson, Messam, Bennet, Bullock, Delaney, and Ryan. Let’s take them one at a time.
- Williamson – I think she’s in no hurry to drop out. She’s got a built in base on support, so she will probably be able to stay in as long as she feels like it. Her supporters go to the women candidates or maybe Yang. Doubt she’ll endorse anyone.
- Messam – I’m surprised he hasn’t dropped out yet. I’m not sure he’ll move the needle, but I could seem him endorsing Booker, Harris or Mayor Pete if he wanted to go with a fellow mayor.
- Bennet – I think I read someplace that he’ll stay in until voting in Iowa at least. I think bad fundraising numbers could change that calculation, but let’s see. He won’t make the November stage and he’s an establishment guy, so I could see some pressure coming his way to drop out and endorse Biden. I think that’s where his supporters would go.
- Bullock – The governor said he’s going to take federal financing, so I guess he’s staying around. He’s got to be staying in the race in a long shot to fill Biden’s shoes if he collapses. Good VP candidate except that he’s pretty moderate. Not a great fit for Warren. Maybe Harris? If he drops out, his supporters go to Biden and I think he would endorse him. Filing for the Montana Senate race opens in January, so if he’s thinking of that as a backup plan, he’s got time.
- Delaney – He’s rich, so money isn’t an issue. It’s a vanity campaign, so I don’t think he’s in a hurry to leave. Still, since he’s a moderate, he could help Biden by dropping out and endorsing.
- Ryan – As another establishment candidate, I could see pressure on him to get out and focus on reelection to his House seat. He’s moderate, but also has a pro-worker focus. I think his supporters go to Biden. Maybe. I think he might be the next to drop out if he has terrible Q3 numbers.
While I’m at it, what about the other candidates? Are they all in until Iowa?
- Biden – yes
- Warren – yes
- Sanders – probably, but his health is a wild card here. If he wants to get out, it mostly helps Warren, but some of his supporters are in the demographics where Biden is strong.
- Buttigieg – yes
- Harris – yes. She frickin’ moved to Iowa after all.
- O’Rourke – yes.
- Yang – yes.
- Klobuchar – yes. She’s going to have enough money and she’s counting on a surprise third place finish in Iowa. Not gonna happen though.
- Booker – probably. Did well enough in his Q3 numbers and he’s in the next debate. If he makes the November debate, he’ll stick to Iowa and probably after. He needs to try and get to South Carolina. If he drops out, look for an endorsement of Warren. He’s a great fit as her VP.
- Steyer – probably. He’s rich and he’ll probably be in the November debate too. Impeachment is his issue and that’s going to be going strong into January.
- Gabbard – Maybe. I’m not sure of her financing numbers. She’s on the fringe of making the November debate. If she doesn’t, I think she’s done. Endorses Biden and hopes to be his VP.
- Castro – Maybe. I’m thinking he doesn’t have great Q3 numbers. He’s in the next debate, but he’ll be cautious about making waves after the debacle at the last debate. Probably not going to make the November debate and then he’s a candidate to drop out before Iowa. He endorses Warren and hopes to be her VP or in her cabinet.