Top Ten Candidates for the Democratic Nomination – Post Debate, Pre-Thanksgiving Edition

Yeah, I know I said I’d do these rankings every two weeks and it’s been almost three, but sometimes you get busy, you know.  The big news in the horserace was the debate last week.  For more on that, see here and here.  Also, the impeachment hearings took up a lot of my television viewing time last week.  There’s been some polls showing Mayor Pete taking the lead in Iowa and New Hampshire.  Julian Castro didn’t make the debate stage.  And Michael Bloomberg and Deval Patrick have entered the race.

Not much has changed in my rankings.  The tiers are also about the same.  Tier 1 is Warren, Biden, Sanders and Buttigieg.  Tier 2 is Yang, Harris, Klobuchar and Booker.  I think I’ll just put everyone else in Tier 3, since none of them currently have a chance.  I guess that means a demotion of sorts for Julian Castro.  Although, I could possibly be talked into a special Tier 4 for Tulsi Gabbard, since it’s clear she isn’t really running for the Democratic Party nomination.

The big question will be who makes the debate stage in December.  Right now, there are six – Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, and Sanders.  Some of the others are close, but it seems certain one or two of Booker, Steyer, Yang, and Gabbard will not meet the prerequisites to get on the stage.

On to the rankings…

  1. Elizabeth Warren – Staying steady.  I had Warren in the top 3 of the debate and I think her performance there has gotten better in my mind in the last few days.  I’m a little more bearish on her chances to win the nomination, considering how things are playing out.  But she’s still top tier and will not be dropping out any time soon.
  2. Pete Buttigieg – staying steady.  I think Pete has a chance to generate some enthusiasm for his general election campaign.  Maybe more than any other candidate, including Warren or Bernie.  But he’s very…coached.  Prepared.  That’s good in a way, but also makes me think I’m not necessarily getting the real Pete.  Compared to Warren, who showed some real emotion in the last debate, he looks…less.  Still, after Warren, he’s the best option to go into November against Trump.
  3. Cory Booker – staying steady.  Cory hasn’t made the debate stage for December yet and that’s a problem for his viability.  He does great in the debates, but he’s just not connecting with voters.  If he doesn’t make the next debate stage, I’d like to see him endorse.  His only path to the VP is Warren, so drop out and endorse Elizabeth, Cory!
  4. Kamala Harris – staying steady.  Good debate.  I’d like to see more of this.  Still not seeing her in the top spot, but she’s got a high ceiling, so let’s see how December goes.
  5. Amy Klobuchar – up 3 spots.  She rubs me the wrong way, but she would be strong against Trump in the general.  I like how she has focused on female issues.  You know how, all things being equal, I’m voting for the female candidate.  That just might tip me to Klobuchar under the right circumstances.
  6. Andrew Yang – down 1 spot.  I still don’t see him in the top spot.  But we’re getting down to a group of candidates that I’ll vote for if they’re the nominee, but who don’t excite me.  He’s top of that group.
  7. Joe Biden – down one spot.  No need to repeat my criticisms of Joe.  Nothing has changed there.
  8. Bernie Sanders –  down 1 spot.  Bernie has some momentum.  And he’s not going away.  But, as I’ve said before, he’s too old for the job.  And I’m coming back to my previous problem with his candidacy.  His supporters.  They’re going to force him to stay in the race long past when he has a chance to win.  That will end up weakening the eventual nominee.
  9. Tom Steyer – up one spot.  We don’t need a billionaire as the nominee.  As billionaire’s go, though, he’s not terrible.  Good on climate change, in fact.
  10. Deval Patrick – new to list.  I have to put someone here and I’m not putting Tulsi Gabbard on the list.   Also, one billionaire on the list is enough, so no Michael Bloomberg.

Others: 11 – Michael Bloomberg, 12 – Tulsi Gabbard.

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