The Democratic Presidential primary field for the 2020 election is the largest in modern political history and it's not even fully set. When all is said and done, there will be a minimum of 23 major candidates vying for the opportunity to represent the Democratic Party in the national election against incumbent Donald Trump. Some of them have an inherent advantage due to their history and experience while others hope to use their youthfulness and experience outside of the beltway to their advantage. One thing is for certain though - no Democrat will be able to complain they don't have enough options to choose from this election cycle.
After the election of Donald Trump, the conventional wisdom that experience trumps (no pun intended) all else is thrown out the window. That is good news for the less experienced candidates, but I'd also take that with a grain of salt considering that Donald Trump was a household name long before the 2016 election.
With that in mind, I think it'd be fun to predict which candidates will make it deep into the primary and which ones won't. Due to the sheer number of candidates, I'm just going to put down the 5 candidates (in no particular order) that I think will make it the furthest in the primary.
1) Joe Biden2) Bernie Sanders3) Kamala Harris4) Cory Booker5) Elizabeth WarrenAs you can see, I am someone who tends to think that 2016 was an anomaly and that Democrats will select a well known (and tested) politician over taking a risk with a largely unknown and untested candidate. I may well be proven wrong (I sure was in 2016), so take my predictions with a grain of salt!
You do have Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris and Buttigieg polling in the top 5 right now, according to RealClearPolitics. Same for FiveThirtyEight.
I do see Biden and Sanders making it into what you could call the final four. My two candidates I'm most interested in don't have the best shots but I am hoping they make it as the other two - Andrew Yang and Tulsi Gabbard. Currently they are 11th and 12th in polling. But with things just about to kick off, I don't see either of them turning it in early. I think they outlast at the minimum half the crowd.
I think Buttigieg has staying power. But I do not think Booker or O'Rourke will be around in the end. Have my doubts about Harris as well. I think they will bow out fairly early compared to Biden and Sanders. But Warren, yeah she could be there close to the end.
That said, Gillibrand, Inslee, Ryan, Delaney, Hickenlooper and anyone else not even polling in the top 16 right now.. I think they will all be the first to go.
Biden and Sanders are the clear front-runners to me. So hard for others to differentiate themselves in this crowded field. I think a big part will be how Trump interacts with these candidates throughout and down the stretch. And how they respond to what will 100% be him dogging them. That will catapult some of others if they do well. And Trump will undoubtedly end of the others campaigns, sad to say. As they will appear weak and a bad candidate to run against him in the general.
I would say Biden and Sanders are the only locks. But I'm rooting for others.
Even after the norm-busting election of 2016, I have a hard time believing that a largely unknown candidate will be able to break through and win the nomination. President Trump may have been a political outsider, but no one can say they'd never heard of him before.
I'm predicting that a solid chunk of the candidates will drop out either shortly before or very quickly after Iowa holds its caucus and four to six or so "major" candidates will remain. I also think Senators Warren and Harris have the potential to pick off a lot of tepid Bernie voters from 2016 who may have voted for him in that years primary largely out of protest against Senator Clinton and not necessarily because they supported him.
Biden is the clear and unquestioned front-runner, but we won't really know how strong his support actually is until a handful of caucuses and primaries are held. He obviously has the name recognition and money to go deep into the primary, but only time will tell if Democratic voters think he's the best candidate to take on President Trump in the general.