The latest Emerson College poll for the 2020 California Democratic primary, conducted between Sept. 13 and Sept. 16, shows former Vice President Joe Biden and Vermont socialist Senator Bernie Sanders tied at 26%.
Senator Elizabeth Warren is next at 20%. Andrew Yang has leapt past Senator Kamala Harris, picking up 7% support. Kamala Harris is now at 6%, with Beto O’Rourke at 5% and Peter Buttigieg at 4%.
Only 3 Really Have a Chance
The 2020 Democratic primary challenges are months away, which is an eternity in political time, but these results pretty much confirm that the Democratic race is down to three candidates.
Harris is in big trouble in the 2020 Democratic primary. She is California’s senator as well as a former attorney general. That she can’t muster more than 7% of the vote in her home state suggests that the Democratic party doesn’t find her of much interest.
That leaves Biden, Sanders, and Warren as the Democratic party’s leading contenders.
Which of these three candidates has the best chance of winning the primary, and which has the best chance against President Donald Trump?
Joe Biden: The Comfortable Old Shoe
Joe Biden has a few things going for him in the 2020 Democratic primary. He’s like a comfortable old shoe, albeit one that has a few holes in it. He’s a known entity. He has 40% support from voters over age 50, according to the Emerson poll.
While he could hardly be called a centrist, he is certainly more moderate than either Warren or Sanders. That might actually prove to be a critical element in the election. If Democratic voters have any sense, they will put up the candidate who actually has the best chance to win.
That’s probably Joe Biden because Warren and Sanders are so far left.
For lukewarm Trump supporters, such as suburban mothers, they may be more enticed to vote for the most moderate Democratic candidate that can be proffered.
Joe Biden is probably best known for his repeated gaffes as opposed to any great policy he has instituted during his lifetime in politics.
Of the three candidates, his most appealing factor is that he is the least offensive and least radical. That may be enough to win him the nomination.
Most of the polls show Trump behind every one of the Democrat candidates, but that is typical at this stage of the election cycle. Trump would slaughter Biden in a debate but would have to be careful not to appear too aggressive or unhinged, lest that make Biden look more stable.
Thus, Biden probably has the best chance to win both the nomination and the election.
Bernie Sanders: The Grumpy Old Troll
Bernie Sanders might’ve had the best shot at winning in 2016. The Democratic primary process effectively robbed him of that opportunity. It feels as though his time has passed as we approach the 2020 Democratic primary.
He is popular with younger voters, picking up 34% of their support, according to the Emerson poll. Sanders is also supported by California’s Hispanic population, drawing 36% from that demographic.
Emerson’s poll also noted that 67% of Sanders supporters would be most likely to stick with him, the most of any candidate.
Sanders is appealing to many Democrats for the simple reason that his messaging has always been consistent. He is a socialist. He makes no apologies for it. He certainly seems to believe the things that he says. That may play well with people, but those policies are disastrous for America.
Otherwise, the only reason that Sanders is still in this race and is popular with younger people is because of the ongoing indoctrination of younger people by the left.
Younger people seem to have no clue about the historical dangers of socialism. Academic institutions across the country are loaded with leftist professors, feeding young minds with Marxist garbage.
The simple truth is that a lot of younger voters don’t seem to know any better. They don’t know what they don’t know, so consequently, they vote for Sanders.
He may also carry the sympathy of a number of voters who felt he got cheated in the last election primary cycle.
Sanders would have more of a struggle against Trump than Biden would. Trump will easily be able to paint Sanders as an out of touch grumpy old troll but will really be able to hammer him on the socialism angle.
Trump has always been very pro-capitalism and pro-America in his messaging.
This kind of messaging appeals to a lot of independents, who are more concerned about having a job and keeping their family safe. Because Sanders is an unabashed socialist, Trump could easily use this to point out all of the negative policies that Sanders would institute as a socialist president.
Elizabeth Warren: The Fauxcahontas Effect
Elizabeth Warren is not out of the race, and she has a lot of strong support from important demographics, including women for the 2020 Democratic primary race.
Warren is certainly the least qualified amongst the three, having spent very little time in the federal government and never having had executive experience. She cut her teeth as the so-called architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Her message is also radical, constantly finger-wagging at the rich and pressing an agenda that is effectively socialist.
In that regard, it feels like she is just riding Sanders’ coattails. She is also tied to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the rest of “the squad.” As their fortunes go, it seems likely hers will as well.
But back to that lack of experience….
One can argue that Obama was elected after barely serving in the Senate and not having any executive experience. Yet he was also facing a weak opposing candidate and the election was also a referendum on the ongoing Iraq war. That’s not the case this time around. Trump is a formidable foe, and wars are not on the public’s radar.
Warren has not had to face the kind of withering verbal and Twitter assaults that Trump directs at these opponents. From an optics standpoint, she will appear tiny and weak compared to Trump’s larger-than-life stature.
This is going to provide Trump with all kinds of ammunition.
It is also a very compelling argument for Trump to say, “Who do you want sitting across from Vladimir Putin? Me or Fauxcahontas?” That image is a killer.
Regardless, we are still a long way off from both the primary and the election. Anything can happen.