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Old 06-27-2019, 07:36 AM
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Your Democratic Primary Candidate Power Rankings: Post 'em here.


I already posted mine (as of yesterday) on another thread but didn't want to consume that thread with debates about my rankings, so I'll start a thread.

My rankings basically include data from the most recent five polls (as of 2 days ago) posted on the website 270towin.com and also Google Trends search data from about a 2 week period prior to the time of the most recent poll. No, I'm not a statistician and I already accept the hacking away at my, ahem, "methodology," some of which is really nothing more than my own fuzzy perceptions about the candidates and their campaigns. All of this is to say, it ain't no methodology. Just my thoughts.

Anyway, here it is. Again, as of 2-3 days ago so this is in the process of shifting as a result of last night's (and tonight's) debate:

1. Joe Biden (easily the front runner - for now)
2. Bernie Sanders
3. Elizabeth Warren (not far behind #2)
4. Kamala Harris
5. Pete Buttigieg
6. Andrew Yang (well behind #s 4 and 5)
7. Cory Booker (virtual tie with Yang)
8. Tulsi Gabbard
9. Kirsten Gillibrand
10. Amy Klobuchar
11. Julian Castro
12. Jay Inslee
13. Beto O'Rourke
14. Bill de Blasio
15. Michael Bennet
16. Marianne Williamson
17. Tim Ryan
18. John Delaney
19. John Hickenlooper
20. Eric Swalwell

As I noted earlier on that other thread, the four candidates who didn't qualify for the debates are not on this list. I simply don't see how they can legitimately be called contenders at this stage, even if Bullock and Gravel poll higher than Swalwell and Hickenlooper.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:46 AM
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...
19. John Hickenlooper
20. Eric Swalwell
A minor point: they are actually named "Swallooper" and "Hickenwell". I know no one has ever heard of them, but at least get the facts straight.
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Old 06-27-2019, 01:19 PM
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My take:

1. Joe Biden
2. Elizabeth Warren
3. Kamala Harris
4. Bernie Sanders
5. Julian Castro
6. Cory Booker
7. Beto O'Rourke
8. Pete Buttigieg
9. Amy Klobuchar
10. Kirsten Gillibrand
11. Tim Ryan
12. Tulsi Gabbard
13. Jay Inslee
14. John Delaney
15. Andrew Yang
16. John Hickenlooper
17. Eric Swalwell
18. Bill de Blasio
19. Michael Bennet
20. Marianne Williamson
21. Steve Bullock

This is all pending tonights debate.
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Old 07-02-2019, 02:45 PM
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My preliminary post-debate power rankings of the Dem field:

1. Joe Biden (rocked by Harris)

2. Kamala Harris (surging)

3. Bernie Sanders (stagnant)

4. Elizabeth Warren (surpassed by Harris)

5. Pete Buttigieg (left behind by Harris)

6. Andrew Yang (somehow right where he was last week)

7. Cory Booker (disappointingly, no real movement)

8. Tulsi Gabbard (no change)

9. Julian Castro (continues climbing)

10. Amy Klobuchar (no change, probably needs to hang it up)

11. Kirsten Gillibrand (once thought of as a possible contender, now no chance of winning)

12. Bill De Blasio (slight improvement but too little, too late)

13. Tim Ryan: Despite what was thought to be a bad debate performance, he actually climbed 4 spots, which suggests maybe his moderate talking points found an audience. No chance of winning of course, but that's beside the point

14. John Delaney: Delaney also climbed 4 spots, also notably as another moderate. Also no chance of winning.

15. Beto O'Rourke (continues to drop to the bottom like a rock in a lake)

16. Marianne Williams (entertaining but not a serious candidate)

17. Eric Swalwell (no longer in last place)

18. Jay Inslee: Probably the most disappointing post-debate performer in terms of interest, considering how many people viewed favorably his debate performance. What it means is that he can continue to do well in debates and it probably won't matter.

19. Michael Bennet: Similar to Inslee, he could continue to debate well and it won't matter. There are probably too many middle-age and elderly white men in the race.

20. John Hickenlooper: Absolutely dead in the water, and I reached this conclusion even before news broke about his campaign staff breaking up with him.
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Old 07-05-2019, 04:10 PM
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Updated with more complete polling and trends data since the debates:

1. Kamala Harris
2. Joe Biden
3. Bernie Sanders
4. Elizabeth Warren
5. Pete Buttigieg
6. Andrew Yang
7. Tulsi Gabbard
8. Julian Castro
9. Cory Booker
10. Amy Klobuchar
11. Marianne Williamson
12. Beto O'Rourke
13. Kirsten Gillibrand
14. Michael Bennet
15. Jay Inslee
16. John Delaney
17. Bill De Blasio
18. Eric Swalwell
19. John Hickenlooper
20. Tim Ryan
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Old 07-05-2019, 08:37 PM
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The bottom 8 or so really need to hang it up and pursue other options.

Beto should run for Sen. John Cornyn's seat. He'd easily be the most well known democrat in the race and he's sure to be near the top of the VP list for any of the women if they get the nomination (him and Buttigieg).

Like his advisers told him, Hickenlooper should be running against Cory Gardner for that senate seat.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:26 AM
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I have slightly changed my methodology, which factors Google search trends but relies less on that data. The idea is that polling gets a lot of weight but that Search can separate data may be used to separate two or more candidates clustered together in the polls.

My new power rankings are as follows:

1. Joe Biden
2. Elizabeth Warren
3. Kamala Harris
4. Bernie Sanders
5. Pete Buttigieg
6. Cory Booker
7. Beto O'Rourke*
8. Andrew Yang
9. Tulsi Gabbard
10. Julian Castro
11. Amy Klobuchar
12. Steve Bullock
13. John Hickenlooper
14. Marianne Williamson
15. Jay Inslee
16. John Delaney
17. Bill De Blasio
18. Michael Bennet
19. Kirsten Gillibrand
20. Mike Gravel
21. Tim Ryan
22. Tom Steyer
23. Joe Sestak
24. Seth Moulton
25. Wayne Messam

* Special note about Beto O'Rourke. Beto's full name doesn't seem to register in Google Search relative to other candidates, possibly because of confusion over the spelling. It's worth mentioning that O'Rourke benefited from the new methodology which favors his polling. Still, he's very much a long shot at this point. Way behind the rest of the field, but perhaps not quite scraping the floor either.

Last edited by asahi; 07-12-2019 at 10:29 AM.
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Old 07-12-2019, 11:12 AM
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The only reason O'Rourke isn't scraping the floor is that there's a very thick layer of other floor-scrapers underneath him. He's down on his hands and knees with a painter's spatula; he just can't find any spot of floor that hasn't already been scraped.
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Old 07-12-2019, 06:49 PM
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Kind of impressive Steve Bullock is #12.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:15 PM
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Kind of impressive Steve Bullock is #12.
If he could get to 2% in polling, that would probably put him at #8 behind O'Rourke. But it's not as easy as it looks. For the vast majority of this insanely large field, the polls themselves are generally pretty stable. You don't see Castro moving much beyond 1% in the polls despite being a consensus member of the debate 'winners'. You don't see O'Rourke moving up much. Stagnation is even a problem for Sanders, a top tier candidate. Right now, the race is really down to about 4 people, and one of those four, Sanders, can't seem to move forward, and doesn't appear to have much of a path either. This may not change much until some candidates drop out early, and that assumes nobody else jumps right in.

Last edited by asahi; 07-12-2019 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 07-20-2019, 12:08 PM
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Updated based on the three most recent polls that came out this week and also the Google search trends.

1. Joe Biden
2. Bernie Sanders
3. Elizabeth Warren
4. Kamala Harris
5. Pete Buttigieg
6. Beto O'Rourke
7. Cory Booker
8. Andrew Yang
9. Tom Steyer (not joking)
10. Michael Bennet
11. Amy Klobuchar
12. Julian Castro
13. Bill De Blasio
14. Tulsi Gabbard
15. Steve Bullock
16. Tim Ryan
17. Kirsten Gillibrand
18. John Hickenlooper
19. Marianne Williamson
20. John Delaney
21. Mike Gravel
22. Jay Inslee
23. Seth Moulton
24. Joe Sestak
25. Wayne Messam

A few notes...

The Top Five:
The big story is that Joe Biden appears to have recovered from his mauling at the hands of Kamala Harris. Conversely, it appears that Harris has now dropped back down to the fourth place slot, just a little bit behind Sanders and Warren.

Sanders and Warren are neck and neck, and it'll be interesting to see if these two liberal titans tangle at the upcoming debate, which they will undoubtedly headline. This could be Warrens chance to separate herself from Sanders; OTOH, she may end up feeling the Bern.

Buttigieg is still well behind the top four, but he's holding steady and he's raking in the contributions. He'll need to start making that money work for him though.

The rest of the top 10:
Beto O'Rourke may not be dead just yet. Still a long shot candidate and apparently suffering a severe downturn in Q2 fundraising, he is still benefiting from his name recognition just enough to remain relevant. Just behind O'Rourke (you could argue they're tied) is Cory Booker, who is still struggling to rise above 3 percent in the polls and never seemed to benefit from his first debate performance, which was considered fairly strong according to some observers.

Meanwhile, enter the leader of the impeach Trump movement and all around billionaire showboat Tom Steyer, who has already registered at 1 percent in the only poll that included his name and who has also pledged to spend up to $100 million of his own money on this campaign. That would easily enable him to remain in the race as long as he wants, whether he appears in any of the summer debates or not.

In danger of being pushed out of the race:

Wayne Messam
Joe Sestak
Seth Moulton
Jay Inslee*
Mike Gravel
Marianne Williamson
John Hickenlooper (getting delusional now)**
Tim Ryan
Bill De Blasio
Julian Castro*

* Inslee and Castro, I can't think of two people who benefited less from positive exposure during the debates. These are two candidates who were thought to have broken out during their first debate (especially Castro) and who just have never been able to move up in the polls. There's just apparently way too much action going on with the candidates above them, and I don't see this changing much. Worse, neither candidate appears to have the kinds of funding that can give them the endurance they need to build their name recognition over the next few months. It's pretty much already over for them.

Speaking of already over, how do you not have money, not move up in the polls, not have some of your original key campaign strategists and still find the resolve to press forward with a campaign to nowhere. Sure, Hickenlooper has time to quit his presidential adventure and run for Senate, but I just hope he doesn't turn himself into a complete laughing stock by then.
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Old 07-23-2019, 10:13 PM
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Most of the answers here are pretty close together so I'll just list tiers:

1) Biden, Sanders, Warren, Harris- candidates who have a good chance to win

2) Buttigieg, Booker- candidates polling a little better in early states who could have an Edwards 2004-level surprise showing and be a contender and plausibly win the nomination.

3) Yang, Castro, O'Rourke, Inslee- candidates who are capable of doing better a few months from now than they are at present time, but would need really good luck to get much further. But I do see these four as the most likely to hang around longer than expected and get more delegates than expected.

4) everyone else.
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Old 07-28-2019, 09:15 AM
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As we approach the upcoming debates, here are my latest power rankings:

1. Biden (solid #1 again)
2. Sanders
3. Warren
4. Harris (slowly backsliding)
5. Buttigieg (seems stuck)
6. Yang (back to #6)
7. O'Rourke
8. Booker
9. Klobuchar
10. Castro
11. Steyer (made a big splash, but now buried in the pile)
12. Gabbard (once keeping up with Yang, now fading, possibly for good)
13. Bill De Blasio (expect him to swing for the fences at the debates)
14. Bullock
15. Delaney
16. Gillibrand (It's over, girlfriend)
17. Hickenlooper (zombie campaign)
18. Ryan (I expect him to drop out after the debate)
19. Williamson (enjoy her wackiness while we can)
20. Gravel
21. Messam (Let's congratulate him on no longer being dead last)
22. Bennet (How embarrassing is this?)
23. Inslee (Not as embarrassing as this!)
24. Moulton
25. Sestak (From next to last, to last)
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:12 AM
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Yeah, Biden very solid one.

Sanders consistent stuck to gradual decline puts him in forth not second. Warren is two. Her steady growth is impressive. Harris three. And may drop unless she proves she has other strong cards to play.

The drop off from Sanders to Buttigieg is then pretty dang big. And after that none have enough to measure as outside ambient noise levels.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:19 AM
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Fox News Poll has Biden & Sanders beating Trump in the General Election. Warren & Harris only losing by 1. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

I would leave Sanders in the #2 position right now.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:21 AM
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Yeah, Biden very solid one.

Sanders consistent stuck to gradual decline puts him in forth not second. Warren is two. Her steady growth is impressive. Harris three. And may drop unless she proves she has other strong cards to play.

The drop off from Sanders to Buttigieg is then pretty dang big. And after that none have enough to measure as outside ambient noise levels.
I basically agree. My only minor disagreement - very minor - is with regard to Sanders. I would definitely agree that Warren and Harris both have a potentially higher ceiling than Sanders, but his most recent polling average (3 most recent nat'l polls) is actually slightly better than Warren's, even if just by a hair. It's also worth mentioning that Sanders' campaign is financially loaded. They're going to be with us for a while, much to the chagrin of the 'real' Democrats.

I concur completely that once you get past Sanders/Warren/Harris, the drop off is pretty significant. Although Harris did not remain in the top 3 for long, one thing her debate performance did accomplish was separation from Buttigieg and it has made her a more serious challenger. And if you had told her campaign that this is the position she'd be in a month after the first debate, I'm sure they'd have no problem with that. It's really Buttigieg who is failing to deliver bang for the donation buck - lots of contributions but still basically stuck at 5%.

The bottom 10-12 candidates will move around a lot in terms of the power rankings, but that's only because they're all stuck at the bottom of the barrel. Even a slight bump in polling or Google Search trends could result in, say, a number 20 leapfrogging his/her way to number 15 or higher. Once you get past, say, Booker or Klobuchar, there's really not much hope for the rest of the field.
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Old 07-28-2019, 10:25 AM
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Fox News Poll has Biden & Sanders beating Trump in the General Election. Warren & Harris only losing by 1. https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

I would leave Sanders in the #2 position right now.
Sanders is also number two if you average the three most recent polls (unless there's a poll I overlooked, which is possible). In reality, Sanders and Warren are probably tied. I'd also give Warren the edge in terms of having room for future growth. But for now, the Sanders machine has him at number 2 in my book.

As for candidates like Klobuchar, Booker, Castro and Beto, I think Andrew Yang is your measuring stick. I mean, if you're these candidates, your campaign has to be telling you "We've got to get past Yang. We can't be polling lower than the free money for all, 4chan meme guy." And right now, they're not.
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Old 07-28-2019, 11:35 AM
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Agree that if you’re not polling better than Yang it’s time to go home.

After having first place staying power, I think “power” has to factor current polling average but less so than consistent growth in numbers and ceiling.

Sanders still polls well but is stagnant to dropping well below a ceiling that is low in the first place. And this despite his flush funds. That’s a much weaker hand than polling alone suggests.

Warren has steady growth whatever the news cycle. That’s a power multiplier.

Harris had a good bump into second tier but is fading from it. That makes her much less power than Warren. But her ceiling is much higher than Sanders’ and she might have strong new cards to reveal at debate two. That is much more potential than Sanders has.

Or at so goes my analysis!
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:16 AM
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If you look at Q2 funding and the "burn rate" as reported by 538, it's likely that this week is "now or never" time for certain candidates.

https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com...undraising-q2/

The candidates who are financially constrained include:

Joe Sestak
Seth Moulton
Jay Inslee
Mike Gravel
Marianne Williamson
Tim Ryan
John Hickenlooper
Bill De Blasio
Julio Castro
Andrew Yang

Of those listed, I expect the current officeholders who are up for re-election to drop out first, as they'll presumably want time to prepare for their re-election campaign. Many probably won't qualify for the September debates, so it simply won't make sense to continue. A few candidates, such as Gravel, Messam, or Williamson, might be content to run activist campaigns but won't get much attention. Yang has a rabid cult-like following and he has proven adept at using social media to build the kind of campaign that might hover around 1-2% for a while, so even though he's cash poor, he might still survive for a time.

However, overall, the field of real contenders will get much smaller after this week.

Last edited by asahi; 07-29-2019 at 08:18 AM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:47 AM
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And today’s YouGov supports my case with Warren continuing her climb.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:24 AM
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And today’s YouGov supports my case with Warren continuing her climb.
There's a YouGov poll that's under "Added today" in 538's Latest Polls page which has Warren at 23%. But the dates it was in the field were July 3-14.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:43 AM
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I had not noticed that. Good pick up. Nevertheless the result is consistent with her power rating being number two. And Sanders not.

The link also shows a breakdown by group. Biden has huge strength in particular with Black women. Warren not. She needs to better connect with those voters by after NH to have a real shot.
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Old 07-29-2019, 11:45 AM
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I had not noticed that. Good pick up. Nevertheless the result is consistent with her power rating being number two. And Sanders not.
I agree with you there.
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The link also shows a breakdown by group. Biden has huge strength in particular with Black women. Warren not. She needs to better connect with those voters by after NH to have a real shot.
The order of the early primaries is IA, NH, NV, SC, and then Super Tuesday. So the field's going to be narrowed quite a bit before the African-American vote will be a factor. And so much will depend on who's still in the game by SC.

You've got a couple of things going on. One is that polling I've seen shows that for voters whose first choice is Warren, their second choice is Harris - and vice versa.

The other is that if Harris wins one of those first three states, she's liable to win most of the black vote in SC and beyond. And if she wins most of the black vote in SC, she probably wins SC, and Warren's support in the Super Tuesday states starts gravitating towards Harris. She'd be pretty hard to stop after that.

But of course there's no guarantee that Harris breaks through in one of the first three states. In which case it likely comes down to Biden v. Warren. And she's got plenty of time to wrap around Biden's neck the combination of the 2005 Bankruptcy Act and the bank deregulation in general that was Biden's forte, and the wave of foreclosures in the Great Recession when blacks lost their homes and savings in way greater numbers than whites.
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:52 PM
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We do have a few things going on.

Like that second choice bit. You may be thinking of the MC poll question and yes the most common second choice for Warren supporters is Harris - at 30%. But the Sanders and Biden split a good chunk at 19 and 17% each. IOW 70% of Warren supporters don't have Harris as their second choice and more would choose one of the other top contenders. It is a more pronounced circumstance for Harris supporters who would indeed choose Warren most frequently at 28% but with Biden right there at 26%.

Yes what happens in Iowa and NH are key to what follows. If Biden wins both, well you have been pretty consistent in pointing out how predictive not winning either of those (when both are in play) is. I'll challenge that position of yours some with the proviso that a win that is way below expectations and a second place by Warren or Harris that far exceeds expectations, may allow them to live to fight on, but if he wins both without disappointing the polls dramatically, then he cruises into a blowout in SC and a near run of the table on Super Tuesday. Even a Harris win in Nevada (should be doable) would not impact that.

Of the two a Harris win in one of those two is more damaging to Biden. But Warren still is his more powerful adversary.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:55 AM
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Of the two a Harris win in one of those two is more damaging to Biden. But Warren still is his more powerful adversary.
I hope so, since I'm pretty solidly a Warren fan at this point.
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Old 08-08-2019, 07:01 AM
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Probably not a lot of surprises in this latest edition, but here are my latest power rankings:

1. Joe Biden (dominant front-runner again)

2. Elizabeth Warren (solidifying #2 status, gradually moving past Bernie)

3. Bernie Sanders (steady support but no path forward)

4. Kamala Harris (continues to slide, perhaps no longer top-tier)

5. Pete Buttigieg (hasn't moved up at all despite loads of fundraising)

6. Cory Booker (quietly had a good week post-debate)

7. Beto O'Rourke (getting more attention from El Paso shootings than anything else)

8. Andrew Yang (despite internet search interest, not much movement in polling)

9. Tulsi Gabbard (ditto the above)

10. Julian Castro (in the top ten at least)

11. Amy Klobuchar (same position she's been in the last few months)

12. Marianne Williamson (2nd debate star, but not much to show for it)

13. Tim Ryan (some attention post Dayton shooting, may rise a little)

14. Kirsten Gillibrand (needs to quit)

15. Tom Steyer (a big splash when he entered, but barely a peep since)

16. Steve Bullock (no chance, needs to know this)

17. John Delaney (easily the biggest loser of the 2nd debate)

18. Jay Inslee (can't believe this guy isn't getting more attention, but it's over)

19. Michael Bennet (no chance, needs to drop out)

20. John Hickenlooper (delusional, potentially hurting his chances in a senate race)

21. Bill De Blasio (no chance, needs to quit)

22. Wayne Messam (Still here?)

23. Seth Moulton (needs a cool nickname: "Smokin" Seth Moulton!)

24. Joe Sestak (???)
  #27  
Old 08-14-2019, 06:12 PM
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Since 538 doesn't publish an average for the Democratic primary contenders, and since RCP's average is so primitive, I've decided to create my own, which I'm intending to update on an occasional basis, using a consistent methodology. This thread seems like as appropriate a place as any.

Since polls are supposed to be snapshots, the polls in my current average only include national polls taken entirely since the debates at the end of July. As we get further away from the debates, I'm going to have to have some cutoff for how far back I'll reach to include a poll, but I haven't made any decisions on that yet.

My starting point is the Democratic primary polls at 538. For polls since the last debates, I only consider national polls by a pollster rated in the A-B-C range, and only the most recent national poll by a given pollster. If they release two or more sets of numbers for a poll, I take the highest-quality one, with LV > RV > V > A.

But here's the key: I weight by 538's letter grade for a pollster. Ignoring the plus and minus signs, I have a 5-3-1 weighting scheme: 'A'-rated pollsters count 5 times as much as a C-rated pollster, and B-rated pollsters count 3 times as much as a C-rated pollster.

Right now, there are 8 pollsters who show up in 538's latest polls as having polled the Dem primary field since the last debates: two A-rated pollsters (Survey USA and Quinnipiac), four B-rated pollsters (YouGov(8/10-13), Morning Consult(8/5/11), Ipsos, and Public Policy Polling), and two C-rated pollsters (Change Research and HarrisX(8/11-14)).

So taking Biden's numbers as an example: the two 'A' pollsters have him at 33 and 32, the four 'B' pollsters have him at 36, 33, 25, and 21, and the two 'C' pollsters have him at 29 and 23. So Biden's weighted average is [5*(33+32) + 3*(36+33+25+21) +1*(29+23)]/[5*2 + 3*4 + 1*2] = 30.0833, which I round to the nearest tenth of a percent, or 30.1.

So here are the current averages:

Biden 30.1
Sanders 17.1
Warren 17.0
Harris 8.2
Buttiegieg 5.6
O'Rourke 2.6
Everyone Else < 2.0
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Old 08-15-2019, 07:27 PM
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So here are the current averages:

Biden 30.1
Sanders 17.1
Warren 17.0
Harris 8.2
Buttiegieg 5.6
O'Rourke 2.6
Everyone Else < 2.0
Well, it didn't take long for a new poll to shake things up a bit: a new Fox News poll (their pollster's got an A rating) just dropped, and it's got Biden 31, Warren 20, Bernie 10. Plus HarrisX's daily update was slightly favorable to Warren, though since it's a C-rated poll, it didn't move the needle much.

Anyhow, new numbers:

Biden 30.2
Warren 17.6
Sanders 15.9
Harris 8.2
Buttiegieg 5.1
O'Rourke 2.5
Booker 2.1
Everyone Else < 2.0

I've decided what I'll do about phasing out older polls: once the midpoint of the time a poll was in the field is more than two weeks ago, it'll drop from the average. So for instance Survey USA and Quinnipiac were both in the field from Aug. 1-5, midpoint 8/3. So on 8/17, they'll still be part of the average, but on Sunday 8/18, they disappear.

I should really have a way to phase them out gradually, maybe by reducing their weight each day until hit hits zero, but that's more complicated than I'm ready to make this.
  #29  
Old 08-17-2019, 08:11 PM
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One last update before the SurveyUSA and Quinnipiac polls drop off at midnight, per my previous post: we had a new Pew poll (rated B- by 538, much to my surprise, maybe horse race polls aren't their strong suit) and the daily HarrisX update which didn't change much.

The changes from two days ago are pretty minor:

Biden 29.8
Warren 17.4
Sanders 15.6
Harris 8.4
Buttiegieg 5.2
O'Rourke 2.3
Booker 2.0
Everyone Else < 2.0
  #30  
Old 08-17-2019, 09:01 PM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
One last update before the SurveyUSA and Quinnipiac polls drop off at midnight, per my previous post: we had a new Pew poll (rated B- by 538, much to my surprise, maybe horse race polls aren't their strong suit) and the daily HarrisX update which didn't change much.

The changes from two days ago are pretty minor:

Biden 29.8
Warren 17.4
Sanders 15.6
Harris 8.4
Buttiegieg 5.2
O'Rourke 2.3
Booker 2.0
Everyone Else < 2.0
Looks like a pretty solid list and solid rankings to me.
  #31  
Old 08-18-2019, 11:00 AM
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Looking at the dates on the various polls, several of them are now outdated by my 'two weeks since the midpoint of when they were in the field' rule: not just A-rated Survey USA and Quinnipiac, but B-rated Ipsos and Public Policy Polling, and C-rated Change Research.

Without them, it's not all that different, though Biden and Sanders come in slightly lower now.

Biden 28.1
Warren 17.5
Sanders 14.0
Harris 8.7
Buttiegieg 4.3
O'Rourke 2.7
Booker 2.3
Everyone Else < 2.0

The polls that are still current enough that I'm using them, FWIW, are A-rated Fox News, B-rated YouGov, Morning Consult, and Pew, and C-rated HarrisX (August 13-16 vintage).
  #32  
Old 08-18-2019, 11:47 AM
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How are you accounting for state-level primary issues, RT? I defer to your expertise in statistical analysis - I'm good but I know you're better - but using national-level polls can't really be indicative of the eventual outcome, can it? Using 538's state-level stuff we see kind of a different - at least slightly - story in Iowa. And that can impact the other three early ones.

For example, here in South Carolina, at the state level Biden's up big. But if he underperforms - even with a win - in Iowa that support could decay very quickly.
  #33  
Old 08-18-2019, 12:29 PM
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I don’t see RTF’s numbers as a power rating per se so much as a good measure of one line of information.

“Power” has to heavily weight Iowa’s numbers, then other early states, followed by the long term strength in the numbers and directionality (Sanders floating down over time means that a same number is weaker than Warren on the slow long term rise), on the ground organization that will get voters to the polls and caucuses, and likely ceiling of support. Maybe even add in the strength within various voter demographics. (Clinton’s relative popularity within Southern Black voters doomed Sanders.)

The national popularity contest metric is nice to have in a more meaningful form but likely matters less on its own than the others do.
  #34  
Old 08-18-2019, 08:05 PM
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How are you accounting for state-level primary issues, RT? I defer to your expertise in statistical analysis - I'm good but I know you're better - but using national-level polls can't really be indicative of the eventual outcome, can it? Using 538's state-level stuff we see kind of a different - at least slightly - story in Iowa. And that can impact the other three early ones.

For example, here in South Carolina, at the state level Biden's up big. But if he underperforms - even with a win - in Iowa that support could decay very quickly.
If I thought I knew enough to try to include state-level primary polls, I'd give it a shot. But I'd barely have a clue on how to do that.

Like I said, I'm doing something pretty limited - producing a weighted average of candidates' standing in national polls - because (a) I know I can produce a much better average than what RCP is doing, and (b) 538, which could surely produce a better average than mine, isn't making theirs public if they're doing one at all.

Like DSeid said, it's a good measure of one line of information. And I'm not claiming it's any more than that.

What I can claim about it is that, whatever its pluses and minuses, it's not in any way a reflection of my moods and biases, which I have in the usual supply. I've set down the rules for which polls I'm including, and how I'm weighting them. I think I've done so clearly enough that anyone so inclined could replicate my work, and come up with the same averages for each of the candidates.
  #35  
Old 08-21-2019, 08:17 PM
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Since Sunday, we have a new CNN poll, and I dropped Pew off because I probably never should have included them in the first place: their poll was in the field from July 22 - August 4, so by my 'two weeks past the midpoint' rule, I should have dropped them by August 12, which was before they even showed up at 538. Also, we have weekly updates from Morning Consult and YouGov, and daily updates as always from HarrisX. (Current polls: A-rated CNN and Fox News, B-rated Morning Consult and YouGov, and C-rated HarrisX.)

The numbers:

Biden 28.6
Warren 16.2
Sanders 15.2
Harris 7.2
Buttiegieg 4.7
O'Rourke 2.7
Booker 2.5
Yang 2.0
Everyone Else < 2.0


FWIW, I think Wednesday will be my regular day for updating the averages. Since the new numbers of Morning Consult and YouGov, which update weekly, usually show up on Tuesday and Wednesday, and other polls (excepting HarrisX) update much less frequently, Wednesday seems to make the most sense for that. I'll update in between if there seems to be a good enough reason for it.
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  #36  
Old 08-27-2019, 05:37 AM
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Numbers at sites like Predictwise or Betfair may be more useful than raw polling numbers, since predictable trends are already factored in. Here are the latest odds from Predictwise:

Democratic Nomination
32% Warren
23% Biden
13% Sanders
10% Harris
6% Buttigieg
4% Yang
2% Booker
(1% each - several)
Democratic Control, 2021
72% House of Reps
52% White House
32% Senate
Betfair numbers are close enough to Predictwise's that I won't show them separately. However they also quote Next Pres odds. We might expect these to be half the nomination chance. But in fact Harris is unlikely to win if nominated, while Yang is likelier than even-money, if nominated. — Misleading since Yang's popularity in primary and general will be correlated.

Last edited by septimus; 08-27-2019 at 05:41 AM. Reason: Posted prematurely. (What key causes that?)
  #37  
Old 08-28-2019, 04:32 AM
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Originally Posted by RTFirefly View Post
Since 538 doesn't publish an average for the Democratic primary contenders, and since RCP's average is so primitive, I've decided to create my own, which I'm intending to update on an occasional basis, using a consistent methodology. This thread seems like as appropriate a place as any.

Since polls are supposed to be snapshots, the polls in my current average only include national polls taken entirely since the debates at the end of July. As we get further away from the debates, I'm going to have to have some cutoff for how far back I'll reach to include a poll, but I haven't made any decisions on that yet.

My starting point is the Democratic primary polls at 538. For polls since the last debates, I only consider national polls by a pollster rated in the A-B-C range, and only the most recent national poll by a given pollster. If they release two or more sets of numbers for a poll, I take the highest-quality one, with LV > RV > V > A.

But here's the key: I weight by 538's letter grade for a pollster. Ignoring the plus and minus signs, I have a 5-3-1 weighting scheme: 'A'-rated pollsters count 5 times as much as a C-rated pollster, and B-rated pollsters count 3 times as much as a C-rated pollster.

Right now, there are 8 pollsters who show up in 538's latest polls as having polled the Dem primary field since the last debates: two A-rated pollsters (Survey USA and Quinnipiac), four B-rated pollsters (YouGov(8/10-13), Morning Consult(8/5/11), Ipsos, and Public Policy Polling), and two C-rated pollsters (Change Research and HarrisX(8/11-14)).

So taking Biden's numbers as an example: the two 'A' pollsters have him at 33 and 32, the four 'B' pollsters have him at 36, 33, 25, and 21, and the two 'C' pollsters have him at 29 and 23. So Biden's weighted average is [5*(33+32) + 3*(36+33+25+21) +1*(29+23)]/[5*2 + 3*4 + 1*2] = 30.0833, which I round to the nearest tenth of a percent, or 30.1.

So here are the current averages:

Biden 30.1
Sanders 17.1
Warren 17.0
Harris 8.2
Buttiegieg 5.6
O'Rourke 2.6
Everyone Else < 2.0

This is very cool, although I think it would be even better if you used a numerical scale that accounted for pluses and minuses.
  #38  
Old 08-28-2019, 04:39 AM
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Missed edit window.

I noticed in RTF’s latest version, Beto and Pete are closer to each other than Pete is to the candidate above him. So they should either be both considered part of the top group or both not.
  #39  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:51 AM
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This is very cool, although I think it would be even better if you used a numerical scale that accounted for pluses and minuses.
Thanks!

Yeah, I considered a number of improvements, but I had to make it simple enough that updating the spreadsheet wouldn't be too much of a PITA. After all, I'm doing this in my copious spare time.

Improvements I'd do if this was my day job:

1) Take the pluses and minuses into account, as you suggest.
2) Factor sample size into the weighting. (Up to a point, anyway - what to do about Morning Consult's ~17,000 sample size?)
3) Downweight older polls gradually, rather than dropping them off abruptly after two weeks.

None of these improvements will be forthcoming. Sorry about that.
  #40  
Old 08-28-2019, 08:56 AM
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I'm gonna hold off on this week's update until tomorrow morning, because today is the last day for releasing polls that could make a difference in who qualifies for the September debate, so we'll probably see at least a few new polls today. (We've already had two new ones today from Quinnipiac and Suffolk.) Being a morning person , I figure it makes sense to wait and include any polls that are released after I go to bed tonight.
  #41  
Old 08-28-2019, 09:50 PM
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What the hell, it's pushing 10pm Eastern, and I've heard no rumors of expectations of any more polls. So here we go.

We have A-rated Monmouth, Quinnipiac, and CNN polls; B-rated Emerson, Suffolk, YouGov, and Morning Consult polls, and C-rated HarrisX, with the last three being updated at least weekly, and everything else except the CNN poll having been released in the past day or two. Since last week, the Fox News poll has been the only poll to drop off due to age.

The numbers:

Biden 28.5
Sanders 16.9
Warren 16.8
Harris 7.2
Buttigieg 4.7
Yang 2.5
Booker 2.3
O'Rourke 2.1
Everyone Else < 2.0
  #42  
Old 08-28-2019, 10:32 PM
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Fair enough!
  #43  
Old 08-28-2019, 11:34 PM
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Haven't had time to update this thread but cheers to RTF for breathing life into it. Seems like he's on top of it all. Can't really disagree with his rankings. Worth noting that Gillibrand dropped out. She was never a threat but she had a little more cash on hand than the other 1 percenters, so I wasn't sure she'd drop out immediately.

Strangely, I actually came away liking Gillibrand more than I thought I would. I think she has good character, and I don't think she has shit to apologize for re: Al Franken. I like her a lot more than I like Hickenlooper, and I say this as someone who gravitates more to the moderate/center-left than hard left.
  #44  
Old 09-04-2019, 06:54 PM
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Thanks, asahi!

It's Wednesday, so I'm back with this week's numbers. The A-rated CNN and Monmouth polls that were part of the average last week have aged out, and incoming, we have an A-rated IBD-TIPP poll and the C-rated Change Research folks are back. Continuing from last time, we have the A-rated Quinnipiac poll, the B-rated Emerson and Suffolk polls, and the most recent versions of our at-least-weekly group, the B-rated Morning Consult and YouGov polls and the C-rated HarrisX.

The numbers:

Biden 29.8
Warren 19.0
Sanders 16.0
Harris 6.8
Buttigieg 5.2
Yang 2.6
Booker 2.3
O'Rourke 1.4 (just so nobody will wonder if I left him out by accident)

Everyone else < 2.0.
  #45  
Old 09-04-2019, 07:16 PM
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Aside from the appropriately low-weighted C-rated polls (Change Research has Warren at 29 and Biden at 19, which I wish were true, but no it isn't), Biden's polls are all between 26 and 32; unlike when the Monmouth poll was in there, there's no one poll pulling him up or down, so he's about where he belongs right now.

Unless she gets some pretty bad new polls, Warren's numbers will likely go up even further next week, when Quinnipiac and particularly Suffolk and Emerson age out of my average: they have her at 19, 14, and 15, respectively. Chances are we'll only get one or two new polls to replace them, since everybody wanted to get their oar in by August 28, whether or not they counted towards debate qualification, while next week will be just another week. (Their disappearance, absent any new polls, would reduce both Biden's and Sanders' averages, but only by a fraction of a point each.)

Beto was at 0% in the new IBD poll, and that, on top of a 1% in the Q-poll, is what has him down below 2. When those three polls disappear, he'll still be well below 2%. Unless he makes on hell of a positive impression in the September debate, he really needs to think about that Senate race in Texas. Given where he started, he's really crashed and burned.

Same with Bullock and Montana, only more so - after all, (a) Bullock's down at 0.2%, having straight zeroes in all the polls in my average except 1% in the Q-poll, and (b) he won't have the opportunity of making an impression at the debate. Show us how you can win your red state, dude - we need every Senate seat we can get.
  #46  
Old 09-04-2019, 11:42 PM
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If at some point this spring it becomes clear that the nominee is going to be one of those top three (or for that matter any of the top six besides Harris), I’m going to have to basically just hide under my bed and peek at the results on November 4. I can’t handle the stomach-churning stress of watching a race between Trump and a bad Democratic nominee, and at this point at least it seems that nearly everyone in the primary electorate is determined to pick a bad one.

Last edited by SlackerInc; 09-04-2019 at 11:43 PM.
  #47  
Old 09-05-2019, 08:44 AM
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Very little change from nine days ago, but I'll save a click for those who agree with me that these numbers give a better view of the horse race.
Quote:
Originally Posted by septimus but edited today View Post
Here are the even more recent latest odds from Predictwise:

Democratic Nomination
33% 32% Warren
23% 23% Biden
13% 13% Sanders
11% 10% Harris
5% 6% Buttigieg
5% 4% Yang
2% 2% Booker
(1% each - several)
Democratic Control, 2021
72% 72% House of Reps
52% 52% White House
35% 32% Senate
I'll root for a Biden-Warren ticket. The two superstars, with Liz more than ready to step up if when Joe falters.
  #48  
Old 09-05-2019, 09:56 AM
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I'll just say here that we all have differing notions of who is a good or bad candidate, who is or isn't a superstar.
  #49  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:19 PM
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I'll just say here that we all have differing notions of who is a good or bad candidate, who is or isn't a superstar.

Ya think? If we didn’t, there would be no reason for me to despair, because all Democrats would all be in agreement about the candidates who are strongest. I’ll just note that from what I have been hearing on podcasts and on cable news while I am driving, the people who have actually run successful Democratic presidential campaigns in the past 40+ years seem to view the race as I do, even if they are more hesitant to say negative things about some of those in the top tier. They express concern about the sharp tack to the left that many have taken, see Biden as a weak frontrunner, and wonder why governors like Bullock are not getting more of a look.

Speaking of governors, I learned something yesterday that I consider highly unfair. Senators can transfer money from their Senate fundraising accounts directly into their presidential campaigns. But governors are not allowed to do that and must start from scratch. Which of course puts them at a severe disadvantage.
  #50  
Old 09-05-2019, 12:30 PM
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The front-runners in the polling are front-runners because they're doing a better job at campaigning than the rest of the contenders. That's why the primary is a good (but not perfect) test -- the ones who campaign the best will win. By definition. But it's still quite early, and there's plenty of time for a governor or Senator to break out. I think Booker is most likely, since he's the most naturally talented communicator of the bunch, IMO. But we'll see. Right now I feel fine about Warren and Sanders, and I'd be okay with a handful of others as well (Klobuchar, Booker, and Harris, most notably).

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 09-05-2019 at 12:31 PM.
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