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Old 06-20-2019, 08:09 AM
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At what point will the Dem field narrow?


Sorry if this would fit better in one of the many other threads, but I wondered what folk thought would be the timeline of winnowing process. What do we have now - 19 Dem candidates? When will it get down to 10? 5?

What are the factors/milestones that will cause the lowest rated to drop out? Fundraising targets? Debates? Iowa?
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:17 AM
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Super Tuesday will get it down to 2 or 3 plausible candidates, and maybe even the nominee, although there will still be hopefuls hanging on for a while longer. The bottom tier will drop out by the end of January, when they don't have the funds to campaign everywhere they need to.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:19 AM
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I suspect it will start to narrow after the first pair of debates. Maybe just a few will drop out, and then a handful more after the next set of debates.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:33 AM
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Oh - and for those of us non-junkies - would respondents please be kind enough to offer estimates as to when the events they suggest will occur?

Apologies, but off the top of my head, I don't know when Super Tuesday of the debates are scheduled to occur, and my lazy preference is not to have to google each response. Just "this fall", "next spring," or "February" would be specific enough.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:35 AM
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:50 AM
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I suspect it will start to narrow after the first pair of debates. Maybe just a few will drop out, and then a handful more after the next set of debates.
Yes, I think the debates will begin the winnowing process in earnest. Those few that haven't made the cut are likely to drop out fairly soon (that includes you, Governor Bullock, no matter how much you whine), and those that fail to make an impact during the first debate will likely follow suit. Standing out in a field of 20-ish won't be easy, particularly with the Bernie-and-Joe Show sucking the oxygen from the room, but those that can hold their own will likely still be around for the next round.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:57 AM
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:32 AM
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I suspect it will start to narrow after the first pair of debates. Maybe just a few will drop out, and then a handful more after the next set of debates.
There's also going to be some who basically give up and stop all campaign spending without officially ending their campaign.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:42 PM
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Typically Iowa and New Hampshire narrow the field a bit, but given NH's proximity to Vermont Bernie has such an inside track there it probably won't be dispositive. So, yeah, Super Tuesday will probably take things down to a manageable level.
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Old 06-20-2019, 01:56 PM
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California will be on Super Tuesday this time. It may be over that evening.
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:13 PM
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California will be on Super Tuesday this time. It may be over that evening.
Yes, Super Tuesday is massive this year. In addition to California, you have Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia. That's almost assuredly when most would drop out.

And then you have Michigan and Ohio (among others) the next week and Arizona, Florida, and Illinois after that. Georgia has moved it's primary up to March 24. The race should be all good and over by that point if it hasn't done so before.
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Old 06-20-2019, 03:21 PM
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In reality, it's already narrow, with only one candidate polling above 20% (Biden at 31%, actually), only two more (Sanders and Warren) polling above 10%, and only two (Buttigieg and Harris) more polling over 5%. Beyond that you have maybe two or three long shot candidates and the rest are just seeing what it's like to run for president. So the field is already narrow; it's just a matter of when 'seeing what it's like to run for president' becomes too expensive.
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:48 PM
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In reality, it's already narrow, with only one candidate polling above 20% (Biden at 31%, actually), only two more (Sanders and Warren) polling above 10%, and only two (Buttigieg and Harris) more polling over 5%. Beyond that you have maybe two or three long shot candidates and the rest are just seeing what it's like to run for president. So the field is already narrow; it's just a matter of when 'seeing what it's like to run for president' becomes too expensive.
Its worth noting that at this point in the republican primary for the 2008 election, the front runner was Giuliani (polling at ~26%) and #2 was Fred Thompson (~19%).

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Old 06-20-2019, 05:30 PM
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Caveat, what I'm talking about here is what the candidates call "suspending my campaign," not formally quitting and being pressured to give their contributions back.

Of the 24 (is it 24?) current candidates, you'll have maybe five drop out by the end of the year because no one knows their name and they can't raise money.

The Iowa caucus is Feb.3 and the New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. Anyone who finishes in the bottom five in both states will probably quit, because no one will care anymore.

Nevada is Feb. 22 and S. Carolina is Feb. 29. There may be a couple more who drop out then, but just about everyone will hang around for. . .

SUPER TUESDAY Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia primaries, all on March 3.

There may be one or two optimists who keep on because the Rust Belt states haven't been heard from yet. But Michigan and Ohio primaries are March 10, and Illinois is March 17, and those will make or break them.

At that point it will be down to 2-3 real candidates, and others who stay in the campaign because a) they aren't really running for President, they're running for exposure or a cause

b) they think their handful of delegates will matter if the party is deadlocked going into the convention ("spoiler" candidates or the "Anyone but ____" movement; or

c) for some reason, they still have some money and nothing better to do with their time.

Last edited by Kent Clark; 06-20-2019 at 05:32 PM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:35 PM
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Its worth noting that at this point in the republican primary for the 2008 election, the front runner was Giuliani (polling at ~26%) and #2 was Fred Thompson (~19%).
John McCain was right in it at 15% and Romney was around 10%. The top two vote getters were polling in the top four at this point in the 2008 cycle, and near or above 10%.
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Old 06-20-2019, 05:58 PM
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Its worth noting that at this point in the republican primary for the 2008 election, the front runner was Giuliani (polling at ~26%) and #2 was Fred Thompson (~19%).
True, but there were only five candidates and McCain, the eventual nominee, was well within striking distance at that time. Most of the field is trailing Biden by 20-30 percentage points, including some relatively well-known political figures. It's not that Biden's invincible; it's that the candidates hovering around 1% are competing just for people to know that they're even running.

The 2016 Republican field is only a marginally better example to use when discussing volatility in the polls at this stage. At this stage, Bush, Rubio, and Walker were at the top while Trump and Cruz got off to a slow start. But unlike Biden, Bush was a weak front-runner. Rubio collapsed after the primaries started but he was at least competitive until then. Of the early front runners, Walker fell the hardest. The real story of course was the rise of Trump and, to a lesser extent, Cruz. I don't think the Democratic field has a candidate like Trump. Elizabeth Warren seems like she might be the Ted Cruz of this year's primary -- obviously not in terms of policy or personality, but in terms of connecting with the base of the party and energizing voters. There might be room for another one or two surprise candidates. Andrew Yang might be the Ron Paul of the Democratic primary. Little chance of winning but definitely capable of getting attention.

Like many here, I do believe there will be a shift after the debates, and some of the shifting will surprise us. One or two candidates in the top five right now may collapse, and one or two currently struggling to stay in the top 10 may move into a better position. But for most of the field, the debates are the absolute last chance they have at all. Those who don't move up by this time next month are running zombie campaigns.

Last edited by asahi; 06-20-2019 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 06-20-2019, 10:11 PM
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Part of prognosticating includes understanding the 15% rule. Democratic primary and caucus delegates are split proportionately among all who get at least 15% of the vote. Those who get less than 15% of the vote get zero delegates.It's very different than the R side and plays out strangely in a big field.

Right now only Biden consistently gets more than that 15% threshold and Sanders and Warren each flirt with the margin, sometimes one or the other over it. Buttigieg and Harris aren't hitting it.

I don't know when anyone officially drops out but I gotta think those who get no delegates in either IA or NH are done as far as meaningful fundraising or chance. My guess is that those polling under 7 now will try to hang on through a few debates hoping for a moment that catches fire and when that does not happen? Not sure if they hang on for humiliation/ego (two sides of the same coin) or drop but effectively same thing.

For practical purposes after NH you'll have Biden, either Warren (more likely) or Sanders, and maybe Harris. Buttigieg will have no delegates and not enough resource to keep going in any real way. Sanders won't drop out and will continue to get 7 to 8% of the vote but no delegates, spoiling Warren's chances to catch Biden and keeping her below 15% in some states, and I'm thinking Harris will become the major Biden alternative.

I would not be surprised if the race is considered decided after Super Tuesday.
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Old 06-21-2019, 07:35 AM
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...
The Iowa caucus is Feb.3 and the New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. ....
Thank you.

Good lord - I had hoped things would e winnowed down less than 7 months from now!
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:03 AM
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The first round of debates is next Wednesday and Thursday:

Night 1 — Wednesday, June 26th

- Elizabeth Warren
- Beto O’Rourke
- Cory Booker
- Amy Klobuchar
- John Delaney
- Tulsi Gabbard
- Julian Castro
- Tim Ryan
- Bill de Blasio
- Jay Inslee

Night 2 — Thursday, June 27th

- Joe Biden
- Bernie Sanders
- Kamala Harris
- Pete Buttigieg
- Kirsten Gillibrand
- Michael Bennet
- Marianne Williamson
- Eric Swalwell
- Andrew Yang
- John Hickenlooper

The second round of debates will be July 30th and 31st.

As I said, the debates will inevitably cull some of the weaker members of the herd. Speaking of which, the following candidates did not qualify for the debates:

- Steve Bullock
- Seth Moulton
- Wayne Messam
- Mike Gravel
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Old 06-21-2019, 12:59 PM
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The first round of debates is next Wednesday and Thursday:

...

The second round of debates will be July 30th and 31st.
Thanks. My interest has been impaired both by the vast number of candidates, and the certainty that I will vote for whomever the Dems nominate - in my predictably blue state.

I think less-popular candidates are valuable in framing the discussion/issues. But the current crowd makes it hard for ANYONE to take it seriously. Eager for it to get down into single digits...
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:25 PM
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To some extent the rate of the narrowing of the field will be determined by the powers that decide the format and cutoffs for debates round two and beyond. Continued ten a night over two nights is not tenable or conducive to viewership and engagement. Those not breaking into the second tier with Warren, Sanders, Harris, and Buttigieg are to some degree going to have to get culled from the herd so there can be more time for real back and forth between the fewer.

Harris and Warren in particular need that time to let their intellect and quickness be on display. I’d hope those under three are not invited for round two and dropping out follows from there. Keeping the whole field in beyond that is an unfair playing field advantaging Biden and to a lesser degree Sanders.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:12 PM
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Williamson has actually moved to Iowa. She's not the first candidate to do that but it's rare.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:16 PM
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There are two tiers of D candidates; those who are serious about getting the nomination and those who are just aboard for a short ride. Considering how powerful the D's odds are of recapturing the presidency next year, I'm interested to see how intensely they will vie for the nomination and hard they will go at it.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:30 PM
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I'm not sure that's the best split: I think Bullock, for one, had serious intent, but he's going to be one of the first to stop riding. Buttigieg, meanwhile, I can't imagine seriously expected to go anywhere, but he's doing better than most.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:32 PM
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I'm not sure that's the best split: I think Bullock, for one, had serious intent, but he's going to be one of the first to stop riding. Buttigieg, meanwhile, I can't imagine seriously expected to go anywhere, but he's doing better than most.
Right, I should have phrased it as, "those who stand a serious chance of getting the nomination, and those who can only last for a short ride." The truly-serious tier can't be more than a few at most; Biden, Harris, Warren, and 1-2 others.
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Old 06-21-2019, 03:49 PM
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Steve Bullock could be the Jimmy Carter of this cycle. A Democratic governor of a state Republicans held in the last cycle. Can therefore share a message of bipartisanship while also having progressive credentials for issues such as healthcare, LGBT rights, environment.

No one has really heard of him outside the politically active bubble nationally so missing the debate next week will hurt him in introducing himself but he should not drop out. He has more reason to run than several others because he has executive experience outside of the progressive bubble. He could eat into the lane Biden occupies while others move left. And he has a record to point to.
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Old 06-22-2019, 04:44 PM
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My hope is that some time before Super Tuesday that it becomes obvious not just which candidates have a chance, but which ones actually have enthusiastic supporters and are not just coasting by because of the vote being split. One bad scenario that I envision would involve Sanders and Warren splitting their lane. Another would be Buttigieg and Harris splitting the more moderate voters who want an alternative to Biden. If those two things happen we could end up with a damaged Biden who ends up losing to Trump due to being perceived as being "more of the same" when people are wanting someone with new ideas.

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Old 06-25-2019, 12:01 PM
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Considering that the 2016 Republican field had the largest field of candidates ever until this election cycle, I think the best way to answer this question is to look at the timeline for 2016. (Not the perfect way, but the best way.) The Wikipedia page for the primaries lists exactly when each candidate dropped out.

Of the 17 who were considered major, 5 dropped out before any votes were cast. Another 7 dropped out in the first half of February. Super Tuesday wasn't until March 1, so if the Democratic primaries follow the same trajectory, then the field will have already narrowed before Super Tuesday. My guess is that the point at which the field will significantly narrow is after Iowa and New Hampshire. I think many candidates' campaign strategy is to do well in an early state, and then build upon that earlier success to win more states. If the candidate then fails to meet expectations in said earlier state, then he/she suspends his/her campaign.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:08 PM
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The 2016 Republican field is only a marginally better example to use when discussing volatility in the polls at this stage. At this stage, Bush, Rubio, and Walker were at the top while Trump and Cruz got off to a slow start. But unlike Biden, Bush was a weak front-runner. Rubio collapsed after the primaries started but he was at least competitive until then. Of the early front runners, Walker fell the hardest. The real story of course was the rise of Trump and, to a lesser extent, Cruz. I don't think the Democratic field has a candidate like Trump. Elizabeth Warren seems like she might be the Ted Cruz of this year's primary -- obviously not in terms of policy or personality, but in terms of connecting with the base of the party and energizing voters. There might be room for another one or two surprise candidates. Andrew Yang might be the Ron Paul of the Democratic primary. Little chance of winning but definitely capable of getting attention.
Interesting! I remember Bush being the initial front-runner, with Walker and Rubio in the #2 and #3 spots, but I had thought that Trump was leading in polls by the summer. So I took to the Internet to find data to prove you wrong, only to discover that you were right and I was wrong. Now I'm wondering if what I was remembering was that Bush/Walker/Rubio didn't stay on top of the polls for as long as Biden has. I don't think most Republican candidates announced they were running as early in the year as most Democratic candidates have for this cycle.
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Old 06-25-2019, 12:09 PM
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I think there may be some dropouts this summer among those who either don't get any traction in the debates or failed to qualify for them. Donors hate throwing good money after bad, when the money dries up it'll be time to take down the tent and close up shop. By Labor Day, I expect to be down to a dozen, after Iowa maybe 8 and after New Hampshire, 3. I'll be all over after Super Tuesday unless a certain white haired geezer decides he needs to keep his campaign fix going.
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:42 PM
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There may be one or two optimists who keep on because the Rust Belt states haven't been heard from yet. But Michigan and Ohio primaries are March 10, and Illinois is March 17, and those will make or break them.

At that point it will be down to 2-3 real candidates, and others who stay in the campaign because
{snip}
b) they think their handful of delegates will matter if the party is deadlocked going into the convention ("spoiler" candidates or the "Anyone but ____" movement
Which brings up a rules question: if a candidate suspends his campaign, do his pledged delegates still have to vote for him on the first ballot? If so, I can see a situation where someone might want to convince some of the lesser candidates to stay in for no other reason than to force a second ballot and hope the superdelegates swing in his favor.
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Old 06-26-2019, 03:48 PM
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I suspect it will start to narrow after the first pair of debates. Maybe just a few will drop out, and then a handful more after the next set of debates.

This. Tonight's and tomorrow's debates are very important for the candidates who are in the low single digits in national support.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:09 PM
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Interesting! I remember Bush being the initial front-runner, with Walker and Rubio in the #2 and #3 spots, but I had thought that Trump was leading in polls by the summer. So I took to the Internet to find data to prove you wrong, only to discover that you were right and I was wrong. Now I'm wondering if what I was remembering was that Bush/Walker/Rubio didn't stay on top of the polls for as long as Biden has. I don't think most Republican candidates announced they were running as early in the year as most Democratic candidates have for this cycle.
You may also be remembering that Trump fairly quickly ascended to the top of the Iowa polling and while he had challengers for it, Carson briefly and then Cruz, he stayed near the at the top in those polls (with Cruz actually winning narrowly). RCP graph here. Iowa pays attention sooner. By mid-August Walker was in free fall and Bush never took off in the polls there despite his national (name recognition and pundit class based) lead. Rubio never polled great there but did come up near the end to get the number three spot.
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Old 06-26-2019, 07:18 PM
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Not sure whether to put this here or in the Hee Haw thread, but here are my current power rankings of the candidates in terms of candidate strength.

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

I am not ranking the 4 who didn't make the debates. It's possible that they'd be more competitive than some of the ones at the bottom of the list, but I figure you have to get on the debate stage to be even remotely taken seriously at this point. They didn't meet that test.

I suspect that whoever's in the bottom ten in late August has to seriously consider throwing in the towel.

Last edited by asahi; 06-26-2019 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 06-26-2019, 11:35 PM
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Yang, Gabbard, and Gillibrand in the top ten?
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:34 AM
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I haven't watched the debate yet, but a couple of people on my Facebook feed were whining about everyone ganging up on Beto. Any justification for this view? I'm finding some O'Rourke supporters to be...a tad excitable.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:54 AM
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here are my current power rankings of the candidates in terms of candidate strength.
Should I ask about methodology, or shall we assume it's meaningless?
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:57 AM
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After failing to be noticed much last night, I'd hope that Ryan and Delaney at least would have the sense to call it quits after a few days to think it over.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:24 AM
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Should I ask about methodology, or shall we assume it's meaningless?
I will completely concede that it's probably crap methodology. I'm not a statistician, and I'm playing around with the live wires of polling and Google Trends data, hoping not to electrocute myself.

Anyway, that's how I rank them. I'd be curious to know yours or others, but perhaps we could start a new thread for it - feel free.
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Old 06-27-2019, 06:28 AM
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Yang, Gabbard, and Gillibrand in the top ten?
Based on polling and Google Trends data over the last 2 weeks, yes. I'll concede in advance that Google Trends may or may not say anything about the candidate, but what I assume is that if candidates with some Google searches are at least getting some interest. A candidate with low polling numbers and low Google search data...is essentially dead, which is why I have O'Rourke down at the bottom even though he polls higher than some candidates. Not only does he poll poorly, but it also seems that voters just don't care much about his campaign. I suspect he's barely noticed or taken seriously outside of Texas, and I wonder if he's not just the beneficiary of voters' disgust with Ted Cruz.

As I posted to RTFirefly, though, we might look back at my posts here and have a big laugh - I'll concede that.

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Old 06-27-2019, 09:08 PM
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After failing to be noticed much last night, I'd hope that Ryan and Delaney at least would have the sense to call it quits after a few days to think it over.
After watching last night, I still can't tell the difference between Julio Castro and Beto O'Rourke, and I'm not fluent enough in Spanish to know what they (or Cory Booker) was saying.
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Old 06-27-2019, 10:09 PM
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After watching last night, I still can't tell the difference between Julio Castro and Beto O'Rourke, and I'm not fluent enough in Spanish to know what they (or Cory Booker) was saying.
O’Rourke made some grammatical errors.
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Old 07-06-2019, 05:45 AM
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From the WaPo:
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For former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who is polling at an average 0.2 percent, the pressure is coming from inside his own campaign to drop out and run for Senate.
In Hickenlooper's case, the calls are coming from inside the house.
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Old 07-06-2019, 05:59 AM
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Whenever the date is when the DNC announces who did and didn't make the cutoff for this month's debate, you'd hope that most of those who didn't make the cut would have the sense to drop out, since they've already raised the bar for the September debate.

IOW, if you don't make the cut for July, you're almost surely not going to make the cut for September, and are unlikely to do any better later on. And if you haven't been able to get anyone to pay attention to you via retail politics, and you're not going to get on TV to get your message across that way, it's over for you. To keep running, you'd have to really love being ignored by people in Iowa.
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Old 07-06-2019, 08:56 AM
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The obvious top five are Harris, Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg. Once you get past Mayor Pete, there aren't that many with a realistic path. Julian Castro and Cory Booker are probably the candidates with the most potential to move up at some point later in the race. I think Yang, Gabbard, Klobuchar and Gillibrand will have poll numbers just above 1% and for just long enough to be seen and heard, but I don't think they're anywhere close to being legit contenders. I suspect most of the others I haven't named will drop out by the end of the year, with probably half of those dropping out by fall.
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Old 07-06-2019, 09:03 AM
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And pointing out just for grins, my totally unscientific survey of online comments would have one conclude that the top candidates are Sanders, Gabbard, Yang, and Warren. Wonder why that is?
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by asahi View Post
The obvious top five are Harris, Biden, Warren, Sanders, and Buttigieg. Once you get past Mayor Pete, there aren't that many with a realistic path. Julian Castro and Cory Booker are probably the candidates with the most potential to move up at some point later in the race. I think Yang, Gabbard, Klobuchar and Gillibrand will have poll numbers just above 1% and for just long enough to be seen and heard, but I don't think they're anywhere close to being legit contenders. I suspect most of the others I haven't named will drop out by the end of the year, with probably half of those dropping out by fall.

Not that he is a serious contender at this point, but I believe Beto’s poll numbers and fundraising are and will be stronger than the last four you listed.
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Old 07-06-2019, 02:44 PM
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Caveat, what I'm talking about here is what the candidates call "suspending my campaign," not formally quitting and being pressured to give their contributions back.

Of the 24 (is it 24?) current candidates, you'll have maybe five drop out by the end of the year because no one knows their name and they can't raise money.

The Iowa caucus is Feb.3 and the New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11. Anyone who finishes in the bottom five in both states will probably quit, because no one will care anymore.

Nevada is Feb. 22 and S. Carolina is Feb. 29. There may be a couple more who drop out then, but just about everyone will hang around for. . .

SUPER TUESDAY Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia primaries, all on March 3.

There may be one or two optimists who keep on because the Rust Belt states haven't been heard from yet. But Michigan and Ohio primaries are March 10, and Illinois is March 17, and those will make or break them.

At that point it will be down to 2-3 real candidates, and others who stay in the campaign because a) they aren't really running for President, they're running for exposure or a cause

b) they think their handful of delegates will matter if the party is deadlocked going into the convention ("spoiler" candidates or the "Anyone but ____" movement; or

c) for some reason, they still have some money and nothing better to do with their time.
Fucking awesome post, Kent!
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Old 07-07-2019, 05:47 AM
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Not that he is a serious contender at this point, but I believe Beto’s poll numbers and fundraising are and will be stronger than the last four you listed.
Possibly, but people are completely ignoring his campaign. O'Rourke has a small following that most likely comes from Texas or is familiar with his campaign against Ted Cruz, or maybe they just think he looks kinda like RFK and his campaign will eventually catch fire. It won't. Few candidates have run a more disappointing campaign so far than Beto.

Last edited by asahi; 07-07-2019 at 05:48 AM.
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Old 07-07-2019, 02:10 PM
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In one of our rare moments of agreement, what asahi said about Beto.
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