Who’s going to be the Democratic nominee to take on Donald Trump?

So, as already noted, today sees the first stage in the race to be the Democratic nominee in November’s US Presidential election.

And, because we know how many of our readers take an interest in these things, two questions for our readers to answer in the comments below;

  • Who do you think will win the Democratic nomination, and why?, and, because the answer isn’t necessarily the same;
  • Who do you think is most likely to beat Donald Trump, and why?
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21 Comments

  • David Warren 3rd Feb '20 - 4:41pm

    Elizabeth Warren stands the best chance of winning the nomination she is the alternative to both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. I believe she will poll consistently well in the early primaries and stay the pace to end in front.

    I also believe she is the best candidate to beat Trump because she comes over as a genuine politician who speaks ‘human.’

  • Julian Tisi 3rd Feb '20 - 4:56pm

    I too wonder about Elizabeth Warren. My concern with Bernie especially (and Joe to a lesser extent) is that the paramount concern has to be finding the candidate that will beat Donald Trump. That means having someone who can connect with people, but with no obvious negatives that might scare off voters.

  • John Marriott 3rd Feb '20 - 5:21pm

    The comparison with our own recent GE is strong. Despite Trump’s obvious flaws (for Trump read also Johnson) the opposition is hopelessly divided. Also, as here, it’s not the popular vote that counts but the Electoral College (for Electoral College read FPTP).

    I got an email the other day from one of my US distant relatives. In it, while asking me to explain Brexit, she also writes; “Looks like we’re stuck with our person at the top. Can’t bring myself to call him our president 😊”. Good on her, I say!

    If you want a laugh, why not google Joe.co.uk -‘We go together – Boris Johnson and Donald Trump” ? A trifle unsophisticated for LDV tastes, but very clever.

  • John Marriott 3rd Feb '20 - 5:27pm

    Oh, in trying to be clever I forgot to answer the question. My money is on Mr Bloomberg. For one thing his billionaire status is genuine. At the end of the day it really is all about money over the pond. Whether he’s a Democrat or even on the ticket is a different matter.

  • Warren, or just possibly Sanders, will be the nominee. Trump will win more easily than last time. As we have just demonstrated, the centre left is clueless as to how to take on right wing populism and mostly just plays into its hands.

  • Paul Barker 3rd Feb '20 - 6:18pm

    I hope that the Young Moderates like “Mayor Pete ” & Klobuchar get a boost, they offer the best hope of defeating Trump.
    Theres a useful piece on “Political Betting” on what “Winning” tonight actually means with 4 different “Winners” possible. Sanders is likely to win the 1st Vote & then claim an Establishment Stitch-Up when he loses later ones.

  • Both Sanders and Warren represent the left of the party and the polls suggest that Sanders has more support and will, one would imagine, inherit much of Warrens support down the road. I sense little enthusiasm for Joe Biden It is hard to see who might come out of the pack. Historically, you don’t win the nomination without a strong start in Iowa and New Hampshire.
    It follows the party will go for Sanders because, like Labour in the UK, they are in the grip of left wing activists whose faith in the righteousness of their cause blinds them to the fact that their zeal is not shared by most of their fellow citizens. Trump will beat either Sander or Warren (you can imagine the Pocahontas gibes being rehearsed at this very moment).
    Biden has the best chance of beating Trump because the can reconnect with the blue collar workers of Michigan and Pennsylvania but if the American economy stays strong it’s Trump’s to loose.
    The Democrat party should already be looking forward to 2024. Interesting that New York Governor Andrew Coumo has stayed out of the race this time. Smart move. Andy Beshear from Kentucky ticks a lot of boxes. If I was a Republican I’d hope they went for A O-C. Socialism is still a dirty word in the USA.

  • fivethirtyeight.com (probably the best number crunchers on US politics) currently has Biden as the most likely at 43% to win a majority of delegates. But it means according to them it is more likely that it will be someone else or no-one winning a majority. They have Sanders at a 30% likelihood.

    https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/our-final-forecast-for-the-iowa-caucuses/

    The wild card is Bloomberg not entering the race early enough for the early states but zooming up the national polls albeit from zero to about 9% and fourth place.

    I have a soft spot for Sanders as I believe he would have beaten Trump and it is difficult to view him as at all a dangerous radical from a British political perspective – but Americans might.

    This I think must be one of the most open and unpredictable primaries that either of the two parties have had in the last 50 years. The candidates can stay in the race longer raising money from recurring monthly donations from small donors – especially Sanders. And Biden does well with black Americans both as Obama’s VP and being more centrist which they tend to favour. And they are a very sizeable part of the Democrat electorate but it doesn’t kick in until after the very white Iowa and New Hampshire. And Buttigieg has been the surprise star of the race so far. So you can make a case for any of Biden, Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg or Bloomberg.

    On this night in 1992 no-one would have predicted that Bill Clinton would be the “comeback kid” and go on to win against George Bush who had a massive positive approval rating then after the first Gulf War.

  • George Burn 4th Feb '20 - 12:43am

    Biden looks to be the favourite to win, but he’s got significant flaws. Trump’s behaviour over Ukraine has of course been appalling, and in my opinion the impeachment charges are well made. But that shouldn’t take anything away from seeing Biden’s conduct when Vice President as having also been questionable. Anything with a personal connection should quickly have resulted in him recusing himself from involvement. He did the reverse. That, combined with his dubious attitudes on women and race, mark him down.

    The candidate I think would most effectively bring the fight to Trump is Amy Klobuchar. She’s from the American Midwest, meaning she can appeal to voters who might otherwise vote for Trump. She’s a moderate, so doesn’t carry all the ideological baggage that Warren and Sanders have, and can fight Trump in the battleground in which he’s most vulnerable, namely the centre ground. Being out on the left would mean Warren and Sanders would be doomed to fail in a national poll, exactly like Corbyn; Trump must be praying the Democrats choose one of those two. I think Klobuchar would be the best bet for defeating Trump. I wish her the very best of luck.

  • Buttigieg worth keeping an eye on. Decriminalising drugs possession could be helpful for him.

  • Paul Murray 4th Feb '20 - 8:26am

    Iowa caucuses. What a joke. Trump has been saying for weeks that the DNC would find a way to stop Sanders from becoming the candidate, and now they’ve managed to make such a monumental mess that this narrative sounds reasonable.

  • Apologies for jumping in on this LDV page.
    Not sure about Iowa, but we may have to look slightly less west for an unpredictable outcomes…
    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/sinn-féin-leads-way-in-irish-times-ipsos-mrbi-poll-with-highest-support-ever-1.4160461?mode=amp

  • John Marriott 4th Feb '20 - 9:57am

    Call me a cynic if you want; but quite frankly none of the current crop of candidates ticks all the boxes for me. First of all, I doubt very much that the USA would ever elect a truly ‘socialist’ President. After all, over there, the word ‘liberal’ is equated along the lines of Marxism as a term of abuse in many quarters. Bernie Sanders also has a dodgy ticker and is 78. ‘Sleepy’ Joe Biden, to give him his Trumpian soubriquet, is nearly as old and is quite frankly, whatever you think about the Impeachment process, damaged goods. Ms Warren has the brains, the energy and the rhetoric; but Sanders might have a point about her sex, unfortunately. Does she really have Native American blood in her veins and how important is that in the scheme of things? Then there’s Pete B (I can’t get a handle on how he spells his surname, let alone how you pronounce it). “Pete who?” I hear you ask. Enough said. So, how about Amy K, as George Burn proposes? Stick an ‘s’ on your surname, George, and I know you would be joking (you need to be of a certain age to appreciate that one).

    Well, we could look forward to Mario’s son, Andrew, in four years time, as Chris Cory suggests. Come to think of it, that’s probably what the Democrats should be doing, unless Trump really does trip up, because I really can’t see any of the current candidates beating him next November, not even Bloomberg with his billions. What makes it even more unlikely is that it won’t be the popular vote that decides it but that arcane undemocratic survivor from the 18th century, the so called Electoral College.

    Isn’t it a damning indictment on American politics that a country of nearly 330 million people, with a GDP that dwarfs most others, the ‘Leader of the Free World’ and the bastion of liberty can’t rustle up a few more credible candidates for its top job.

  • @john Marriott

    It is right to point out the weaknesses of candidates. It probably takes some 80 plus years after the end of their period in office to assess them.

    On Clem Atlee’s lack of charisma it was said that an empty taxi drew up outside no. 10 and Atlee got out yet he headed the most reforming Labour government. Ronald Reagan was widely derided as a rather cheesy old b movie star but is now lionised on the right in America.

    On the strengths of the main candidates

    Biden: Obama’s VP and long term senator so knows his way round Washington which is actually important.

    Buttigieg. As a gay man will do a great deal for LGBT rights just being elected – worldwide not just in America. Military experience. Clearly very bright

    Sanders. America needs to sort out health care more on European lines. A massively impressive campaign in my opinion last tune.

    Warren. Very good policy experience. Woman

    Bloomberg. Successful businessman and mayor of New York. Very good on gun control.
    .
    On age. Reagan said in a debate that he wouldn’t use Mondale’s youth and inexperience against him and that sums up the issue. The campaign will highlight whether someone is mentally not with it and Americans elect a spare!

    It’s not to say I disagree with your negatives just giving the other side of the coin – you are either old and past it or experienced and knowledgeable!!!

  • Jack Millner 4th Feb '20 - 5:25pm

    Bernie is best placed to beat Trump. His support amongst the under 45s is absolutely huge, and he is the only one to build a genuinely grassroots movement, which has a larger goal of pulling the US out of the corrupt mire it finds itself in.

    Americans are sick of the Democratic Party, which they rightly see as riddled with corruption. As an independent Bernie is free of this association and is out to upend the party establishment. This is an era of populism, if they run a managerial centrist against Trump they will be eviscerated.

  • John Marriott 4th Feb '20 - 6:20pm

    @Michael 1
    So ‘Michael 1’ is alive and well and the soul of reason, as always. Welcome back. To your either/ or I would add the following: Too young and inexperienced. As I have proved, being old, experienced and (according to some) knowledgeable doesn’t mean I am always right.

  • Let’s be frank – Trump’s going to win by a landslide in at least the EC vote.

    It’ll be 2024 when Tulsi Gabbard becomes the female president. Until then it’s all just games. Unless Pete Buttigieg (It’s a Maltese name) becomes first LGBT one.

  • @ John Marriott Do you think it will take another 80 years for your old friend Michael 1 to learn to spell Clem Attlee’s surname correctly, John ? D minus on that, I’m afraid.

    At least he had the good grace not to claim Churchill actually said it of Attlee. Indeed when Churchill’s private secretary, Jock Colville, told Churchill about the apocryphal taxi story, he replied,

    “Mr. Attlee is an honourable and gallant gentleman, and a faithful colleague who served his country well at the time of her greatest need. I should be obliged if you would make it clear whenever an occasion arises that I would never make such a remark about him, and that I strongly disapprove of anybody who does.”
    (Colville Diaries, 1939-55).

    I reckon Churchill got it right that time.

  • @John Marriott

    Thanks for the kind words!

    LOL!

    I’d also disagree somewhst (if not fully) that the USA is not a liberal country. It’s true that it was said in the 90s that calling a politician a liberal Democrat in the States was the worst insult you could give them!

    But Clinton obv. beat Trump in the popular vote plus the Green and Libertarian candidates picked up quite a few votes. Quite a few states have legalised cannabis and same sex marriage

    Obv. the evangelical right is strong and its national DNA is one of self reliance and it is to the right of Europe. We will see but I think at some point it will introduce a more NHS style healthcare system and free university tuition (for some colleges at least) as this is the overall direction of travel in developed countries.

    I think Sanders would have beaten Trump in the rust belt states who disliked Clinton. He might this time if he’s the candidate although my money is on Trump. incumbents normally win a second term and the economy is relatively strong.

    On age I like another Reagan quip that if a crisis broke out in the world his advsors should wake him up at any time – even if it was during a Cabinet meeting!

    @David Raw

    I should of (sic) checked the spelling of Attlee! I did look up the quote and saw that Churchill denied making it. Churchill was though not above hurling a few brickbats at his honourable erstwhile deputy effectively branding him and Labour as Nazis in a radio broadcast in the 1945 election campaign.

    I seem to remember though from previous comments that you dislike Churchill for sending the police against striking miners.

    The good news i was educated during the progressive years when content was more important than spelling so I award myself an A+!

    (Although I reserve the right to pop up from time to time to correct referenda to referendums!)

  • Guardian headline: “Pete Buttigieg holds early lead in Iowa caucuses after chaos over results”
    I had a feeling that he was the one to keep an eye on!
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/04/iowa-results-winner-pete-buttigieg-leading

  • John Marriott – I look forward to Joe Kennedy III in 2024. The best case scenario will be Warren winning the nomination (although increasingly unlikely by now) and Joe Kennedy taking her Senate seat instead of primarying Markey and then succeeding Warren in 2024. Being a charismatic orator from a highly regarded political family (unlike the Clintons) and also a part of Congressional Progressive Caucus, he can also serve as a good VP candidate for Bernie.

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