The 59th presidential election will take place on November 3, 2020. 493 days from today.

Richard Nixon, in 1968, is the last presidential challenger from either party who was a front runner from the beginning to the end of the campaign without dropping from first place. All others had a hiccup or some stumble in which they had to comeback from a setback. [source unidentified]

As of June 17, 2019, 745 people have filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for President; 260 Democratic candidates, 97 Republican candidates, 31 Libertarian candidates, 14 Green candidates, 43 Independent or other party candidates. [Ballotpedia]

There are efforts in a number of states to make voter registration as difficult as possible. Leading examples are Texas and Tennessee. [Brookings 6/13/19]

Running in The Democratic Primary

25 candidates as of 6/24/19

Michael Bennet (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 54
Joe Biden (D) – former Vice President, former U.S. Senator – Age 76
Cory Booker (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 49
Steve Bullock (D) – Governor of Montana – Age 53
Pete Buttigieg (D) – Mayor of South Bend, Indiana – Age 37
Julian Castro (D) – Former HUD Secretary – Age 44
John Delaney (D) – former U.S. Representative – Age 55
Bill DeBlasio (D) – Mayor of New York, New York – Age 58
Tulsi Gabbard (D) – U.S. Representative – Age 37
Kirsten Gillibrand (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 52
Mike Gravel (D) – former U.S. Senator – Age 88
Kamala Harris (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 54
John Hickenlooper (D) – Governor of Colorado – Age 67
Jay Inslee (D) – Governor of Washington – Age 68
Amy Klobuchar (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 58
Wayne Messam (D) – Mayor of Miramar, Florida – Age 44
Seth Moulton (D) – U.S. Representative – 40
Beto O’Rourke (D) – former U.S. Representative – Age 46
Tim Ryan (D) – U.S. Representative – Age 45
Bernie Sanders (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 77
Eric Swalwell (D) – U.S. Representative – 39
Joe Sestak (D) – former U.S. Representative – 67
Elizabeth Warren (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 69
Marianne Williamson – Spiritualist, teacher – Age 66
Andrew Yang – Entrepreneur – Age 44

Stepping back from the 2020 race

Howard Schultz, Founder & Exec. Chairman of Starbucks (Age 65), has announced that he is suspending his campaign for president – at least for now.

Schultz has told his staff that he is letting everyone go except a few of those who are in senior leadership positions.

Schultz also explained that he needed three separate back surgeries and will spend the summer recuperating.

Schultz said to his staff, “if Biden does not appear to be the nominee, he would think about jumping into the presidential race after Super Tuesday.” Super Tuesday is March 3, 2020. [Politico]

The following are the Morning Consult survey results collected from June 17-23, 2019.

  Entered the race Morning Consult 6/16/19
Joe Biden 4/25/19 38%
Bernie Sanders 2/19/19 19%
Elizabeth Warren 12/31/18 13%
Pete Buttigieg 1/23/19 7%
Kamala Harris 1/21/19 6%
Beto O’Rourke 3/14/19 4%
Cory Booker 1/1/19 3%
Andrew Yang 11/6/17 2%
Amy Klobuchar 2/10/19 1%
Julian Castro 12/12/18 1%
Tulsi Gabbard 1/11/19 1%
Kirsten Gillibrand 1/15/19 1%
John Hickenlooper 3/4/19 1%
Tim Ryan 4/4/19 1%
Michael Bennett 5/2/19 1%
John Delaney 7/28/19 1%
Marianne Williamson 11/15/18 1%
Steve Bullock 5/14/19 1%
Bill de Blasio 5/16/19 1%
Jay Inslee 3/1/19 1%
Wayne Messam 3/13/19 0%
Seth Moulton 4/22/19 0%
Mike Gravel 4/2/19 0%
Eric Salwell 4/8/19 0%
Joe Sestak 6/23/19 0%

What are the odds?

Given the relative unreliability of ordinary polling this far in advance of the election (See FiveThirtyEight on this subject on page 25), WW is adding a new element to its’ review of the primary election as well as the general election.

Rita introduced me to Scott Cooley who runs a public relations firm called Cool Media Public Relations. His client, SportsBetting.ag, produces odds on a variety of things; two of them are the Democratic primary and the November 2020 General election.

Here are the odds for who is likely to win the 2020 Democratic nominating fight as of June 24, 2019. One particularly notable change since April 25, 2019 is that Elizabeth Warren, who was running 9th at 25/1 in April has jumped to 2nd place
at 7/2.

Joe Biden +175 (7/4)
Elizabeth Warren +350 (7/2)
Pete Buttigieg +500 (5/1)
Bernie Sanders +800 (8/1)
Kamala Harris +800 (8/1)
Andrew Yang +1000 (10/1)
Beto O’Rourke +2500 (25/1)
Cory Booker +3300 (33/1)
Amy Klobuchar +5000 (50/1)
Julian Castro +5000 (50/1)
Kirsten Gillibrand +5000 (50/1)
Tulsi Gabbard +5000 (50/1)
Bill de Blasio +10000 (100/1)
Eric Swalwell +10000 (100/1)
Jay Inslee +10000 (100/1)
John Delaney +10000 (100/1)
John Hickenlooper +10000 (100/1)
Michael Bennet +10000 (100/1)
Seth Moulton +10000 (100/1)
Steve Bullock +10000 (100/1)
Tim Ryan +10000 (100/1)
Marianne Williamson +10000 (100/1)

If you want to get on Scott’s mailing list you can email him at scott@coolmediapr.com.

The Democratic nominating convention is scheduled for July 13-16, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Democratic Debates of the 2020 Nomination Season

2nd Debate – July 30 & 31 in Detroit, Michigan
3rd Debate – September 12 & 13 in TBD
4th Debate – October, time and place TBD
5th Debate – November, time and place TBD
6th Debate – December, time and place TBD
7th – 12th Debates – TBD

About the 2020 Democratic primary candidates

  • 6 women candidates
  • 6 minority candidates
  • 13 Green New Deal supporters
  • 6 candidates from states won by Trump
  • 7 candidates with experience in state or local government
  • 14 current or former members of Congress
  • 8 candidates who are 45 years of age or younger

[CapitalJournalDaybreak 6/12/19]

As we approach the 2020 election, some Democratic candidates are talking about Democratic Socialism. So, what is it?

Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few.
[Dem Socialists of America 6/13/19]

In a speech on June 12, Bernie Sanders defended his support for Democratic Socialism. “Let me be clear, I do understand that I and other progressives will face massive attacks from those who attempt to use the word ‘socialism’ as a slur,” he said, “but I should also tell you that I have faced and overcome these attacks for decades and I am not the only one.” [PRRI 6/15/19]

67% of the time that candidates from Maine, Massachusetts or Vermont have run in a primary in New Hampshire, they have won. The three Democratic candidates fit that model in 2020 are Seth Moulton, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. [FiveThirtyEight 6/19/19]

76% of African American Democrats are enthusiastic about Biden, while 16% have some reservations or uncomfortable with his candidacy. Sanders drew enthusiastic views from 64% of black Democrats while 28% had some level of discomfort with him. Harris and Booker the most prominent black candidates running for president generated enthusiastic responses from 53% and 43% of respondents respectively.

In the same survey, 77% of respondents said that affordable health care, college affordability and creating more jobs with benefits were extremely important issues. [Black Economic Alliance/Hart Research & Brossard Research]

48% of respondents to a recent survey say that they were “much less” or “somewhat less” likely to support someone if he or she was older than 70. 11% said they were more likely to support a candidate over 70.

34% said they were less likely to vote for someone who is gay while 12% were more likely to vote for a person who is gay. [AP/FiveThirtyEight 6/11/19]

Responding to the issue of whether folks will vote for a married gay man, Buttigieg had this to say on Meet the Press, “I have every confidence that American voters, especially Democratic voters, will not discriminate when the opportunity comes up to choose the right leader for the future.” [MTP 6/16/19]

Here are Charlie Cook’s June 7, 2019 predictions of the Elite Eight and Final Four of the Democrats primary contest.

The Elite Eight – Biden, Buttigieg, Booker, Harris, Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders and Warren.

The Final Four – Biden, Sanders or Warren, Harris and Buttigieg.

By now, the ‘electability’ question has become a well-worn cliché of the 2020 Democratic primary. But, while it is a cliché, it also remains a top concern among Democratic primary voters. Polls show this to be a top concern in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. It’s also a top concern among Democrats in national polls. A late April Ipsos/Reuters poll (4/17-23) found that 63 percent of Democrats named “can beat President Trump in the general election” as their top one or two factors in deciding who to vote for in the primary contest. Coming in a distant second—at 33 percent— was health care, followed closely by “can unify the Democratic party” at 30 percent. In that same poll, 46 percent of Democrats picked Biden as the candidate who was the best on the ‘beat Donald Trump’ issue. No one else even made it into the double digits. [Amy Walter at Cook Political Report 6/19/19]

Republican Primary


Donald Trump – President – Age 72
William Weld I – former Governor of Massachusetts – Age 73

There will be no debates

The Republican nominating convention is scheduled for August 24-27, 2020 in Charlotte, NC.

The General Election

The Oregon legislature has passed a bill that will add its seven electoral votes to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact bringing the total number of electoral votes for the Compact to 196 of the 270 electoral votes needed for it to come into effect.

How seriously should we take early general election polls especially those taken before the Democratic nominee has been selected?

Not at all seriously, according to FiveThirtyEight.

“FiveThirtyEight analyzed general election polls from 1944 to 2012 that tested the eventual nominees and were conducted in the last two months of the year before (so for 2012 that would be November and December of 2011).”

On average, these polls missed the final result by 10.6 percentage points.

One of the more accurate sets of polls occurred in 2016 when Hillary Clinton led Donald Trump by 46.2% to 41.2% in late 2015.

The following are recent results of the relevant polling for more current years, i.e. in November/December of the year before the election.

Election Avg GOP poll lead GOP Election Margin Absolute Error
2016 – 5.0% – 2.0% 3.0
2012 – 2.8% – 3.9% 1.0
2008 – 0.3% – 7.3% 6.9
2004 + 8.7% + 2.5% 6.2
2000 +11.9% – 0.5% 12.4
1996 – 13.0% – 8.5% 4.5
1992 +21.0% – 5.6% 26.1
1988 +18.0% + 7.7% 10.3
1984 + 7.2% +18.2% 11.0
Average     9.0
[FiveThirtyEight 6/14/19]

Accepting what FiveThirtyEight says about general election polls 12 months before the election (and this being 18 months before the election), here are the results of two general election surveys taken in June.

  Fox 6/16 Quinnipiac 6/11
  T Dem T Dem
Trump vs Biden 39% 49% 40% 53%
Trump vs Sanders 40% 49% 42% 51%
Trump vs Warren 41% 43% 42% 49%
Trump vs Harris 41% 42% 41% 49%
Trump vs Buttigieg 40% 41% 42% 47%
Trump vs Booker xx xx 42% 47%

Alternatively, here are the odds from the sports betting website, SportsBetting.ag, as of June 25, 2019.

Donald Trump +100 (1/1)
Joe Biden +400 (4/1)
Elizabeth Warren +500 (5/1)
Pete Buttigieg +900 (9/1)
Andrew Yang +1600 (16/1)
Bernie Sanders +1800 (18/1)
Kamala Harris +1800 (18/1)
Beto O’Rourke +4000 (40/1)
Cory Booker +8000 (80/1)
Amy Klobuchar +10000 (100/1)
Julian Castro +10000 (100/1)
John Delaney +10000 (100/1)
Kirsten Gillibrand +10000 (100/1)
Tulsi Gabbard +10000 (100/1)
Bill de Blasio +15000 (150/1)
Eric Swalwell +20000 (200/1)
Jay Inslee +20000 (200/1)
John Hickenlooper +20000 (200/1)
Michael Bennet +20000 (200/1)
Seth Moulton +20000 (200/1)
Steve Bullock +20000 (200/1)
Tim Ryan +20000 (200/1)
Marianne Williamson +50000 (500/1)

(WW has erased a few folks who were on the list but are not candidates for president at this time.)

There’s a magic number when it comes to diversity efforts: having more than one from which to choose.

“A single diverse candidate faces an enormous headwind—and a tiny chance of being picked for the job in the end. In contrast, when interviewers take the time to interview multiple diverse candidates in a fair and competitive process, the dynamic shifts norms and expectations, and creates a situation in which a diverse candidate is much more likely to end up winning the position.”

A 2016 study published in Harvard Business Review found that there is statistically zero chance of a woman being hired if she is the only female finalist for a job. Her odds skyrocket when she’s joined by another woman. The same is true for people of color.

“Companies were 79 times more likely to hire a woman and 194 times more likely to hire a person of color when the finalist pool included more than one woman or minority,” Cyrus Mehri writes. It turns out, instances of two or more diverse candidates upend a company’s tendency to want to maintain its status quo, which is likely mostly male and mostly white.

As Mehri writes, it’s asking a lot of one single woman to break the ultimate glass ceiling, “but collectively, the half dozen women running for the nation’s highest office can do it.” [Politico, Claire Zillman, Fortune, Broadsheet 6/24/19]