The primary/caucus season begins on February 3, 2020 in Iowa, 10 days from today.

Super Tuesday is March 3, 2020, 39 days from today.

The 59th presidential election will take place on November 3, 2020, 284 days from today.

Running in the Democratic Primary

When the primary season began in the spring of 2019, “no one” anticipated that 12 days before the Iowa caucuses – starting January 21st – four of the remaining candidates would be required to be in Washington DC all day every day except Sunday, for all of the days between the 21st and the caucuses on February 2, 2020

28 individuals have announced they are seeking the Democratic nomination for president. As of January 12, 2020, sixteen have decided to end their candidacies.

The current or last public office or other professional activity of the 28 individuals who announced for president include: 1 Vice President, 8 U.S. Senators, 7 U.S. Representatives, 1 former Cabinet Officer, 4 governors, 4 mayors, 3 businesspeople and 1 spiritualist.

The ages of those who remain in the race range from 38 to 78. The average age of those still in the race is 59.6 years.

Michael Bennet (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 54
Joe Biden (D) – former Vice President, former U.S. Senator – Age 77
Mike Bloomberg (D) – former Mayor of New York – Age 77
Pete Buttigieg (D) – former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana – Age 38
John Delaney (D) – former U.S. Representative – Age 56
Duval Patrick (D) – former Governor – Age 63
Tulsi Gabbard (D) – U.S. Representative – Age 38
Amy Klobuchar (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 59
Bernie Sanders (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 78
Tom Steyer (D) – Entrepreneur – Age 62
Elizabeth Warren (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 70
Andrew Yang – Entrepreneur – Age 44

Sixteen Have Left the Field

Mike Gravel (D) – former U.S. Senator – Age 88
Eric Swalwell D) – U.S. Representative –Age 39
John Hickenlooper (D) – Governor of Colorado – Age 67
Jay Inslee (D) – Governor of Washington – Age 68
Seth Moulton (D) – U.S. Representative – 40
Kirsten Gillibrand (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 52
Bill DeBlasio (D) – Mayor of New York, New York – Age 58
Wayne Messam (D) – Mayor of Miramar, Florida – Age 44
Tim Ryan (D) – U.S. Representative – Age 45
Beto O’Rourke (D) – former U.S. Representative – Age 46
Steve Bullock (D) – Governor of Montana – Age 53
Joe Sestak (D) – former U.S. Representative – 67
Kamala Harris (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 54
Julian Castro (D) – former HUD Secretary – Age 44
Marianne Williamson – Spiritualist, teacher – Age 66
Cory Booker (D) – U.S. Senator – Age 49

10 days from today, the primary/caucus season will begin starting with the Iowa caucuses on February 3, 2020 and continuing thru the New Hampshire primary on February 11, the Nevada caucuses on February 22 and the South Carolina Primary on February 29.

The first castable primary votes, anywhere in the country, are in Minnesota on January 17, 2020. However, folks who do vote before the actual Minnesota primary on Super Tuesday may reclaim their early votes and vote on primary day.

To what extent are the first four primaries and caucuses representative of the country? You decide. [WW]

  Iowa NH SC NV Combined US Total
White 85.3 90 63.7 48.7 68.3 60.4%
African Ameri-
4.0 1.7 27.1 10.1 14.5 13.4%
ic / Latino
6.2 3.9 5.8 29 11.2 18.3%

Among black Democrats nationally, Joe Biden has a commanding lead among registered voters except among those age 18-34. Bernie Sanders has a strong lead among those voters.

Total Nationally
Biden 48%
Sanders 20%
Warren 9%
Bloomberg 4%
Booker 4%
Yang 3%
Buttigieg 2%
Steyer 2%
Age 18-34
Sanders 42%
Biden 30%
Warren 6%
Yang 5%
Booker 3% (has withdrawn)
Bloomberg 1%
Buttigieg 1%
Steyer 1%

Biden also has the most “favorable” rating among the candidates but many of the candidates are not well known in the black community.

Favorable Rating Never Heard Of
Biden 78% 11%
Sanders 71% 17%
Warren 58% 32%
Booker 49% 40% (has withdrawn)
Yang 32% 56%
Buttigieg 30% 53%
Klobuchar 25% 62%
Bloomberg 33% 44%

[WP/Ipsos Poll 1/12/20]

Here is a report on the personal wealth of a number of the Democratic candidates: Bloomberg – $53.4 billion, Steyer – $1.6 billion, Warren – $12 million, Biden – $9 million, Sanders – $2.5 million, Klobuchar – $2 million, Yang – $1 million, Buttigieg – $100,000. [Forbes/Winston Group 1/17/20]

*The Real Clear Politics Average is used for each state, for surveys ending after January 1, 2020.

Iowa – 1/18/20
Biden 21.5%
Sanders 18.8%
Warren 16.5%
Buttigieg 14.5%
New Hampshire – 1/16/20
Sanders 22.5%
Biden 21%
Warren 16.3%
Buttigieg 14.5%
Nevada – 1/11/20
Biden 21%
Sanders 17.5%
Warren 11.5%
Buttigieg 7%
South Carolina – 1/8/20 (Fox only)
Biden 36%
Sanders 14%
Warren 10%
Buttigieg 7%

The next round of primaries starts on March 3rd when 14 will be held. California is the largest state in that group. (There are no published polls from Texas since early December.)

California – 1/16/20
Biden 27%
Sanders 23.5%
Warren 21.5%
Buttigieg 7%

Looking at the “national mood” in the Democratic nomination contest, Joe Biden remained at the top of the heap as of January 16th, based on the RCP Average. Bernie Sanders had a hold on second place and Elizabeth Warren was in third, Buttigieg in fourth tied with Bloomberg.

RCP Average
1/16/2 0: Biden – 28.4%; Sanders – 20.4%; Warren – 14.8%; Buttigieg – 7.2%;
Bloomberg – 7.0%; Yang – 3.8% – Klobuchar – 3.0%.

Then came the latest CNN poll which was finished on January 19th. For the first time, Bernie Sanders leads in the Democratic race. Warren seems to have faded in the last several national polls reported on Real Clear Politics.

CNN National Poll – 1/19/20
Sanders 27%
Biden 21%
Warren 14%
Buttigieg 11%
Bloomberg 5%
Klobuchar 4%
Yang 4%
Steyer 2%

Below are the fundraising totals through December 31, 2019 of those still running in the Democratic primary as announced by the candidates. Spending totals and cash on hand were not yet available as of January 21, 2020. The candidates are ranked by amounts raised in the 4th quarter.

Candidate Raised in 4th Quarter Total Raised Through 12/31/19
Sanders $34.5M $108.9M
Buttigieg 24.7M 76.2M
Biden 22.7M 60.5M
Warren 21.2M 81.5M
Yang 16.5M 31.0M
Klobuchar 11.4M 28.9M
Gabbard 3.4M 12.0M
Patrick 2.2M 3.2M (includes $1M on hand when entered the race)

*Bloomberg is self-funding. Steyer and Delaney are primarily, if not completely, self-funding.

What are the odds?

Here are the odds for who is likely to win the 2020 Democratic nominating fight as of 1/21/20.

Joe Biden +225 (2.25/1)
Bernie Sanders +225 (2.25/1)
Michael Bloomberg +600 (6/1)
Elizabeth Warren +800 (8/1)
Pete Buttigieg +1200 (12/1)
Andrew Yang +1200 (12/1)
Tulsi Gabbard +2500 (25/1)
Amy Klobuchar +3300 (33/1)
Tom Steyer +4000 (40/1)
Deval Patrick +8000 (80/1)

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

Democratic Debates of the 2020 Nomination Season

8th Debate – St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH – February 7, 2020

Hosted by ABC/New Hampshire WMUR

To qualify for this debate, candidates need to receive at least one pledged delegate in the Iowa caucuses or meet polling and fundraising thresholds similar to the January debate’s requirements. As of today, the following candidates have already qualified to participate in this debate; Biden, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, Sanders, Steyer and Warren.

9th Debate – Las Vegas, NV – February 19, 2020

Hosted by MSNBC/NBC/Nevada Independent paper

10th Debate – Gaillard Center, Charleston, SC – February 25, 2020

Hosted by CBS News/Congressional Black Caucus Institute

11th Debate – Host to be selected – March xx, 2020

12th Debate – Host to be selected – April xx, 2020

Audience size

1st Debate – Miami
June 26 – 15,300,000 viewers
June 27 – 18,100,000 viewers

2nd Debate – Detroit
July 30 – 8,700,000 viewers
July 31 – 10,720,000 viewers

3rd Debate – Houston
September 12 – 14,000,000+ viewers

4th Debate – Westerville
October 15 – 8,300,000 viewers

5th Debate –Atlanta, GA
November 20 – 6,500,000 viewers

6th Debate – Los Angeles, CA
December 19 – 6,170,000 viewers

7th Debate – Des Moines, IA
January 14, 2020 – 7,300,000 viewers

Since 1972, every Democratic presidential nominee has won first, second or third place in the Iowa Caucus and first or second in the New Hampshire primary.

In Iowa, the eventual nominee has been the first-place finisher 7 times, second place finisher one time and third place finisher two times. [Charlie Cook]

In New Hampshire, the eventual nominee has been the first-place finisher 5 times and second place finisher 5 times. [Charlie Cook]

The Democratic primary schedule is front loaded.

• In February 2020 – 193 delegates will be selected.
• On Super Tuesday, March 3, 2020 – 1683 delegates will be selected.
• On March 10, 2020 – 402 delegates will be selected.

By March 10, 2020, 2,278 delegates will have been selected. This is slightly more than half of the 4,594 total delegates at the convention.

(The following section is repeated from the previous issue of the Watch.)

In order to win any delegates, at a caucus or primary, a candidate must get 15% of the vote, statewide or at the congressional district level.

In the case of pledged delegates (not super or automatic delegates), once the delegate selection process is finished in a state, the state party will send his, her or their names to the DNC’s Secretary Office and that name will be entered into the Secretary’s computer. On the first ballot, each delegate will be “automatically” voting for the candidate they are pledged to and will not have the opportunity to change how they vote.

On the second ballot, that same pledged delegate may vote for whomever he/she/they wish.

The outcome of the first ballot of the 3,768 pledged delegates will be known prior to the first session of the convention. [Thanks to Harold for the above.]

1,990 delegate votes are required to win the nomination on the first ballot of the 2020 Democratic convention.

If no one receives the necessary number of votes on the first ballot, 766 automatic delegates are then able to vote on subsequent ballots. 2,373 delegate votes are required to win the nomination thereafter.

The 1952 Democratic Convention was the last time either convention went beyond the first ballot.

In a first, Judge Judy Sheindlin is endorsing Mike Bloomberg for president. This is the first time “Judge Judy” has engaged in any form of politics in the last 50 years and the first time she has endorsed anyone for president.

(Judge Judy is the presiding judge on an arbitration-based reality court TV show that has operated for nearly 25 years. On more than one occasion WW has watched Judge Judy’s “court”.)

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

Republican Primary


Donald Trump – President – Age 72
William Weld I – former Governor of Massachusetts – Age 73
Joe Walsh – former one-term GOP member of Congress from Illinois – Age 57

The average age of these candidates is 67.

Have left the field

Mark Sanford – former Governor of South Carolina, former member of Congress – Age 59

As of January 12, five states have announced that they are canceling their Republican primaries or caucuses in 2020 to “save money”: Alaska, Arizona, Kansas, Nevada and South Carolina. Other states which do not have significant statewide primaries in other offices will likely follow.

There will be no debates.

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

The General Election

The upcoming presidential election is not, in fact, a national election. The election will be decided in roughly 8 states: Wisconsin, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, and North Carolina. Donald Trump won all these states except Nevada and Colorado in 2016.

Among black registered voters, support for potential Democratic candidates matched against Donald Trump ranges from 82% to 57%. Support for Donald Trump against each of the Democratic candidates is 4%. [WP/Ipsos 1/12/20]

A majority of black Americans are more interested in voting in 2020 than they were in 2016. [AxiosAM 12/30/19]

The following are the Real Clear Politics summaries of general election surveys taken nine months before the election.

12/9/19 – 1/11/20
Trump Dem
Trump vs Biden 44.2% 48.2%
Trump vs Sanders 45% 48.0%
Trump vs Warren 45.8% 46.2%
Trump vs Buttigieg 45% 44.3%
Trump vs Bloomberg 42.5% 43.5%

What are the odds?

Here are the odds for who is likely to win the 2020 presidential election as of January 21, 2020.

Donald Trump -130 (10/13)
Bernie Sanders +450 (4.5/1)
Joe Biden +600 (6/1)
Michael Bloomberg +1400 (14/1)
Elizabeth Warren +2000 (20/1)
Andrew Yang +2000 (20/1)
Pete Buttigieg +2500 (25/1)
Amy Klobuchar +6600 (66/1)
Tom Steyer +10,000(100/1)
Mike Pence +10,000 (100/1)
Tulsi Gabbard +12,500 (125/1)
Deval Patrick +15,000 (150/1)