Monday, April 22, 2019

Seth Who?

I always wonder how a guy like Seth Moulton thinks he has a chance to get the Democratic nomination. It's a crowded field, with several (in my mind at least) impressive candidates, many of whom have much better name recognition than the back-bencher in the House who was part of a failed (and now unpopular) bid to oust Nancy but otherwise few outside of his district have heard of.

I get that every Presidential run is a long-shot. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would ever want to do it considering how it means giving up your life for 2 years (longer if you actually win), going far into debt, all for an extremely small chance of winning. But I can see how some of the others, at least, see a path to victory, even if that path is narrow. How much of a path does Moulton actually have? In such a crowded field, does he have a story he tells himself which ends with a Moulton presidency?

ADDING: 538 has a piece entitled "How Seth Moulton Could Win the 2020 Democratic Primary." The site has published an article for every democratic candidate after he or she declares and their article is always titled "How X Could Win the 2020 Democratic Primary." So the title should not be read as a prediction that he actually can win. In fact, if you read it, the conclusion seems to be that he doesn't have a clear path to the nomination:
So Moulton remains, at best, a dark horse for the nomination. He gets almost no support in the few polls that have bothered to ask about him. According to Monmouth University, 56 percent of likely Iowa Democratic caucusgoers have never heard of him; only Wayne Messam was more anonymous. And even if Moulton does get his message out, will it resonate? Almost no voters (4 percent, according to a recent CNN/SSRS poll) say foreign affairs and security — expected to be Moulton’s signature issue — will be the most important factor in their 2020 vote. And in our study of 2018 primaries for Senate, House and governor, we found that veterans didn’t win open Democratic primaries any more often than non-veterans did. There may simply be no appetite for a figure like Moulton in today’s Democratic Party.
I guess this could be one of those "running for president to build your name recognition for next time" runs. But I don't even understand that. Running for President is really hard. Many of the candidates who are running now and who have a chance have never run before. There are other ways to build name recognition. I imagine at least some would be available to someone like Moulton, a member of Congress.

ADDING 2: This seems like an even stupider reason to run:
Surely he could come up with an easier and less expensive cover story to explain not running for reelection other than a presidential run!