Monday, January 13, 2020

Current primary thoughts

Hey remember when I used to periodically post my order of preference for candidates in the Democratic primary? I haven't done that for a while! I just looked back and found the three times I did it, which brings me to these ten (!) thoughts:

First, Jesus fucking Christ, this primary has gone on for a long time! I mean, I knew that. It certainly feels endless. But my first post with a ranking was on November 13, 2018 (14 months ago). At that point most, if not all, had not officially declared their candidacies yet so some of the people on my list never actually ran.

Second, I can't believe some of my rankings. I mean, I have no real beef against Amy Klobuchar. I would be happy to have her as the nominee (certainly happier than if certain other candidates got the nod), but I had no memory of her ever being my #1 as she apparently was in my first list on 11/13/18. Admittedly I noted when I wrote that list that the top 5 were pretty interchangeable. But even my top tier surprises me. Deval Patrick? Really? I mean, I was not happy when he recently jumped into the race and never thought of myself as his supporter. did I know less about him back in 2018 than I do now? How has my opinion of him changed so dramatically when he has been mostly absent from the news in the past 14 months?

Third, of the five people I put on the bottom of my original 11/13/18 list, noting I hoped they would not run, three of those five did run and two of the five (Biden and Sanders) are top-tier candidates. In fact, at this point, I think there is a greater than 50% chance that either Biden or Sanders is the nominee. WHY DOES NO ONE LISTEN TO ME?!?!?!

Fourth, at least I was right about Avenetti. As bad as I think the Biden nomination would be, that would have been a whole lot worse. That dude's fifteen minutes already seems like ancient history.

Fifth, my second list on 2/19/19 included only the candidates who had declared as of that time, which did not include Biden yet. If I cross of all the ones who have dropped out as of today (specifically Harris, Gillibrand, Booker, Castro, and Williamson), the remaining list would be:
1. Warren
2. Buttegieg
3. Klobuchar
4. Delaney
5. Yang
6. Sanders
7. Gabbard
Which is not far off from my current thinking (see below), which means that the last year or so of campaigning has had very little impact on me.

Sixth,the last time I did this (4/20/19) oddly omits Tulsi Gabbard. I'm not sure why.

Seventh, the depressing thing about all of this is how many candidates there have been that I would have been excited to support and who have dropped out or decided not to run.

Eighth, in the past 14 months I went from feeling like there were a bunch of candidates I could get excited about to only one that I really enthusiastically like even though there are still a a fair number of candidates.

Ninth, if I had to rank the candidates now (using this list of the candidates who are currently running), it would be:
1. Warren
2. Klobuchar
3. Bennett/Delaney
4. Buttegieg
5. Yang
6. Patrick
7. Sanders
8. Steyer
9. Bloomberg
10. Biden
11. Gabbard
Bennett and Delaney are sharing a ranking because I honestly could not pick those two out of a line up and have very little sense of what they would bring other than a bland generic democratic candidacy. The sad thing is a bland generic democrat is preferable to a lot of other candidates at this point. (On the other hand, if I knew more about Bennett or Delany, they could very well drop below Buttegieg, or further) For everyone starting with Buttegieg and moving down, I have some serious issues with, and the only one that I am enthusiastic about getting the nomination is Warren, whose chances have faded recently (although she is hardly out yet). Again, I am kind of surprised by how highly Klobuchar ends up in the current rankings, but that is more about the negatives with the people below her than anything else.

Tenth and finally, it is worth noting that I would vote for all of the Democratic candidates over Trump (although a Gabbard-Trump general election would be a pretty terrible choice. Luckily, I think there is almost no chance of that ever happening).