Under Construction B

If We Could Turn Back Time

Sometimes it seems as if the Democratic Party processes are running backwards … or, at least. spinning their wheels. The ups and downs of their number of candidates and number of debaters is becoming a little tiring. This graph shows the variations in the number of candidates and number of debaters since I wrote “Election 2020 #1” in response to the fourth Democratic debate.

Candidates and Debaters

The “moving average” trend lines show the odd ups and downs of the candidates (green) and the debaters (red). Here’s another graph for the same period with the candidate fluctuations between the debates eliminated.

Candidates and Debaters across 7 Debates

The polynomial trend lines show that the debate rules set by the Democratic National Committee have not been entirely effective. While the number of candidates has dwindled from 19 to 8. From October 15th through January 14th, the number of debaters decreased steadily from 12 to 10 to 8 to 6. On February 7th, the New Hampshire debate, the count went back up to 7; then, back down to 6 for Nevada; and, up to 7 for South Carolina.[1]

Back to the Present … and the Future

Not surprisingly, the eight candidates who were running in Nevada on February 22 are still running in South Carolina on February 29th. My guess is that they will be running on Super Tuesday, March 3rd as well.

08 Candidates as of 12-Feb-2020

Seven of the eight participated in the debate on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

- 07 Debaters

 

Evaluation Summary

By now, my regular readers[2]  know that I base these analyses on:

  • My personal opinion,
  • The latest polls,
  • The post-debate discussion of commentators and pundits,
  • The latest tallies from my cumulative random selection across all remaining candidates from both parties, and
  • A sum across the preceding 4 approaches.

This time, mostly for variety, I’m going to list the results of all 5 analyses … then, elaborate on those results that need further discussion.

My Less than Humble Opinion
  1. Joe Biden
  2. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar
  3. Tom Steyer
  4. Pete Buttigieg
  5. Mike Bloomberg
The Polls
  1. Bernie Sanders
  2. Joe Biden
  3. Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg
  4. Pete Buttigieg
  5. Amy Klobuchar
  6. Tom Steyer
The Commentators and Pundits
  1. Joe Biden
  2. Bernie Sanders
  3. Mike Bloomberg
  4. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg
  5. Amy Klobuchar
  6. Tom Steyer
Cumulative Random Selection
  1. Amy Klobuchar
  2. Joe Biden
  3. Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg
  4. Elizabeth Warren
  5. Tom Steyer
  6. Mike Bloomberg
Sum across Approaches
  1. Joe Biden
  2. Bernie Sanders
  3. Mike Bloomberg
  4. Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg
  5. Amy Klobuchar
  6. Tom Steyer

 

And Now, To Elaborate …

For those who want to investigate the candidates’ campaign websites, I’ve linked each one’s official site to their site in the discussion below. I did the best to find a URL that tells you something about the campaign beyond the candidate’s need for money, volunteers, and/or a commitment of support.
 

MLTHO

This was Joe Biden‘s best debate ever. For the most part, his responses to the moderators questions were right on target as were his rebuttals of and comments on the responses of others. Jim Clyburn 125I don’t know whether Joe was a lot less focused on Iowa and New Hampshire or just having trouble getting started. His second place in Nevada and his belief that he has strong support in South Carolina seem to have given him new energy. Joe received an extra boost when he was endorsed by the highly respected, two-time Majority Whip of the House, Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina.
 

Bernie Sanders won the Nevada Caucuses and has a sizable lead in earned delegates. He was one of three candidates who acknowledged the audience as the debaters walked on stage. He smiled at them and waved. I gave him his first point for that acknowledgement.
 
Since Nevada and going into South Carolina, he has had a “target on his back“. He was hit from both the moderators and his fellow candidates. I was surprised how well he was able to defend himself and “score points” at the same time. Having 6 opponents helped him a bit. Several gave him the opportunity to interject legitimate criticisms of some of their positions. How he may handle debating with fewer opponents … or one big, fat, lying. orange-faced bully … remains an open question.
 

Once again, Elizabeth Warren, attacked Mike Bloomberg. This time about a former employee who claimed that he said “Kill it,” when she mentioned she was pregnant … and, in regard to still outstanding non-disclosure agreements related to sexual harassment  claims against his company.
 
She was not among Bernie’s more dedicated critics, but did attempt to differentiate herself from him. She reminded us that she’s developed the “How to pay for it” plans that he seems to avoid.
 

Amy Klobuchar earned a point for acknowledging the audience by looking at them and smiling.
 
She handled this debate almost as well as she did the one preceding the New Hampshire primaries. Her responses, rebuttals, and interjections bore her outstanding pragmatism and obviously backed up by prior study of the subjects addressed. Once again, she had some trouble fitting her statements into the debate’s predefined time constraints.
 

Tom Steyer was the third candidate to acknowledge the audience. Like Amy he turned his head toward them and smiled. Biden, Bloomberg, Buttigieg, and Warren looked either straight ahead or at the camera.
 
Tom had a good night. Whenever he had a chance, Tom reminded us that he had sold his interest in the company he had built and turned his efforts and wealth to helping minority entrepreneurs get started, fight climate change, and oppose political corruption and cronyism. He is one of the few candidates who tries to remind the others that Donald Trump is the real enemy. He is the only candidate who supports some kind of reparations for slavery and economic suppression of the descendants of slaves.
 

The more I see Pete Buttigieg in these debates, the less impressed I am with him. He seems detached and a little arrogant. His talk of the needs of a new generation sound vaguely familiar … like someone who studied the campaigns of John Kennedy or Bill Clinton. I can understand that some who are my age and older might consider him to be “a nice young man”, but he’s not running for the office of favorite grandson.

Pete made a major mistake in claiming that Bernie has a “nostalgia for the revolution politics of the ’60s” just as Trump has a “nostalgia for the social order of the ’50s”. I was there for both, Pete. The ’50s were filled with a lot undeserved belief that America was beyond reproach. The ’60s exposed the county’s underbelly of inequity. Those who weren’t white, straight, Christian, male, and completely in agreement with the government were suppressed, reviled, beaten, and murdered. Anyone who revealed and fought against this sort of thing got similar treatment. At Kent State, the National Guard shot unarmed students. Get your history straight, Pete.
 

I have nothing good to say about Mike Bloomberg. He is a secretive, somewhat duplicitous, arrogant, and prone to playing the victim. Although he gained his wealth by ingenuity and honest hard work, as 9th wealthiest person in the world, Mike represents the “one tenth of one percent” that the many progressive Democrats abhor. In many ways he is Donald Trump without the blatant lies, total disregard for the law, monumental ignorance, and narcissism … and, with the actual wealth he claims.
 

The Polls

I found a lot of polls to consolidate for this article.

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End Notes
  1. As I write this, I wonder whether Tulsi Gabbard sometimes feels like a teenager who wasn’t invited to the party that “everybody” is talking about.
     
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  2. If you’re a new or irregular reader, welcome or welcome back. If you’re an irregular person, you’re in good company. I and my best friends like to think of ourselves as unique people … just like everybody else. 🤨🤔🙄😏😂
     
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