The trite old saying about how Democrats fall in love when picking their candidates while Republicans fall in line may not be true for the 2020 presidential election. At least the part about Democrats.
The #1 priority of Democrats this election cycle is electability. A solid majority of primary voters say beating Trump is more important to them than the issues.
“[T]he share of primary voters who value electability is higher this year than it was in the last two presidential elections,” notes Five Thirty Eight. “Given how many Democrats see Trump as uniquely alarming and unacceptable president, it makes sense that opponents would view it as more important to defeat him than they have other presidents.”
A data analyst with the Washington Post did an analysis of the electability of some running for the Democratic presidential nomination. He based his conclusions on how well they’ve done in past elections.
Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke were the most electable in his analysis. Corey Booker did fine. Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are difficult to determine an electability score. Elizabeth Warren performed poorly.
The reality is this: it’s far from clear at this point which candidate(s) can beat Trump in battleground states – be it Texas or the Midwest. To be continued.
But what is clear in the 14-person field that while there are indeed policy differences, all share fundamental progressive values. And agree on what the ultimate prize is in the short-term: getting the guy out of the White House.
No one in the party wants to wake up to this New York Times headline the day after the 2020 election: “Trump Wins Second Term, Dismaying and Deflating Democrats.”