Karma? Labor Day has come and gone and now comes the true election season. As summer vacations become a memory and the leaves start to change, Democratic Party voters and their donor elite have distilled the selection of presidential nominees down to, wait for it, three old white people.
How could that be? The party of social justice, white-shame and virtue signaling has no interest in the Latino candidate (Castro), the black candidates (Booker and Harris), the Asian-American candidate (Yang), the gay candidate (Buttigieg), and they’ve all but forgotten their younger nominees.
In July, Kamala Harris looked like the only younger, non-white, non-male candidate that stood a chance, but her 53% drop in the polls since then indicates that Democrats just aren’t that into her. Almost all of the 8 points Harris lost went to Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders with a smidge falling to Beto O’Rourke.
So what’s an identity-focused social justice warrior to do? Suck it up buttercup – you get to vote for either a 76-year-old white dude, 70-year-old white lady (ok, 1/1,024 possible native American), and a 77-year-old white dude. So which caucasian septuagenarian will represent the left in 2020?
Warren’s early August boom has leveled out at just over 16% while Bernie is floating between 17% and 18%. Biden, gaffes and all, is still right around 30%.
The next inflection point will likely be the September 12th (and 13th, if needed) Democratic Party Debate in Houston, Texas. The higher polling and donor requirements will probably leave Klobuchar and those below her out in the cold while just the top 10 candidates take the stage. If the field narrows to ten, expect the second night to be canceled. If more than 10 make the cut, the also-rans will scuffle on Friday night… good luck getting seen.
With the also-rans out, there are just under 5 points that will go somewhere. Roughly half will likely move to Joe Biden and the other half will split between Sanders and Warren.
Biden has the most to lose and he will be the largest target at the next debate. Sanders tends to neither get much of a boost or bust from his debate appearances while Harris rocketed into contention after her scathing attacks against Biden in their first debate appearance together.
Biden allies have a lot to be worried about. He’s been caught making up stories about war heroes, getting historically significant dates wrong, forgetting which city he’s in and which cities experienced serious tragedies. A live television appearance where Harris, Sanders, and Warren are gunning for him could spark all kinds of opportunities to spew inaccurate, misremembered facts or events.
Unless Biden completely disintegrates at the debate, look for him to hold steady around 32% afterward. If Warren is able to rattle the former veep, she could pull 5 points from him which would make it a close 2-way race. It’s unlikely that Sanders will do anything surprising or out-of-character at the debate so he’ll likely hold on with between 15 and 18%.
Harris could pull out another viral debate performance, but it is unlikely to spark another poll spike for her. If she damages Biden, any drop in polling will move to Sanders and Warren – not Kamala. Again, Democrats just aren’t that into her anymore. But don’t count her out as a V.P. -pick. ‘Warren-Harris 2020′ checks off a whole lotta’ boxes on the left side of the fence.