With only days to go before the first actual vote counting (in the
Iowa caucuses), the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination
contest is taking some shape, albeit one made of mostly political
It is now likely (but not certain) that the eventual nominee will have
the surname of Biden, Sanders, Warren or Buttigieg. These four
candidates have survived the early phases of the campaign, and
consistently hold a clear lead in most poling so far. Two liberal
billionaires, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, entered the race
late, but have already spent enormous sums to gain recognition.
Of the other six candidates, only AndrewYang appears to have
created a notable (but small) grassroots base. the remaining five
have low single-digit polling support in most states.
One major caveat to the above is the growing possibility of a
so-called brokered convention. If that happens, current bets
would likely be off the table. Strange things can occur at such an
event. (A case in point is he 1924 Democratic convention when,
after 103 [!!!] ballots, a very dark horse candidate, John W. Davis,
was nominated, defeating the two frontrunners and the rest of
the field. He then went on to a big defeat by the Republican
incumbent President Calvin Coolidge.)
Deals and delegate trading are routine at brokered conventions,
and while today’s delegates are much more independent than in
the past, almost anything could result, given the wide current
divide in the Democratic Party.
On the other hand, the primaries and caucuses could determine a
nominee before the convention. A reasonable case could now be
made for the four leading figures previously cited.
Two figures from previous and unsuccessful runs , Joe Biden and
Bernie Sanders are considered the frontrunners Biden, the more
moderate liberal, and Sanders, the self-proclaimed socialist
progressive, each have a loyal base who don’t seem to care about
their candidate’s foibles. Each of them will likely accumulate
serious numbers of delegates in the primary/caucus season
between February and June. So should Elizabeth Warren, a
first-time candidate, but also someone with a loyal national
Depending on how newcomer Pete Buttigieg, the surprise so far
of the campaign, does --- and mega-spending Michael Bloomberg
and Tom Steyer do --- in winning delegates, the contest could go
into the July convention in Milwaukee undecided. Other
candidates such as Yang could win numbers of delegates.
Democrats have a history of convention surprises, including
William Jennings Bryan, and Davis.
It is even possible that the party’s nominee could be someone
not even a candidate before the convention (as Bryan was in
Twenty-six men and women have sought the Democratic 2020
nomination.Now there are only twelve left. The impeachment
melodrama remains to be concluded. The Democratic Party
voters, and not just ambiguous media polls, remain to be tallied,
and the secret code of this critical election cycle remains to be
Copyright (c) 2020 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.