Can Anyone Catch Joe Biden?
Author: Greg Valliere
May 15, 2019
THE MEDIA LOVES A HORSE RACE, so it’s a little early to anoint Joe Biden as the Democrats’ nominee. He’s 76 and has flaws, the progressives will mock him, and a Joe Biden verbal flub could come at any minute. But let’s be cynical — many of the candidates we list below are running for vice president, or for name recognition in the 2024 race. Here’s our monthly rankings:
10. The field: Sen. Michael Bennett of Colorado is first rate; Kirsten Gillibrand has plummeted; everyone asks us about John Yang; Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is a blue collar favorite; John Hickenlooper has been a mild disappointment; incredible heat wave this spring in the Arctic gives Jay Inslee a serious issue. Several other candidates have no chance, difficult to see any break-outs.
9. Beto O’Rourke: Trim, great hair, lovely teeth — plenty of charisma but not much substance. The “it” candidate last December, O’Rourke is in jeopardy of dropping out by fall if his latest re-boot fails.
8. Julian Castro: A candidate to watch. The only Hispanic in the race, Castro is impressive on TV and could win 10-15% of the vote in California and other early primaries. An obvious VP pick.
7. Cory Booker: Finally showing signs of life, likely to hang around well into the primaries, but where can he score a breakthrough win? Needs a signature issue . . .
6. Amy Klobuchar: She’s hoping for a surprise win in Iowa; otherwise, her only plausible chance of winning the nomination would be a crash by Biden, which would open up the center lane.
5. Kamala Harris: She’s still in the mix, but the momentum she showed in the winter has faded. A clear win in the early California primary is mandatory, but she strikes us as positioning herself as a major candidate in 2024, or a VP nominee.
4. Pete Buttigieg: Articulate and charming, he’s the surprise star of the year, adored by the media, which loves good copy. We could care less about Bittigieg’s sexual orientation; our concern is that he’s only 37 years old. We have stuff in our refrigerator that’s 37 years old . . . Yes, Buttigieg has a chance to win the presidency — in 2028 or 2032.
3. Bernie Sanders: Flush with money and relentlessly pushing for a socialist agenda, Sanders has an adoring base, but can he appeal to moderate Democrats? His snarling criticism of Biden will turn off many voters and party leaders; to be blunt, Sanders is not very likable and his age, 77, will be an issue.
2. Elizabeth Warren: The first catchphrase of the campaign is “I’ve got a plan for that,” as Warren offers wonky progressive details for every imaginable problem. She has a loyal base, a solid campaign staff and decent prospects in some early contests. If O’Rourke and Harris have been disappointments, Warren and Buttigieg have been the big surprises. Warren and Sanders share a huge liability: are they electable in a general election?
1. Joe Biden: He’s very popular in the party, he’s a moderate and he can make a plausible case for beating Trump in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. But the front-runner always becomes the target, and Biden is hardly a shoo-in despite his huge lead in the polls; he sometimes sounds like a more likable version of Hillary Clinton, and that’s not a favorable comparison.
BOTTOM LINE: Despite all the hype over the surging progressives, an old white guy, establishment to the core, seems to be the likely nominee. The left is determined to take down Biden, but who could defeat him for the nomination? If it’s Warren or Sanders, Trump would be the favorite, but the markets would watch nervously — Trump already has shown that an underdog can win the presidency.
The views expressed in this blog are provided as a general source of information based on information available as of the date of publication and should not be considered as personal investment advice or an offer or solicitation to buy and/or sell securities. Speculation or stated believes about future events, such as market or economic conditions, company or security performance, or other projections represent the beliefs of the author and do not necessarily represent the view of AGF, its subsidiaries or any of its affiliated companies, funds or investment strategies. Every effort has been made to ensure accuracy in these commentaries at the time of publication; however, accuracy cannot be guaranteed. Market conditions may change and AGF accepts no responsibility for individual investment decisions arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained herein. Any financial projections are based on the opinions of the author and should not be considered as a forecast. The forward looking statements and opinions may be affected by changing economic circumstances and are subject to a number of uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in the forward looking statements. The information contained in this commentary is designed to provide you with general information related to the political and economic environment in the United States. It is not intended to be comprehensive investment advice applicable to the circumstances of the individual.
AGF Investments is a group of wholly owned subsidiaries of AGF Management Limited, a Canadian reporting issuer. The subsidiaries included in AGF Investments are AGF Investments Inc. (AGFI), AGF Investments America Inc. (AGFA), AGF Investments LLC (AGFUS) and AGF International Advisors Company Limited (AGFIA). AGFA and AGFUS are registered advisors in the U.S. AGFI is a registered as a portfolio manager across Canadian securities commissions. AGFIA is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and registered with the Australian Securities & Investments Commission. The subsidiaries that form AGF Investments manage a variety of mandates comprised of equity, fixed income and balanced assets.
About AGF Management Limited
Founded in 1957, AGF Management Limited (AGF) is an independent and globally diverse asset management firm. AGF brings a disciplined approach to delivering excellence in investment management through its fundamental, quantitative, alternative and high-net-worth businesses focused on providing an exceptional client experience. AGF’s suite of investment solutions extends globally to a wide range of clients, from financial advisors and individual investors to institutional investors including pension plans, corporate plans, sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations.
For further information, please visit AGF.com.
©2022 AGF Management Limited. All rights reserved.