Democrats’ Fundraisers Worry — Isn’t There Anyone Else?
Author: Greg Valliere
October 9, 2019
YOU’D THINK THE DEMOCRATS must be feeling pretty confident about 2020, with support for impeachment rising and President Trump clearly vulnerable. But Democrats have their own problem — tepid support for their two front-runners, which is generating speculation about “someone else” who may emerge from the pack this fall.
TO BE BLUNT, Many Democrats think Joe Biden has lost a step and is at risk of stumbling in upcoming debates. And while there’s no smoking gun on Hunter Biden’s lucrative ties to Ukraine and China, Democrats acknowledge this will be a distraction.
A SENSE PERSISTS AMONG SOME DEMOCRATS that Elizabeth Warren may have peaked too early; the front-runner gets all the scrutiny, so there’s a renewed focus on her extremely expensive agenda and, thanks to Fox News and other critics, an intense scrutiny of her life and narratives. Most importantly for the Democrats’ fundraisers is an uneasiness that Warren is too polarizing to win a general election.
SO THE SPECULATION HAS INTENSIFIED: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE? There’s plenty of time for one of the announced candidates to make a late run — Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg in particular. We think all three are running for 2024 (or the vice presidential nomination) but there’s often a late surge in Iowa (see: Barack Obama in 2008), so a dark horse like Klobuchar could catch a wave.
OR THERE COULD BE A LATE ENTRY: Speculation is percolating in Washington that Hillary Clinton has not positively, unequivocally ruled out one last run. We think she’s radioactive, a terrible option for the Democrats. As we wrote last week, a far more intriguing late entrant would be Michelle Obama, but she hates politics and has rejected repeated pleas to run.
THE SAFEST BET is that Biden will right the ship and get traction with his strongest argument — he has the most plausible path to 270 electoral votes. But Warren, currently the front-runner, will stay in this race for months to come, potentially reaping a windfall when Bernie Sanders eventually drops out and endorses her.
IF BIDEN STUMBLES in next Tuesday’s debate, a sense of panic will set in among the party’s fundraisers, who think Warren can’t win the presidency — and they know she represents a real threat to their companies and their tax rates. So the whispering is becoming louder: isn’t there someone else?
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