Our Monthly Update on the Democrats’ Campaign — Uncle Joe, the Comeback Kid
Author: Greg Valliere
November 15, 2019
LOTS TO FOLLOW THIS MORNING: Growing chances of a deal by next week on a NAFTA replacement; more public impeachment testimony; a grave threat to President Trump on his tax records; and the likelihood of an imminent move by Beijing to crush the insurrection in Hong Kong, just to cite a few issues.
BUT IT’S TIME FOR OUR MID-MONTHLY HANDICAPPING of the Democrats’ presidential race, so here goes . . .
7. The field: Time to say goodbye — soon — to Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard and perhaps several others. Tom Steyer’s billions will keep him in the race for a while longer, and sharp-tongued Julian Castro may last until March. Same with Andrew Yang; the kids love him. Deval Patrick, from Bain Capital, thinks he can win South Carolina on Feb. 29, but then what?
6. Amy Klobuchar: If there’s someone who might catch The Wave in the weeks before Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucuses, it could be Klobuchar, with her easy humor and moderate policies. She seems to be enjoying this.
5. Mike Bloomberg: We place him this high because $55 billion can buy a lot of TV ads ahead of Super Tuesday on March 3. But it can’t buy enthusiasm, and there’s outright hostility on the left toward an elderly billionaire who loves Wall Street and strong police powers. If Bloomberg won the nomination — highly unlikely in this left-leaning party — millions of activists would sit out the general election.
4. Bernie Sanders: Having a heart attack was the best thing that could have happened to his sputtering campaign. Sanders is generating affection for his quick recovery; a decent showing in Iowa or New Hampshire would keep Sanders in the race until California on March 3; he’s got the money to stick around.
3. Elizabeth Warren: The prospect that she could become president scared the daylights out of Wall Street in August, but her late-summer Iowa lead evaporated. Why? She can’t credibly explain how she would pay for her radical agenda of Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, etc. And Warren’s tax policies make Democrats worry that she’s too polarizing to win the general election. But counting her out would be a mistake: if she wins Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and California, Warren could go all the way.
2. Pete Buttigieg: The knock on him seems to be that he’s too young and inexperienced, and has virtually no support among African-Americans. But the brainy and articulate Buttigieg has won over lots of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and could win California on March 3. As usual, the hunter will now become the hunted; let’s see how he handles being a front-runner.
1. Joe Biden: His fundraising has picked up, his campaign speech has improved, he was solid in Monday’s Town Hall, and suddenly his poll numbers have inched higher. Biden’s strongest asset hasn’t changed: he has the best chance of flipping Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — three crucial states that Hillary Clinton barely lost. Despite legitimate concerns about his age, Biden has the most plausible path to the White House, which even the party’s left-wing activists concede.
BOTTOM LINE: Trump is looking bad in the impeachment hearings, even though Senate conviction is very unlikely. Fortunately for him, the economy is good (but not great), and the Democrats have a weak and divided field. Can they heal the rift between the centrists and the left? That will be the key issue by summer; for now, the Biden-Warren rift is likely to widen.
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.