In our current hyper-polarized political environment, I don’t think many people were surprised that Trump was impeached by the House of Representatives and acquitted by the Senate. Now that it’s over, and Trump is taking a victory lap, the question at this point is how does any of this affect the 2020 presidential election and what scenario is likely to play out. I’m not going to predict anything about the general election at this point except to say that if the economy holds up, all historical indicators point to a reelection for the sitting president. However, these are not normal times and I don’t think historical norms have ever mattered less.
With Iowa behind us, the crowded democratic field will start to whittle down and the field will likely reduce to four or five serious candidates within a week or two. This will likely be Sanders, Warren, Biden, Buttigieg, and Bloomberg. The prominent political forecaster Nate Silver from FiveThirtyEight doesn’t think Bloomberg has a realistic chance. He thinks the Billionaire former Mayor of New York simply started too late and the math does not work for him. I’m not so sure. Biden is fading fast and seems less viable every day. With him out of the picture, Bloomberg may be the only option for moderate, pro-business Democrats. I like Biden. I think he is a decent man, but he has a much sketchier track record than most people remember and has lost a step or two in the last few years. I never thought he had a realistic chance to win in 2020 and it still baffles me that practically every prominent Latino political organization jumped on his bandwagon – even when Julian was still in the mix.
The Democratic nomination will eventually come down to two candidates: the Bernie candidate and the anti-Bernie candidate. More specifically, either Warren or Bernie versus either Biden or Bloomberg. With Mayor Pete polling at nearly zero with Blacks and Hispanics, I don’t think he can get over the top this time around. And if I have to guess today, I predict it will come down to Bernie versus Bloomberg some time after Super Tuesday. What I think of that is something I will save for a future blog, but what I do know is that a Bernie versus Bloomberg primary won’t just be another political contest, it will define the soul of the Democratic party for the next decade or more.
The latest polls show Bernie Sanders opening us a double-digit lead over his democratic rivals and with his big win in Nevada, momentum seems to be building. Donald Trump and his supporters appear to be delighted by this. I assume because they think Sanders would be the easiest Democrat to beat in a general election. Sounds eerily familiar.