A recent poll released by Fox News shows the Democratic field shrinking. What once boasted a field of over 20 candidates has now dropped to six leading candidates that seem to have a shot. With the field dwindling down, it’s a great time to take a closer look at the field.
Some of the obvious candidates are Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg. They have had a significant following and have polled very well. Two other candidates have qualified for the upcoming debate that have not had as much public recognition. They are Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer. Klobuchar qualifies for the debate based on previous polls while Steyer qualifies for recent polls.
We know plenty about Biden, Warren, Sanders and Buttigieg. Klobuchar made some headlines with her most recent performance in the debate, but she did not see a huge bump post debate in the polls. In most recent polls, Klobuchar is hanging around 3% with Yang and Bloomberg. This is certainly not the place to be in order to be competitive. That’s in the neighborhood of Tulsi Gabbard and Cory Booker, both who have no chance at the nomination at this point.
So now we get back to Steyer, a billionaire. Yes, a billionaire that Democrats have been on the assault against for the past few years. But Steyer has some independent and crossover appeal that’s worth noting. For example, Steyer brags about his term limits plan for Congress. His proposal is 12 total years of service in Congress.
He continues with proposals for vote at home systems, independent redistricting commissions, national referendums and more. If you look at some of these proposals, it would be easy for conservatives to fall suspect to this platform. But as you dig into his plans, he is a supporter of the $15 minimum wage, supports climate change theories, wants universal healthcare and supports free college tuition.
Steyer is attempting to promote his agenda to both the left and moderates with this approach. He is giving the progressives what they want with the free programs, climate change, etc. while pandering to the moderates with the term limits, referendums and the redistricting proposals.
I believe a lot of people did not take Steyer’s candidacy as legitimate for a long time, but he is worth watching. According to Politico, he has outspent every other candidate in the markets he is advertising in. He’s spend $11.2 million in South Carolina, $10.3 million in Nevada and is now polling in double digits in both. In South Carolina he’s at 15% while in Nevada he’s at 12%.
That’s a strong sign of the strength of his campaign. He is not a simple candidate that can be overlooked. He has billions of dollars to dump into the campaign, and it’s showing that the money is buying him a competitive advantage. So while the other Democrats are out pandering to a special interest group, Steyer has decided to pander to them all. For the moment, it’s a strategy that seems to be working.
Can this surging candidate defeat President Trump however? I don’t think Steyer’s position will put him in any better chances to beat Trump than anyone else. While he may have appeal across several groups, he is a billionaire and will struggle to have the progressives to support him. With other candidates struggling in head to head matchups against Trump, the chances of Democrats winning in 2020 is dwindling.
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