Dems 2020: State of the Race

Ready or not, the Democratic presidential race is entering its second to last lap. Come Labor Day the battle begins 24/7 for Iowa, which coronated the last 6 ultimate nominees in the last 8 contests (favorite son Harkin’s win in 1992 was an obvious anomaly, and Missouri neighbor Gephardt’s Iowa win in 1988 similarly explainable).

Watching the speed dating 20-minute appearances of the candidates at the Iowa State Fair over the weekend, plus the state polling, and on-ground staffing of the Democratic hopefuls, my take:

Elizabeth Warren could dislodge Joe Biden. All that’s holding her back is worries among Iowa voters she’s not as likely as Biden to beat Trump. If she can fix that, Biden is done.

Other takes: Sanders has run his course, while Harris and Booker are getting a look. Mayor Pete isn’t catching on. The rest of field off the grid. But Iowans are warming to Warren’s authenticity.

Why is Iowa so critical (other than it’s history of mostly choosing the nomination winners)? Voters there define the narrative going forward. And this time the narrative out of Iowa matters more than ever. Within four weeks after Iowa’s Feb. 3 caucuses most of the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination will be chosen and pledged for the first ballot at the convention.

I’m not seeing Democrats fully understand the end game is here and now for choosing who challenges Trump. Waiting for the perfect is the enemy of the possible.

I choose Warren.


Author: craigcrawford

Trail Mix Host

59 thoughts on “Dems 2020: State of the Race”

  1. “Waiting for the perfect is the enemy of the possible.”

    craig, kudos on that sentiment.  would make a good bumper sticker and poster for no matter who is nominated.

  2. daily beast on john oliver’s NRA rant last night:

    But Oliver told his audience to keep their eye on the ball: “Trump’s pathological lack of empathy should not distract us from the most important question right now, which is what action—if any—will be taken on guns,” offered Oliver, stating that “pressure is building” for just that.  

    He then aimed his ire at the National Rifle Association (NRA), which has been in a state of financial turmoil for the past year—or as Oliver put it, is “currently in the midst of an eternal shitshow.”

    “It all started last year, when federal investigators started looking into whether a Russian agent [Maria Butina] had used the NRA to infiltrate Republican policies—which is already comfortably bad enough. But then, the New York State AG started looking into their tax-exempt status because the NRA is technically a non-profit, and it turns out there’s been some very suspicious expenditures,” the comedian explained.

    Yes, NRA chief Wayne LaPierre is accused of spending member dues on outlandish personal expenses, including nearly $300,000 on designer clothes, luxury travel, etc. He also reportedly wanted the organization to buy him a $6 million mansion in Texas (with nine bathrooms!) after the Parkland shooting out of safety fears.

    “Wow. So, putting aside the head of the NRA claiming he needs a mansion because other people got shot, the housing question is ludicrous,” said Oliver.

    Oliver then took it upon himself to dance on the grave of NRATV, the gun-lobbying group’s strange propaganda-TV channel that imploded earlier this year.

    “Obviously, the death of NRATV is a tragedy—thoughts and prayers to all those affected—but the bottom line is, for the first time in a while, things are not actually looking great for the NRA, so does this mean that gun control could finally happen? Mitch McConnell has hinted at action on background checks but he’s also refused to recall the Senate, and might be hoping that by the time it’s back in session, the pressure will be off,” said Oliver.

    “Meanwhile, the president has said that he’s willing to stand up to the NRA but he’s also 1) a liar, and 2) likely to identify with an organization that has spent itself into colossal debt, has troubling ties to Russia, and is associated with shitty TV programs and very bad taste,” he added.

    “I guess what I’m really saying here is, a weakened NRA is nice—sure—but the only way that things are really going to change is if lawmakers continue to feel the pressure to…do something.

  3. Following all the Iowa news I have to agree that Warren could put an end to both Sanders and Biden.  That being said, I would include among the still viable for a variety of reasons: 

    Harris, Beto, Booker, and Klobuchar. 

    All are qualified for the next debate and I’ve dropped qualifiers I don’t think stand a chance).

    Warren is the same age group as Sanders and Biden though she acts a great deal younger than both.  Harris is still the candidate for the millenials and POC.  

    The trick will be how to mix and match for the strongest possible team.



  4. WHO-tv’s corn kernel poll:  Cast Your Kernel Results

    Iowa State Fair attendees are casting their kernel. Who will be the next President of the United States? Cast Your Kernel is an unscientific poll. Click on a candidate to find out a little more about each one. Here are the results so far…

    Posted: 8:47pm 8/11/2019


    Results by Party




    Candidate Breakdown




    Joe Biden (D)
    Joe Biden
    Pete Buttigieg (D)
    Pete Buttigieg
    Elizabeth Warren (D)
    Elizabeth Warren
    Kamala Harris (D)
    Kamala Harris
    Bernie Sanders (D)
    Bernie Sanders
    Cory Booker (D)
    Cory Booker
    Tulsi Gabbard (D)
    Tulsi Gabbard
    Amy Klobuchar (D)
    Amy Klobuchar
    Tom Steyer (D)
    Tom Steyer
    Andrew Yang (D)
    Andrew Yang
    Beto O’Rourke (D)
    Beto O'Rourke
    Steve Bullock (D)
    Steve Bullock
    John Delaney (D)
    John Delaney
    Julian Castro (D)
    Julian Castro
    Marianne Williamson (D)
    Marianne Williamson
    Kirsten Gillibrand (D)
    Kirsten Gillibrand
    John Hickenlooper (D)
    John Hickenlooper
    Jay Inslee (D)
    Jay Inslee
    Michael Bennet (D)
    Michael Bennet
    Joe Sestak (D)
    Joe Sestak
    Tim Ryan (D)
    Tim Ryan
    Wayne Messam (D)
    Wayne Messam
    Bill de Blasio (D)
    Bill de Blasio
    Seth Moulton (D)
    Seth Moulton




    Donald Trump (R)
    Donald Trump
    William Weld (R)
    William Weld



  5. People participate in the “corn poll” at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday. (Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images)


  6. wiegel yesterday afternoon at wapo:

    DES MOINES — The corn kernel poll, sponsored by WHO-TV and located not far from the booth that sells apple fritter funnel cake, epitomizes the Iowa State Fair. It is hokey, it is unscientific, and it offers a precious political commodity: the wisdom of Iowa voters.


    Over the fair’s first days, conveniently, the poll affirmed the conventional wisdom about Iowa. Nearly every Republican voter dropped a kernel in the “Donald Trump” jar, giving him 97 percent support and the quixotic candidacy of Bill Weld just 3 percent. (One of Weld’s votes came from J.D. Scholten, the Democrat running against Rep. Steve King, who did not want to show a Democratic presidential preference with cameras rolling.) Democrats spread their votes around; on Day 1 a third of them picked Joe Biden, and by Day 4 it had fallen to 25 percent. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) had jumped into double digits. 

    This Iowa weekend didn’t diverge from the wisdom of the corn.


  7. patd, I like the corn poll!! The Russians can’t hack that. Mabbe we should do that nationally?

  8. Whew…    I’m done.  I’m now officially retired from craft fairs.  Still giving work to galleries.

    patd…   you asked me a question on the last thread.  I haven’t paid much attention to state politics since last year’s election.  I do know we went from a repub. to a Dem. legislature…  but enough to override the governor’s veto…   I don’t know.

    I like Warren…  she has a very good shot at winning the NH primary because all our major news channels come from Boston….  so she gets more exposure here than our own Senators.

  9. tiptoe, let’s hope for sake of iowa corn poll honor the “Russians can’t hack that” however they seem to be still with us and pretty busy right now on another front according to this at politico:

    Joe Uchill, who covers the national security dimension of technology for Axios, tweeted Saturday afternoon, “A Russian bot I keep tabs on is going in heavy on Epstein conspiracy theories.”

  10. tiptoe, axios also reported on the erstwhile twit friend:

    Anthony Scaramucci, who famously served as President Trump’s communications director for 11 days, says Republicans may need to pick a different candidate in 2020.

    Driving the news: In a phone interview on Sunday afternoon, Scaramucci compared Trump to a melting nuclear reactor and said he may support a Republican challenger to Trump.

    • “We are now in the early episodes of ‘Chernobyl’ on HBO, where the reactor is melting down and the apparatchiks are trying to figure out whether to cover it up or start the clean-up process,” Scaramucci said.
    • “A couple more weeks like this and ‘country over party’ is going to require the Republicans to replace the top of the ticket in 2020.”

    Scaramucci, who has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Republican candidates, including Trump’s 2016 campaign, said that if Trump “doesn’t reform his behavior, it will not just be me, but many others will be considering helping to find a replacement in 2020.”

    • “Right now, it’s an unspeakable thing. But if he keeps it up, it will no longer be unspeakable. The minute they start speaking of it, it will circulate and be socialized. We can’t afford a full nuclear contamination site post 2020.”

    The big picture: Scaramucci has said that Trump’s attacks on congresswomen of color “divide the country.” And yesterday the president attacked his former communications director in a couple of tweets.

    White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham had this short response to Scaramucci’s comments about opposing Trump in 2020: “It sounds like his feelings are hurt.”


  11. maybe one last visit for old times sake?

    sturge,  forbes reported this back in july: Bill Barr Won’t Recuse Himself From Epstein Sex Trafficking Case

    Topline: U.S. attorney general Bill Barr will not recuse himself in Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking and conspiracy case, despite Barr’s previous assurance he would, given Barr worked at a law firm that represented Epstein, as well as a family connection between the two men stretching back decades. 


    • Barr has said he will recuse himself from a probe of Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta’s role in Epstein’s 2008 highly controversial Florida plea deal, when Acosta served as a U.S. attorney. The plea deal was ruled unconstitutional in February by a federal judge. 
    • Barr made the decision after consulting with ethics officials at the Justice Department, according to Bloomberg
    • Former FBI assistant director Frank Figliuzzi tweeted Sunday that Barr’s father hired Epstein in the ’70s to teach mathematics at
      • Manhattan’s prestigious Dalton School. And Barr previously worked for Kirkland & Ellis, a law firm that represented Epstein during the Florida investigation.
      • Epstein was indicted Monday in New York on two counts of sex trafficking and conspiracy and could face up to 45 years in prison if convicted.
      • Acosta tweeted a thread in support of New York’s prosecution of Epstein, despite his role in negotiating what’s been criticized as letting Epstein off the hook for allegedly running a sex trafficking network of underage girls.


  12. also in july, this from raw story:  Bill Barr could interfere with Trump pal Jeffrey Epstein’s prosecution: ex-FBI official

    In a series of tweets on Saturday night and Sunday morning, former FBI Assistant Director Frank Figliuzzi admitted that Attorney General William Barr could run interference for the president with the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York’s prosecution of alleged child trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.


    After linking to a report on Epstein’s arrest, commenters noted the millionaire’s relationship to President Donald Trump and the ex-FBI man said Barr — as the head of the Justice Department — could insert himself into the case but it would be highly obvious if he tried to interfere.

    First writing, “Watch for the current Secretary of Labor; Watch for why this is being handled by the Public Corruption section at SDNY, ” Figliuzzi, added, “Yes, AG Barr oversees the US Attorney’s Office in NY, so it’s possible he could attempt to interfere, though it would be obvious. Also, many years ago, Barr’s father hired Epstein to teach at the private Dalton school, with no college degree. So there’s that…”

    [continues with tweets and retweet of trump saying nice things about Epstein]

  13. wonder if the Russian bots had anything to do with the NY Post story that raw story reported about barr’s visit:  Former mobster says Bill Barr made a secret visit to jail before Epstein’s death: ‘Something’s not right there’

  14. President Elizabeth Warren -hmmm   I have already said I would vote for her
    She’s like Hillary without all the baggage (BIll) Also she has a better public persona and is more likeable

  15. Warren/Harris could be a great team and one that could get my vote.  That being said, it has at least two severe drawbacks.  Two women who come from the east and west coast.  That pretty well wipes out the  moderate middle of the nation without a massive GOTV campaign.  

    It would be better to match either Warren or Harris with a male (POC for Warren) from a different part of the country.






  16. I’ve always thought Warren is the most authentic agent for the change we need running for president in a very long time but I just thought the risk was too great she couldn’t survive the general election. It is still a gamble but Trump is melting down and improving the odds for her.

  17. Craig – The best campaign strategy Dems can use is five or ten minute videos of SFB  rambling off into crazy talk and mumbling idiocy.  Show what the networks will not.  A lost in space freaky old white suprmacist.

  18. KGC

    You are right.  Warren/Booker is a better ticket, but again two east coast “elite”.  I can almost write the GOP commercials.


  19. I think the mass media should only cover things that the president actually does without any of the bluster. Without any embellishment

  20. KGC

    Good luck with that.  Even the most classic anchors seem on the verge of hysteria these days.   The combinaiton of gossip, innuendo, every form of propaganda known to politics/entertainment, and general hysteria seems to be part of every newscast.


  21. I think Epstein did kill himself — he saw the end to his life as a rich scuzzy perv ending and the rest of his life in jail.  
    I like the theory that he wasn’t an financial advisor but a black mailer

  22. The question is how did he do it?  Paper thin sheets.  No height for the noose etc.  Something is weird.  The question is how weird. 


  23. BB, I like your approach. The media won’t ignore him so put the crazy side out there as a counterpoint. 
    Not sure about Epstein, but there’s an odor surrounding it, including Barr’s recusal refusal. 
    Sturge, but can he do the fandango?

  24. the guardian:

    Russian scientists have indicated that they were working on miniaturised sources of nuclear energy when a rocket engine exploded last week, increasing scrutiny of the possibility that the accident occurred while testing an experimental cruise missile powered by a small reactor.


    The explosion last Thursday at a military testing ground in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region killed at least five people and caused radiation readings in neighbouring cities to spike to 20 times their normal level for half an hour.


    Russia’s defence ministry said the explosion had taken place during testing of a rocket engine, but the country’s nuclear agency, Rosatom, later confirmed that several of its employees had been killed during testing of an “isotope power source in a liquid propulsion system”.


    David Cullen, the director of the Nuclear Information Service in the UK, said on Monday that the view among independent experts was that the explosion appeared to have been caused by the failure of an experimental nuclear-powered cruise missile known in Russia as the 9M730 Burevestnik and by Nato as the SSC-X-9 Skyfall.

    Announced by the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, in 2018, the missile is theoretically able to use an onboard source of nuclear fuel to heat fast-moving air and fly for indefinite periods. [continues]

  25.  “…but again two east coast ‘elite’.  I can almost write the GOP commercials.“ -Jamie

    -You’re overthinking it.  Their nominees are an amoral New York City hustler and an empty-suit from a northern state most people can’t find on a map.

  26. barr smothered him with his jowls.
    Those jowls can’t be examined because of executive privilege.

  27. Why am i not fascinated by a serial sexual-abuser of minors killing himself in prison like everyone else seems to be?

    Can we please start teaching “Occam’s Razor” in schools, starting in Kindergarten, plzzzzzzz

  28.  “. . . amoral New York City hustler . . . .” – Mr Bink
    That’s when he’s on his best behavior, as when he spends all day merely cheating at golf.

  29. The Bush the Lesser Administration still reigns as the most corrupt and evil of my lifetime.  Hoping it stays that way.

  30. I have an aww shucks story
    On facebook, there was a post that included a picture of the wife of my sixth-grade teacher.  We were his first class and it was kind of a novelty to have a male teacher in the lower grades and he was young.  He got married the year we had him and we all went to the wedding.  He had served in Korea and one day we came to class and he was wearing a kimona and he took  us on a tour of Korea.  He was a wonderful teacher and I’m sure everyone in the class thought he was great.   So I posted my memory for his wife and she wrote back — that she remembered me and that they had named their daughter after me.    I was stunned.  

  31. My parents were in the same school system and he never told them.   I never saw him after that year.

  32. KGC – wonderful story. 
    So many of my teachers used their lives to enrich ours.  In high school we had a survivor of Buchenwald.  He always tried to cover the tattoo on his arm, but would uncover it (roll up his sleeves) when he was with a small group of students  for whom he was mentor.  Others were WWII and Korea veterans.  The women teachers had their lives too during the war years and the Great Depression.  Growing up post WWII-Korea was probably better than what children have now now, unless the few Western-Asia veterans go into teaching.  I think there was a program for those going into teaching which paid for a certain amount of college courses back in the 60’s.

  33. Having gone to 21 schools in 12 years, I can only remember the names of three teachers.  Miss Neff who wore yellow with a purple orchid and got on her knees to tell us we would thank her some day.  I did because how to type 100 words a minute on a manual and faster later on electric and computer kept me employed for 30 years.  Mr Burt who told really dumb jokes and referred to himself as “humerus Burt” while teaching physiology and giving me a lifelong love of science and the natural world.  Mr. Liefer who taught International relations … well you all know the outcome of those lessons.  He was the only one I saw in later life as a contestant on Jeopardy.


  34. newsweek via msn:

    Ann Coulter Suggests Donald Trump Should Be Charged for Employing Undocumented Migrant Workers

    Right-wing commentator and former avid supporter of President Donald Trump Ann Coulter has asked why the president and other employers have not been charged with a crime for hiring undocumented migrants.

    “Yes, why WON’T authorities charge the employers using all the illegal alien workers?” Coulter wrote on Twitter, sharing an op-ed from The Washington Post calling out Trump’s double standard of allegedly employing undocumented migrants while his administration raids other companies and deports working immigrants without legal status.






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