I’m David Byler. Welcome to Round 10 of the Post Pundit Power Ranking! Who knew we’d make it to double digits? I mean, as the resident predictive modeling guy, I did, but the point stands!
And before you ask: No, I don’t have a magical data point that tells us exactly who is going to win this thing. But we have the next-best option: takes from all your favorite Post writers!
Two stories dominated this week: Joe Biden’s handsiness and the money race.
The Biden story is one of the least comfortable of the primary so far. Political junkies probably already know that Biden gets up close and personal with supporters (especially women) on the campaign trail. He has had boosters sit on or very near his lap, given out unrequested shoulder squeezes, rubbed noses with strangers and kissed a candidate for lieutenant governor on the back of the head. This isn’t Roy Moore stuff, but it’s not good.
Biden has since said he’d change his ways. But the incident raises a big question: Is Biden fundamentally out of touch? Can someone who is that tactile win a Democratic primary in the #MeToo era?
My precise, data-driven answer is … maybe. Biden has been around for a while, and parts of his base have probably either priced this in or aren’t from the most socially progressive wing of the party. The other candidates haven’t really started hitting him for his other baggage (e.g., crime bills, Anita Hill), and those issues seem more likely to derail him.
The other key story this week is the money primary. Bernie Sanders led the pack with $18.2 million raised in six weeks, and Kamala D. Harris raised $12 million. Beto O’Rourke raised $9.4 million in the first 18 days of campaigning, and Pete Buttigieg came out of nowhere with $7 million. Even Andrew Yang, who has been going after the coveted anti-circumcision vote, is in the mix with $1.7 million.
These numbers mostly point to chaos: Most of the candidates we rank highly are raising a lot of money, and nobody is dominating like Hillary Clinton in 2016. But this stage in the game, at least, chaos is fun!
— David Byler
|Position||Challenger||Change Over Last Ranking|
|1.||Kamala D. Harris||UP 2|
|3.||Joe Biden||DOWN 2|
|5.||Elizabeth Warren||UP 1|
|6.||Beto O’Rourke||DOWN 1|
|7.||Amy Klobuchar||UP 1|
|8.||Cory Booker||DOWN 1|
|10.||John Hickenlooper||UP 1|
|11.||Julián Castro||UP 2|
|12.||Stacey Abrams||DOWN 2|
|13.||Michael Bennet||DOWN 1|
|15.||Michael Bloomberg||RETURNS TO RANKING|
Falls off ranking: Howard Schultz
Also receiving votes: Tim Ryan
Last week’s ranking: Round 9 | Buttigieg is leaving Beto in the dust
Following week’s ranking: Round 11 | Here’s a little secret about the money primary so far
Don’t forget to click on the yellow highlighted text above to expand the Ranking Committee’s annotations. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next ranking. Until then, hope a couple million falls into your lap, too.
Read more on 2020: