By Staff Writer Seth Tamarkin.
As 2019 continues, more and more Democrats are appearing out of the woodwork to make their case to be President of the United States.
The earlier they announce their candidacy, many argue, the easier it will be to hire crucial staff members and win over undecided voters.
The other prevailing idea is that a candidate that doesn’t look like other Presidents, I.e. white men, have the best chance at locking up the Democratic nomination.
However, poll after poll shows that the two current frontrunners subscribe to neither of these ideas.
For the past year, only two names have been able to muster the support needed to declare them a frontrunner: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
A recent FiveThirtyEight article took national polls from January 1st to February 5th and found that Biden had a 69% favorability rating while Bernie had 52%. The closest to them from there was Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren with a 44% favorability rating.
Of course, polls shouldn’t be taken as fact, especially after polls consistently gave Hillary Clinton a huge lead in 2016. Another good look at the frontrunner is to see the grassroots support behind them. Judging by those margins, Bernie Sanders is the clear frontrunner.
While the data didn’t include Joe Biden, because he doesn’t use the fund-raising platform ActBlue, data showed that Bernie Sanders has over two million online donors, more than every other Presidential candidate combined.
The closest is Beto O’Rourke at 700,000 donors, but his pragmatic approach may not be as beloved on the national scale as it was in the Texas senate race that he narrowly lost.
Another candidate who was able to garner a lot of donors in a short time is Kamala Harris, who tied Bernie’s opening day record by garnering $1.5 million within the first 24 hours of her announcing her candidacy.
However, as journalists and Twitter alike published disparaging articles about her controversial career as a prosecutor, those numbers quickly dwindled to the point that she recently sent a fund-raising email headlined “Falling Short.”
Keep in mind that Harris has already announced her candidacy, while Biden has not. With all of that said, it’s clear that policy matters to voters the most in 2019.
While Kamala Harris checks off many of the identity aspects, being a half-black, a relatively young woman, her actual credentials towards her black constituents are extremely lacking and have caused her fundraising efforts to flail already.
A sampling of her prosecutor days would make any Republican in Congress jealous due to her ferocity in sentencing people.
In addition to boasting about increasing conviction rates in California, even as reports urged California to reduce their prison size, she even made it illegal for kids to be late to school, threatening their parents with jail time. Seriously.
Reports have also been circulating that Joe Biden, despite holding high favorability ratings for now, is largely seen by the political establishment as being “outdated” due to his ongoing support for the draconian 1994 Crime Bill.
Even though the Democrat establishment has been criticizing Bernie since 2016 as well, the difference is that Bernie has always been an outsider while Biden’s core base are the centrist establishment voters.
The other priority to look at are the candidates’ platforms. Despite almost all the Democratic candidates being relative centrists prior to 2020, they now all have signed onto bold ideas such as Medicare-for-all and free college tuition.
Any eagle-eyed voter surely knows who the first politician was to subscribe to those ideas on the national stage, so that candidate is surely the frontrunner given that the other candidates are aping his platform.
All in all though, the election is still nearly two years away and the debates aren’t even for another five months.
Both Trump and Bernie started out as longshots but quickly became the face of their parties, so perhaps the same could happen this election.
Despite what CNN and other media networks say however, the two frontrunners are Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden.