Politics corner

Looking at presidential primary candidate’s standings after the first primary elections

With the presidential election only about eight months away and three primary elections completed the campaign trail for the primary election is in full swing.

After starting with a massive 28 candidate field the Democratic primary is now down to just eight candidates. Within the 20 dropouts are a few notable names such as Beto O’Rourke who couldn’t seem to carry the momentum he gained by nearly ousting Republican senator Ted Cruz from his senate seat in the 2018 election season into the Democratic primary polls. California senator Kamala Harris, who was initially considered by many as a front runner amongst Democratic candidates also dropped out in December after months of falling in the polls.

On the Republican side only one candidate is opposing President Trump. That candidate, former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, has been a vocal critic of Trump since the 2016 election. Weld is considered to have little to no chance of winning the Republican primary. Weld received just 9.1% of votes in the New Hampshire primary election compared to Trumps 85.7%. In Iowa Weld received a little more than 1% of votes while Trump received more than 97%.

Of the eight remaining Democrats, four have had significant standings in the polls and primary elections. Although Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar placed third and fifth in the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries she is not expected to receive the party nomination or even win any primary elections. Multiple sportsbooks for betting on election odds place her odds among figures like Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, neither of which are even running for president.

Bernie Sanders:

Sanders massive rise in popularity came mostly during the 2016 presidential election, in which he received 43% of votes in the Democratic primaries but lost handily to Hillary Clinton who received 55% of votes. Clinton was a strong front runner in 2016, and with no obvious front runner in 2020 coupled with Biden falling in the polls, Sanders has reemerged with a high chance to win the Democratic nomination. He is dominating the polls, leading most by double digit percentages. He won Nevada by 26% and also won New Hampshire. In Iowa’s controversial election he tied Buttigieg in percentage of votes but took second. Ultimately the second place finish netted Sanders 12 delegates while Buttigieg received 14.

Pete Buttigieg:

Mayor Pete came into the election cycle as one of many Democrats with a low chance of seriously competing in the polls. That didn’t last long as Buttigieg quickly gained traction on the campaign trail. He is the least politically experienced candidate in the top four, having served just two terms as mayor of South Bend, Indiana. While Buttigieg trails Sanders, Biden, and Warren in nearly all major polls (he leads Warren by 3% in the Ipsos/Reuters poll) he is coming off the momentum of a narrow victory in the Iowa primaries. He trailed Sanders by just 1% in New Hampshire and claimed the same amount (9) delegates as Sanders. In Nevada, he placed third, falling significantly behind Sanders and Biden who took the top two spots. Despite his place in the polls, Buttigieg’s standings through the first few primaries should keep him solidly entrenched in the race.

Elizabeth Warren:

Warren is currently competing for second place in the polls with both Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg, who has not placed in the top five in any of the three primary elections. While she leads Biden and Bloomberg in the CBS News/YouGov poll, she trails both candidates in the Washington Post/ ABC News and Ipsos/Reuters polls. The Massachusetts senator has had similar struggles in the first few primary elections taking two fourth place finishes and a third place finish. Warren’s initial struggles in the primaries and significant deficit in the polls points to a low chance of winning the nomination. However, Warren shares a similar political ideology and voter base with current frontrunner Bernie Sanders and many have pointed to Warren as a possible running mate of Sanders should he receive the Democratic nomination.

Joe Biden:

Due to personal reasons Biden decided not to run for president in 2016 after eight years of serving as Barack Obama’s vice president. As Democrats announced their candidacy for 2020 Biden was considered one of the most likely candidates to receive the nomination. That hasn’t necessarily changed, but as Sanders continues to dominate the polls, Biden has seen a decrease in support. He holds a significant lead in the polls over Buttigieg and leads Warren by 4 and 6% respectively in the Washington Post/ABC News and Ipsos/Reuters polls which has solidly entrenched him in second place, though still far behind Sanders. Despite his strong polling and a second place finish in Nevada in which he finished 6% ahead of Buttigieg but 26% behind Sanders, Biden did not have similar support in Iowa and New Hampshire. He placed fourth and fifth in those elections, receiving 6 delegates from Iowa and none from New Hampshire.