Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

2020 Democratic Crystal Ball

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Biden, Bernie, Warren, Buttegieg, Harris…

Let the winnowing begin!

Much is being made about former Vice President Joe Biden’s candidacy to be the Democratic nominee for President. Pundits point to polling showing him with narrowing leads over Senators Bernie Sanders (VT-I), and Elizabeth Warren (MA), respectively, all whom have double digit support, while South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and California Senator Kamala Harris are contending runners-up, in that order, with single-digit support among those polled.

However, since Biden announced his candidacy – he was the last Democratic candidate to announce, and did so on April 25, 2019 – detractors within and without the party have noted several weaknesses of his, including his historic ham-handed touchy-feely behavior with women, his shifting position on abortion vis-à-vis the Hyde Amendment – which forbids the use of Federal funds to pay for abortion, except in cases to save the life of the woman, or in pregnancy arising from rape, and/or incest – and perhaps most ignobly, his handling as Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee in the matter concerning Anita Hill, who testified under oath that Clarence Thomas, then a nominee for Supreme Court Justice to replace the seat being vacated by the impending retirement of Thurgood Marshall, had sexually harassed her while her supervisor as Assistant Secretary of Education in the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education, and then again as the Reagan-appointed Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, where he later fired her.

Critics have noted that other female witnesses, all interviewed by the FBI, were prepared to substantiate Hill’s testimony, but were not called because of a private compromise between Biden, as the Committee Chair, and Republicans, who feared their corroborating testimony would sink the 1991 George H.W. Bush nominee.

Additional criticism of Biden’s candidacy revolves around his ethnicity, and the increasing concerns that Anglo candidates – even in the Democratic party – historically have not had the best interests of racial/ethnic minority communities at heart.

Then, there’s the matter of his age – now 77 – which, if elected, would make him even older than the current White House occupant, who was aged 70 when elected. But, consider also that Bernie Sanders is one year older than Biden, and that the majority of POTUSes – 39 (86.66%) – have been aged 45 to 64, while 25 (55.55%) were aged 50 to 59.

Essentially, Biden, perhaps more so than any other Democratic candidate, represents the antithesis of almost every standard the party has come to stand for – old white men whose infamously ignoble track record of lack of support of and for women – is par for the GOP course.

Moreover, concerns over matters of policy for the greater good of Americans are driving the Democrats, who increasingly are internally divided on party direction; either maintain the sad status quo as Republicans Lite, or move forward to the future with Progressives. And to many, Biden represents the former, not the latter.

And statistically, history is neither on Biden’s side – at least as it concerns being a former Vice President, with aspirations of later becoming POTUS.

In the 243 years the United States has existed, there have been 57 Presidential elections, of which only 14 Vice Presidents have ever been POTUS (24.56%), either through succession (because of the POTUS’ death in office, of which there have been 8; 4 natural deaths, and 4 assassinations), or through election independent of succession, of which there have been 5 – Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Nixon, and G.H.W. Bush.

It’s worth repeating, that only 5 Presidents, who were elected independently of succession, were ever Vice President.

That’s 5/45, or 11.1% – excluding Grover Cleveland, who was the only POTUS elected twice, not in succession, as the 22nd, and 24th POTUS.

However… the United States Senate website writes this about Senators:
“To date, 16 senators have also served as president of the United States. Three Senators, Warren G. Harding, John F. Kennedy, and Barack Obama moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.”

That’s 16/45, or 35.5%, of all POTUSes who were ever a Senator. And 3 of the 16, or 18.75%, were elected as POTUS directly from the Senate.

Clearly, being an incumbent in some capacity conveys advantages.

Biden has no such advantage. Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, and Harris do.

But, polls are subject to change. They’re merely a reflection of which way the political wind is blowing. They’re not a predictor of any results with any accuracy. And that is evidenced by the last Electoral College outcome (2016) in which Republican candidate Donald Trump won the GOP’s nod for nominee, and the Electoral College vote which he won 304 to 227, or 56.5% to 42.2%… but not the Popular Vote, which he lost by a greater margin than any president in history – 2.8 million votes, or 62,979,879 (46.1%) to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s 65,844,954 (48.2%).

And as of yet, it’s not yet clear who will emerge as the Democratic nominee, nor what “October Surprise” awaits.

Stay tuned!

3 Responses to “2020 Democratic Crystal Ball”

  1. […] I had earlier written in the 6/12/2019-dated entry entitled 2020 Democratic Crystal Ball, in the 243-year history of our nation, “there have been 57 Presidential elections, of which […]


  2. […] While it has happened 5 times with Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Nixon, and G.H.W. Bush, history does not favor the election of former Vice Presidents as President – only 5/45, or 11.1%, of POTUSes have ever been VP. […]


  3. […] While it has happened 5 times with Adams, Jefferson, Van Buren, Nixon, and G.H.W. Bush, history does not favor the election of former Vice Presidents as President – only 5/45, or 11.1%, of POTUSes have ever been VP. […]


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