Who will ValleyCrats vote for?
The pool of Democratic presidential candidates is among the largest and most diverse in the history of primaries in the United States and this time California actually has a say who that nominee might be.
Do you know who you are going to vote for on March 3?
Though the number of candidates has gone down from 27, there are still 20 Democratic candidates from which to choose, though only 10 of those qualified to participate in the Houston debate last week.
For the Republicans, the GOP may not even hold a California primary. State GOP committees in Kansas, South Carolina, Nevada and Arizona announced that they’re not holding a presidential primary in 2020, falling in line behind President Donald Trump. Besides this, the California legislature passed a dubiously legal requirement for all presidential candidates to provide tax returns if they want to be on the ballot.
As for the Democrats, California will divvy up 495 delegates in March to send to the Democratic Convention in Wisconsin next July.
The top five candidates right now, according to a mash-up of national polls, are Joseph Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.
Because Ms. Harris is in the top five nationally, and is a California senator who beat a fellow Democrat in the 2018 election by 23 points, our native daughter should be a front-runner with local voters also, right?
But out of the 40 Democrats I surveyed, only 3 considered Ms. Harris their first choice. Ms. Harris has had some breakout moments but has not been able to maintain the sizzle.
National polls put the top 11 candidates in this order: Biden 26.2%, Warren 17%, Sanders 16.8%, Harris 6.2%, Buttigieg 5%, O’Rourke 3%, Yang 3%, Booker 2.6%, Klobuchar 1.2%, Gabbard 1.2%, Castro 1.2%.
Most notable of this group is Andrew Yang, who is outpolling three sitting senators and is in the top 10 nationally.
Who comes in first in my survey?
Of my mostly South Valley respondents the overwhelming winner was Senator Elizabeth Warren. When respondents gave a second choice, Ms. Warren got six more votes.
My results in order of the number of votes were:
Warren 13, Sanders 7, Biden 6, Harris 3, Buttigieg 2, Gabbard 2, Booker 1, Yang 0, and Undecided (to the point they couldn’t even give me their top three candidates) was 4.
One smart aleck (Matt Darby) said his choice was Brian Carroll who ran against Rep. Devin Nunes in 2016. When I said I am talking about the Presidential Primary he said, “I know.”
Most people did complain that the primary was too far out to decide, but there have been 21 hours of debates to winnow down your choice. One respondent just said, “Truthfully, I’m not thrilled with any of them.”
One respondent made a point of saying that she was a former Republican. “My top choices probably won’t make it to the March primaries. I like Pete B. and Mike Bennett and Amy Klobuchar, would be good vice presidential choice and, as a pundit wrote, Buttigieg needs to be in a cabinet position no matter who is elected.”
When looking at my survey numbers more closely, Mr. Biden was no respondent’s second choice and only three women voted for him. Conversely, the majority of Ms. Warren’s votes came from women.
Why is this important? Women generally turn out to vote at higher rates than men.
Andrew Yang got a couple of third place votes and Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke got one second place vote each. Gabbard, who got two votes, did not qualify for the Houston debate but might qualify for the next one on October 15 in Ohio and is one of the most searched candidates online.
Do ValleyCrats reflect the rest of California voters or are they outliers? In the 2016 presidential primary between Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton they did reflect the rest of the state.
In Fresno, Kern, Kings, and Tulare Counties a spread of 10 – 14 points separated Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders, which was the same throughout the state in counties that voted for Ms. Clinton, which were most of them.
For many respondents it boiled down to who can beat Mr. Trump and many said they would support anyone who won the primary.
Some of the comments about my survey included, “It’s still very early in the race, and I want to see how things play out as we get closer to the primaries. I don’t think Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders are what we need to follow Trump, and repair all the damage he’s done.”
Another respondent said, “I wish Joe Biden was a little more on his game because I do believe he has the best chance to win.”
A Fresno State English professor stated, “She (Warren) grew up with people who are drawn to anti-government impulses, like Trump fans, and I think, despite often disagreeing with their stances, she respects them in a way not all the candidates do. We need someone who will listen to everyone and make thoughtful, ethical choices. She has good people working with her who are developing good ideas for just about every challenge we face. I’m not sure the medicare for all will fly, but I think that will get worked out as a likely compromise legislatively. What I do like is her determination behind that to get everyone access to decent healthcare.
“Mostly, I want us all to pay attention, read, talk with each other and think critically about the candidates and the issues, and vote. I want every single eligible voter to vote. That’s democracy!”
A Gen Z respondent said, “Warren is running a straight-forward campaign with all her cards out on the table. She’s not holding anything back and I’m ready to help elect the first female President of the United States of America.”
Another Gen Z respondent ended her comments by saying, “But, I am super pissed off at the lack of centrist options that do not have possibly corrupt donors.”
During a rally in Washington Square Park in New York City last week an estimated 20,000 supporters showed up, one of the larger crowds of this campaign season. As is her custom, Ms. Warren stayed after her speech to take pictures with anyone who wanted one. That alone might win over me. I’m a little tired of being ignored.
When Massachusetts Congress Member Seth Moulton dropped out of the presidential race he said, “I think it’s evident that this is now a three-way race between Biden, Warren and Sanders, and really it’s a debate about how far left the party should go.”
Mr. Biden is not exactly a leftist. And when you consider most of the services we take for granted are provided by the federal or state government, I’m not quite sure what pundits mean when they call Elizabeth Warren a socialist. She is for Medicare for all but so is every industrialized country in the world.
In my next Political Fix I will be asking Republicans who they want to have win the Democratic Primary. I have a hunch they are going to say Ms. Warren because she has been branded a socialist. Democrats all prayed that Mr. Trump would win the Republican Primary in 2016 and he did.
My advice to Republicans – be careful what you wish for.