That’s the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination right now.
With less than a year to go until Election Day, no one cares — least of all Democratic voters. Joseph R. Biden, who served as The Chosen One’s vice president, has left Democrats yawning. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who for years thought she was an American Indian (oops, turned out she’s 99.9% white), has bobbed up to the surface, but voters know the free-everything-for-everybody candidate would never win in November 2020. And Sen. Bernard “Heart Attack” Sanders, another socialist, just turned 127, so he’s going nowhere fast, too.
The race is flatlining so badly that former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg — who, get this, is just a year younger than Mr. Sanders — is dipping his big billionaire toe in the race. He filed as a Democratic presidential candidate in Alabama last Friday, just under the deadline, and barely squeaked in under the wire in Arkansas, too.
And man, he jazzed the Democratic throng like no one else. To show how bored Democrats are with their field, within days, Bloomberg topped President Trump by 6 points in a hypothetical 2020 match-up, according to a Morning Consult/Politico survey released last week.
“Forty-three percent of voters nationwide said they would support Bloomberg in a hypothetical election, while 37% said they’d vote for the incumbent Republican, a 6-point advantage that matches Warren’s margin over Trump,” Morning Consult wrote.
That ecstasy lasted two days.
“The Michael Bloomberg bubble lasted all of 48 hours,” Vanity Fair wrote Monday.
“Filing papers in Alabama was a ‘trial balloon to gauge interest,’ sources told [Axios]. That the balloon seems to have popped may lead him to stay on the sidelines, as he’d initially said he’d do. His prospects are subject to change, of course; the two moderates and two progressives at the top of the field are continuing to duke it out, and Democratic voters, still battered from a stunning loss in 2016, have continued to second-guess themselves in search of the right candidate to put up against Trump.”
So far, they’ve got bupkis. No candidate is pulling away, and, in fact, Democrats are getting antsy. In a recent Fox News poll, more than 1 in 3 — 38% — Democratic voters said they wish they had more choices.
Voters can be finicky. “Just when they start to fall in love, they find something that gets them a little nervous,” Rahm Emanuel told The New York Times on Sunday. “They’re still searching for the horse that can win.”
Or at least a horse that doesn’t have to be shot after the last leg of the race.
How bad is it? Ms. Warren played last week to a nearly empty hall in New Hampshire, where the residents live and breath politics. Fewer than 100 turned out to hear her speak. That’s bad.
Then there’s the two-time loser who never went away. Hillary Clinton, who got crushed in the Electoral College vote 304-227 last time around, is still teasing that she’ll jump into the race.
“As I say, never, never, never say ‘never,'” Mrs. Clinton told BBC Radio on Monday when asked whether she might run. “I will certainly tell you, I’m under enormous pressure from many, many, many people to think about it.”
Then Mrs. Clinton said what all politicians say just before they jump into the race: “as of this moment, sitting here in this studio talking to you, that is absolutely not in my plans.”
Gallup released a poll last week that had some troubling news for Democrats. Just 66% of the party faithful say they’re enthusiastic about the upcoming election. For the Republicans, the number is 65%.
“This differs from the typical pattern Gallup has seen over the years, whereby those who identify with the political party of the incumbent president have been less enthusiastic about voting than members of the opposing party,” Gallup wrote.
Here’s what that means: Voters in the party not currently in the White House are usually far more enthusiastic than the incumbent’s supporters. In 2000, after eight years of Bill Clinton, Republicans enjoyed a 51% to 39% enthusiasm edge. In 2008, after two George W. Bush terms, Democrats were up 14 percentage points — 73% to 59%. And in 2016, after two Barack Obama terms, the GOP led by 8 percentage points — 51% to 43%.
“History would suggest that Democrats would be more keyed up to vote than Republicans, but that isn’t the case,” Gallup said.
Mr. Biden. Ms. Warren. Mr. Sanders. Mr. Bloomberg. Mrs. Clinton. That’s who the Democrats have this time around. The collective age of that pathetic lineup is 366 years old, an average of more than 73. Not exactly the “new blood” the party has been talking about for years.
But it is exactly the reason Democrats are less enthusiastic than ever about the presidential election.
• Joseph Curl covered the White House and politics for a decade for The Washington Times. He can be reached at [email protected] and on Twitter @josephcurl.
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