Democratic Party Contenders: The Changing Landscape

Our Founding Fathers worried a great deal about the evils of what they called “factions.” Given the unadulterated partisanship of Donald Trump’s State of the Union address and the equal partisan response of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in tearing up her copy of his written remarks, many Spirited Reasoners find themselves ready to agree with the bumper sticker we saw on a vehicle this morning: “For President, 2020, Any Mature Adult.”

Meanwhile, as pundits were declaring the Democratic nomination as a narrowing race between the two apparent frontrunners, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, an odd thing happened at the Iowa caucuses. Now we have two newly anointed frontrunners: Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders.

Maybe.

If we learned anything from the 2016 presidential election it is that conventional wisdom no longer applies to American politics.

Already, Mayor Buttigieg is facing criticism from pro-life Democrats (yes, they still exist) over his apparent acquiescence to late-term abortions. And Senator Sanders is being tagged by centrists as a Socialist who can never attract the number of independent voters needed to defeat Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed doubling his national campaign staff. That’s in addition to his spending over $300 million on television commercials aimed at the fourteen states who will be casting their primary ballots on Super Tuesday, March 3rd. One of those states, California, will send over ten percent of the delegates to this year’s Democratic Convention.

If nothing else, Spirited Reasoners should at least have a sense, the day after Super Tuesday, how many delegates $300 million can buy.

And, oh yes, we shouldn’t count out Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren just yet. And there’s still Amy Klobuchar and a few others hanging around just in case everyone else falters. (Stranger things have happened.)

It’s still too early to predict a winner. It seems that as every week goes by, Spirited Reasoners are motivated to switch their candidate preference. Could this be the first year since 1952 when Democrats enter their convention without a settled nominee?

There’s got to be a mature adult out there somewhere.