Thoughts About The Top Five

WARNING! This is a political post.


Rachel Bitecofer, the person who accurately predicted the 2018 Blue wave well before anybody else, has released her 2020 projections. She states that, no matter the Democratic candidate, the party will at the very least get 278 electoral votes.

She states that the 2018 Blue wave was NOT created by policy but rather mostly by anti-Trump fervor. She believes that this will be hugely magnified come 2020. I agree. Putting aside the very real issue of votes being stolen, and more Russian interference, I predict a Blue tsunami, taking the White House, Senate, and keeping the House.

Don’t believe me? The 2018 Blue wave was the largest since 1974, and with the largest percentage of voters since 1914! For a mid-term election which normally has depressed turnout! And Republicans lost Orange Country, CA! A famous Republican bastion! It went totally Blue in 2018!

Nonetheless, Trump supporters are convinced of a second term but there is nothing to support this. Trump has not grown his base at all, and millions have left the Republican party because of Trump. While Republicans which remain love Trump, the Republican party is smaller than the Democratic party, and much smaller than the Independent party. And most Independents voted Blue in 2018. In addition, Trump’s poll numbers are down in all fifty states as compared to his numbers in January, 2017. Usually way down.

So, who might win the brass ring in 2020? There are a historic number of Democratic candidates running but I only take seriously the top five. And here are my…


Thoughts About The Top Five Democratic Candidates


Nothing about Biden as a candidate interests me. He seems from an era which has passed.

His front-runner status is mostly name recognition/familiarity and I expect that he will not be the nominee. History supports this as in the previous 9 Democratic primaries the early front runner lost the nomination 7 times.

In addition, Biden is doing very very very badly at grassroots donations. This strongly indicates that, while people polled will say he’s their favorite, this isn’t being matched by donations. I mean, if people won’t give Joe $5, they are not likely going to vote for him either.

His supposed ability to beat Trump? This has been shown to be a myth, as numerous match-up polls show the Top Five Democratic candidates beating Trump.

Oh, and Biden thinks he can work with Republicans. This, alone, disqualifies him as the Republican party has proved its absolute resistance to working with Democrats, with Merrick Garland being the most obscene example.


In 2015, and early 2016, I liked and admired Bernie. Then he stayed in the race to a point where it was damaging, long after it was 100% clear he didn’t have enough votes. And during the Democratic Convention, he sat, glowering. That really pissed me off.

Since then, he relishes in criticizing the Democratic party. Yet Bernie, an Independent, becomes a Democrat when he wants to run for president. In short, Bernie is just fine with the Democratic Party…when it suits him.

This extraordinary selfishness, IMO, disqualifies him for the office he seeks.

Yet, for five months he’s been steady in the polls at around 17%. This indicates that, like Trump, he has a core base but is not attracting new supporters. I knew a lot of Bernie supporters in 2016. I don’t know a single one today.


I love Warren. She’s been a constant close #2 on my Top 3 list.

There are two primary things I like about Warren: Her tenacity and her devotion to policy. The former quality is vital as president while the latter, however, is actually a hindrance, IMO. A president does not need to be a policy wonk to be effective. Rather, they need to be surrounded by policy wonks, and then have the gift of discernment. This was my same concern about Hillary. A policy wonk president might well miss the forest for the trees. And this is why Warren is not my #1 choice.

I also like that Warren is a women. It’s about time! This was, in part, why I supported Hillary in 2016. I think this matters.

Warren is the only candidate consistently rising in the polls so she might well be our nominee. If so, I will be excited, even with my concerns. She’s impressive.


For months now, Harris has been a distant #3 on my Top 3 list. Why distant? Because she has a habit of not answering questions. I really dislike this, and it makes her seem dishonest. Contrast this with Warren and Buttigieg; they answer every question.

The outstanding thing about Harris is her long career as a prosecutor. She’s dazzling during a Senate hearing, eviscerating a witness. I love it! However, this is NOT a quality I want in a president. Nor do I see a career as a prosecutor as being analogous to the job of being president.

Harris has really dropped in the polls, an ominous sign. Yet, I will not be surprised if she bounces back.


Pete is my #1 choice. Here’s why.

1) Of all the candidates, I feel he’s the best qualified. I know, people will think: WTF? Because, there is a widespread assumption that being in Congress is the right experience to be president. I disagree, because being in Congress is a vastly different job than being president. The two jobs are not analogous. Rather, a mayor, particularly of a smaller city, is a good fit, experience wise, to being president. I say smaller city because a big city mayor, like in NYC, has a mountain of bureaucracy shielding the mayor. But a smaller city mayor is more akin to being on the front line.  And Pete has been on the front line for eight years, daily dealing with an astonishing array of issues, and a work load vastly more intense and vastly more varied in scope than anything experienced by someone in the bubble that is Congress.

Michelle Obama writes about this in her book. She was shocked at the daily onslaught of issues Obama had to deal with. She wrote that there was no time to think and ponder about great issues. No, the job is all about reaction.

So, yes, I think Pete is amply qualified. NOTE: Knowing DC is important, but a chief-of-staff with deep DC experience can fill that vital role.

2) Pete has military experience. None of the other Top 5 candidates do. Presidents with military experience are less likely to start wars.

3) I like Pete’s youth. A lot. His age offers a very different perspective on things than, say, as with Biden or Bernie. Or Warren. (All three are in their seventies.) I believe that Pete’s perspective is better suited to the issues of climate change, college debt, and other concerns.

4) In 2018, for the first time, more young voters went to the polls than older voters. Pete is well-positioned to capture a lot of these votes.

5) Pete is from the Midwest so he is well-positioned to capture a lot of these all-important votes.

6) Pete is religious. I am not but like that Pete is and talks about it so beautifully. A vast amount of voters identify as being religious so Pete is well-positioned to capture a lot of these votes, too.

7) Pete is gay. And married! If Pete were straight? I would not support him as I am sooooooooooooo not interested in yet another straight white guy as president. Enough already! But Pete being gay gives him an…edge. A provocative edge. He knows what it’s like to be part of a reviled minority and this will help him be a better president. Also, I’m really tired of straight people running everything!

8) I cannot state this enough: Experience is but part of what I want in a president. There are other qualities, qualities which may be even more important. Such as integrity. Bill Clinton lacked this and I think the country was damaged. Having the gift of common sense is vital. Being a secure person is vital. Pete seems to have all these qualities.

9) Pete states that we are in a new era. I agree. I can feel it. And the 2018 election helps to support my belief. And Pete seems, for all the reasons I outlined, best suited to this new era. His candidacy reminds me JFK’s candidacy, when he ushered in a new era.

10) There is something that I can’t quite define but I call generosity of spirit. Yes, I know that sounds odd but I think it’s essential in a president. JFK had it. Bill Clinton, too. And Obama. Hugely Obama. Pete seems to have this quality.

11) Pete has an extraordinary calming effect on people. Obama has the same lovely quality. When I get really freaked out about the state of things I go on YouTube and binge-watch Pete videos. And I feel better. I feel hopeful. No other candidate has this effect on me.

12) Lastly, Pete can, I suspect, help heal America in a way I can’t see Harris or Warren doing. And this may be the most important thing of all.

NOTE: A lot of people discount Pete because they think America isn’t ready for a gay president. But I’m always reminded of 2007 when people, including Black voters, wouldn’t support Obama because “America isn’t ready for a Black president.” Only when Obama surprised everybody by winning the first primary did people come around. Black voters largely abandoned Hillary for Obama.

Yes, there are people who will not vote for Pete because he’s gay. But most of these people will not vote for any Democrat. And, yes, there are certainly homophobes on the left. I think of Joy Reid, for example, who has shown a distinct hostility to Pete. Yet, there are people on the left who won’t support Warren because she’s a women. And Bernie is a Jew! Yikes! And Harris is Black! EEK! In short, all the candidates have something about them which will turn off some voters on the left. It can’t be helped.

NOTE: Like Bernie, Pete has also been steady in the polls for the last five months, sorta averaging 6%. I would be concerned about this if Pete had widespread name recognition, which Bernie has. But, 42% of voters have no idea who Pete is, or know almost nothing about him (via Morning Consult). As other candidates drop out, and as Pete becomes better known, I hope his numbers increase. I am also reminded of 2007, when Obama remained flat in the polls all year, and massively trailed Hillary, the “unbeatable” candidate. But…he persisted.

In conclusion, if I were a betting man, I would put money on Pete or Warren being the next president.


I did a post about Pete previously, where you can watch his brilliant announcement speech. Image by Annie Leibovitz.




  1. Devyn on August 29, 2019 at 10:46 pm

    We are currently Pete supporters because he is really the best candidate. We will vote for whoever the nominee is (even Biden if necessary), but we hope Pete comes out on top. We have been sporting a Pete sign in our window since last spring when he officially announced.

    • Ross on August 29, 2019 at 11:06 pm

      Agreed, Devyn, I will also vote for whoever is the nominee.

      I used to vote for both Democrats and Republican candidates on voting day. Today, I am straight D down the line. I am horrified at what the Republican party has become.

  2. Mary Garner-Mitchell on August 29, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    I so agree with you, Ross. Pete Buttigieg is at the top of my list, too. Unlike you, however, I fear Warren is way too polarizing. The DNC needs to get their sh*t together and rally behind one… ONE candidate and I pray — yes PRAY — Pete is the one. (It may be time to get religious!)

    • Ross on August 29, 2019 at 11:04 pm

      Mary, why do you fear Warren would be too polarizing?

      BIG hug!

      • Mary Garner-Mitchell on August 30, 2019 at 9:13 am

        Ross. I have admired Warren for years. I like her forcefulness, many of her “ideas” and her sense of fairness and right and wrong.

        But I’m basing my “polarizing “ comment upon what I’m witnessing now under my own roof. I love my husband and he has many great qualities, but his opinion of her, I’m sad to say, is that shared by many “white, hetero American males (and some females, on either side of the aisle) in that they harbor an “inbred fear” of powerful and opinionated women. I saw and experienced this in my corporate life — even among some of my most progressive colleagues, family and friends.

        He says he will not vote if she is the nominee. I told him if he doesn’t, and should that “Orange Boil” be re-elected, he and I are going to have a problem. He tells me, if she is elected, I can kiss my retirement goodbye and go back to work (as if someone will hire a 62 yo art director!) Of course no mention of him coming out of retirement and foregoing his golf habit. (Need I say more?)

        • Ross on August 30, 2019 at 9:56 am

          Mary, thank you for the (horrifying) story.

          You need to come and live with me in the Cross House!

          The good times we will have!

          • Mary Garner-Mitchell on August 30, 2019 at 5:14 pm

            That thought has occurred to me! LOL! Big hugs back at ya!

  3. Lisa on August 30, 2019 at 4:36 am

    Exactly! All this!

  4. Vilya on August 30, 2019 at 6:06 am

    I love Warren. LOVE her! She is smart as fuck and knows what she’s doing. But I also love Mayor Pete. I think either of them would be awesome as President. I am a bisexual woman, so I have a pie in each contest. 😉 I would be happy either way. I can’t stand Biden, but I’d vote for him if got the nom (ugh).

    If Buttigieg doesn’t get the nom, I think he would make an amazing Sec. of State. So smart, multilingual, that calming quality that you mentioned. I think our allies would fall in love with him hard, and he could help repair the damage that the Traitor in Chief has caused.

    My anxiety has been getting worse each month. I can’t take another 4 years of this. 🙁

  5. Doug on August 30, 2019 at 7:14 am

    The DNC needs to stay out of it until the primaries are over. Then back the candidate 110% Their support of Hillary over Bernie in 2016 damaged Hillary later on. The process needs to be transparent and fair with Democrats choosing the best candidate to beat Trump.

    • Ross on August 30, 2019 at 8:53 am

      Doug, there is no evidence that the DNC “backed” Hillary over Bernie.

  6. Alice on August 30, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Biden should have run in 2016, I think his time is past but I’d bet he wins the nomination. I am hoping for a Warren/Harris ticket, but I think we’re going to get a Biden/Harris ticket. I have a gut feeling that Trump is getting a second term, but I pray I’m wrong.

    • Ross on August 30, 2019 at 8:55 am

      Morning, Alice!

      As I wrote at the top of my post, there’s a lot of indicators that Trump will lose in 2020.

      Unless, of course, Putin wants him to stay…

  7. Sue on August 30, 2019 at 9:14 am

    100% agree with your assesment. I am disappointed in Kamala for the same reasons, was hoping she would make a strong showing but I am ready to move on. Would love a Warren/Buttigieg ticket…but will vote for whoever has a D after their name on the ballot. I contribute a small amount to Pete’s campaign monthly to help keep him in the race. What a smart, thoughtful guy…he is my candidate.

    • Ross on August 30, 2019 at 10:02 am

      Sue! My beloved!

      A Warren/Buttigieg ticket (or Buttigieg/Warren) would be a huge mistake, IMO, because it would be a white/white ticket.

      The Democratic party is strong because of its diversity, and this asset should be reflected in the ticket, right?

      Rather, a Pete Buttigieg/Letitia James ticket would be incredible.

      • Sue on September 2, 2019 at 10:25 am

        I don’t care what color, sex, orientation, etc the Dem candidate is, I just want them to be able to govern effectively and sensibly, and beat rump in November 2020. I think a Warren/Butigieg (or vice versa) ticket is ideal as far as being progressive and yet moderate enough to appeal to the masses and still address issues that are important to our survival. I was all in with Kamala but her inability to be forthright when taking hard questions is troublesome. But maybe it’s just the lawyer in her…
        My preference at this time is no more old white guys…but… if that’s what it takes to unseat the asshat that is currently residing in the White House, so be it. Honestly, anyone running now would do a better job. An iguana would do a better job. I just hope we get a two-fer at the DNC: An outstanding candidate that can win.

        • Dawn Rocco on September 3, 2019 at 1:32 pm

          Nicely Put!

        • Allison on September 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm

          Agree 100%!

  8. Dawn Rocco on August 31, 2019 at 8:25 pm

    How about Pete Buttigieg / Stacey Abrams

    • Ross on August 31, 2019 at 8:33 pm

      That would thrill me.

      I didn’t write that because Stacey is really focused on ending voter suppression. An enviable, vital task.

  9. Derek Walvoord on September 3, 2019 at 2:52 pm

    I love Mayor Pete! And, I worry about Warren – I really like her. I have heard many people say they will vote for anyone but her. I really don’t understand this. She seems like a tough, with-it, wonk. I like that she is thoughtful. I also appreciate your comment about wonk’s not really being the right fit for President. I hadn’t thought of that, but you may be right.

  10. Nathan on September 6, 2019 at 6:19 pm

    I love Kamala, during the debates she was quick witted, and VERY entertaining. But that does not make a good pres. I’m rather disappointed with where she has gone since then.

  11. Kerri on October 2, 2019 at 11:00 pm

    From the perspective of a former Republican who hates Trump, I would vote for Pete or Biden. However, Bernie and Warren would be a step too far to the left for me.

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