In Democratic Primary Bracketology, Centrism and Youth Usually Win

Two themes of early Democratic campaign analysis have been the assigning of candidates to either liberal or centrist lanes and the persistent speculation that activists may push the party too far left to win the 2020 election.Veteran handicapper Charlie Cook likened the race to predicting which college basketball teams will reach the Final Four. He assigned one slot to former Vice President Joe Biden; a second to one of two liberal contenders, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders or Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; a third to one of the female hopefuls such as California Sen. Kamala Harris; and the fourth to a "wild card," possibly New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, or Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota.Others have suggested similar distinctions. But former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke's candidacy, which combines charisma, liberal rhetoric and a moderate voting record, suggests that may be too simplistic and that it may be harder to pigeonhole every one of the growing field of candidates.For example, while O'Rourke may have the most liberal position on immigration and has hailed the Green New Deal, he would modify the concept of Medicare-for-all by adding the words "who want it." Others display similar contrasts.  Continue reading...

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