Writing for the Crystal Ball Report, Editor Kyle Kondik has a warning for Democrats: they may not have a presidential nominee before the national convention in Milwaukee.
“Unlike on the GOP side, there are no winner-take-all states. Those kinds of contests can help winnow a field more than proportional ones do, although the 15 percent delegate hurdle will have the effect of shutting out weaker candidates,” Kondik wrote. “Still, one can imagine perhaps three or four leading candidates emerging and trading victories across the country during the first half of next year, with the primary season ending without a clear victor.”
It would be the first time in 68 years that a major party was unable to nominate a presidential candidate on the first ballot at their convention. Once that happens, anything can happen.
Making the Democratic nominating process more fun for Wisconsin is the Democratic presidential primary on April 7 next year. While the Democratic nomination may be locked up by then, there is a good chance that the delegates chosen before then may be evenly split between several Democratic candidates.
As Petyr Baelish said in Game of Thrones, “Chaos is a ladder.” And a ladder of opportunity might be lowered for Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) in 2020. A Democratic organization, Data for Progress, has released a new poll showing Baldwin can win the White House.
“Data for Progress has long maintained that to the extent electability exists, the most electable Democrat is not an old centrist fogey like Biden,” wrote Sean McElwee for the organization. “Rather, Democrats need someone who is able to translate progressive policies in a way that persuades swing voters while mobilizing the base. Someone like Tammy Baldwin, who won re-election by 11 points even while Tony Evers knocked off Scott Walker by a point.”
To prove their point, Data for Progress paired Baldwin with Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) as the Democratic ticket against President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
According to McElwee, respondents were asked:
“If the election were held tomorrow, and you had to choose between the following theoretical pairs of candidates, who would you vote for in the Presidential election?
<1> Democrat Tammy Baldwin for President and Tammy Duckworth for Vice President
<2> Republican Donald Trump for President and Mike Pence for Vice President
<3> Don’t know.” (Responses were randomized)
“The survey was fielded from March 30, 2019 to April 4, 2019 using YouGov’s online panel,” according to McElwee. “The sample size of the survey was 1,309 and the margin of error of the survey is 3.1 percent.”
“A lot can change between now and November 2020, of course. But at present, it really looks like whoever wins Wisconsin will win the White House,” Levitz wrote. “And Tammy Baldwin has been winning elections in Wisconsin for a quarter-century now.”
Electability and Progressive politics may make Baldwin an irresistible candidate for Democrats looking for a fast compromise. Baldwin has conveniently said she will not endorse a candidate with the convention coming to Milwaukee. If there is no clear front runner before the primaries, Baldwin could take advantage of the early division, enter the Wisconsin primary, win a few delegates, and then become the “favorite daughter” candidate at a brokered convention in her home state. Or she can just wait until the convention and hope that nobody can get a majority of delegates on the first ballot.
Either way, the more ballots it takes to nominate a presidential candidate, the better the odds for Baldwin.
“Tammy Baldwin sleeps on a bed made of the skulls of men who have underestimated her,” McElwee warned his fellow Democrats.
Election 2020 is coming, and “the night is dark and full of terrors.” Baldwin might just win the Democratic Game of Thrones.