- The Washington Times
Saturday, October 19, 2019


Twelve Democrats took to the Ohio stage this week to battle it out for the party’s 2020 nomination for president. Only about five should have been there.

The next day, 12 Democrats took to their various media platforms to claim victories, slam opponents, clarify positions — and double down on their intents for the long haul. Only about five should have done this.

When are the low-pollers going to exit, stage right, while they still have even a smidgen of self-respect left? Cue REO Speedwagon, playing softly in the background, “It’s Time For Me To Fly.”

An IBD/TIPP poll from October 7 put Sen. Elizabeth Warren as leader of the pack, with 27%; Joe Biden, ex-vice president, at 26; Sen. Bernie Sanders at 10; Mayor Pete Buttigieg at 7; and Sen. Kamala Harris and businessman Andrew Yang at 3.

The rest — Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, Tom Steyer, Gabbi Tulsi and Julian Castro, along with the no-namer Michael Bennett — all registered between 2% and 0%.

Zero percent. That should be an automatic boot. The zero-percenters, back on October 7, included Colorado businessman Bennett — who? — as well as Booker and Steyer.

They should never have stayed as long as they have.

It’s not as if they’ve gained steam, either. By the time the Dems’ fourth debate rolled into focus in Ohio, these same losers were, well, still losers.

An Economist/YouGov’s poll conducted October 13 through October 15, the day of the debate, had Warren again in the lead, with 29%, followed by Biden, with 25; Sanders, 13; Buttigieg, 7; and Harris, 5. The rest, once again, fell below 2% with voters.

Post-debate, Biden saw a jump — by 10 percentage points, according to Morning Consult. Warren, meanwhile, fell a bit in favor, but still carried a substantial amount of support, with 21%. Sanders saw an 18% poll showing, while Harris and Buttigieg garnered 7% and 6%, respectively.

And as for the rest? Losers, all.

“[W]hat happened onstage in Westerville, Ohio, did little to change the state of the race,” Morning Consult reported. “First-choice support for all of the candidates on the stage did not change beyond 1 percentage point.”

That leaves the big question: When are these Club Zero members going to awaken to their teeny digit favor? Even CNN is wondering.

In a shockingly honest assessment of debaters’ performances, the normally leftist-leaning, see-no-Democrat-evil, report-no-Democrat-evil cable outlet wrote this, of their one-time bestie O’Rourke: “It’s not at all clear to us that the former Texas congressman understands his current peril in this race. He hasn’t qualified for the November debate and, if his performance in [this fourth debate] is any indication, he probably won’t.”

He probably won’t.

Beto should leave the race now. So, too, this list — which is shorter to write this way: Everybody but Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg and Harris.

Only two, maybe three, of those names have shots at perhaps winning the party’s presidential nomination. The others, ostensibly, could keep on the trail, though, as a way of gathering name recognition — and funding — for a possible vice presidential slot. Or a potential Cabinet role.

Of course, the Democrats’ real challenge is finding a candidate who can, in the end, beat President Donald Trump. And on that, even their current front-runners hold dubious ability.

The party knows it, too.

“Panicky Democrats beg Michelle Obama to run,” one Fox News headline reported earlier this month.

Translation: You know it’s pretty bad for Democrats when they pin their presidential hopes on someone who’s not even running for the office.

Come to think of it, maybe REO works as a theme song for the whole party.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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