We’re now some 500+ days away from the next presidential election and our amount of democratic candidates has increased dramatically, albeit not substantively. A certain former Vice President has entered the race along with a few lesser known candidates to widen the field to 522,234,449,731,915 (or 22 for short.)
But here’s a breakdown of how they all rank on the progressive scale, their chances of victory, and how their policies (or lack thereof) stack up against the rest.
Some candidates have moved up or down since the last time based on their Town Hall performances, interviews, etc.
So let’s kick off with #22.
#22 – Congressman Eric Swallwell (D-CA): There pretty much is nothing interesting or innovative about Swallwell’s presidential run. He’s running as a milquetoast centrist, focusing on trying to do the little things around the edges without tackling any core issues.
#21 – Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN): I said last time she’d be lower on the list if there were more candidates in the race, and here she is. Klobuchar has done little to improve her status or character in recent months. She’s decided to paint herself as the anti-progressive candidate this go round, and while I think it makes her at least interesting, it does nothing more than that.
#20 – Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA): A former four-tour Iraq War Veteran, who defeated an incumbent candidate to win his election. He touts his military record proudly, but he’s not as anti-war as some other progressive candidates. And besides foreign policy, Moulton doesn’t have much else to offer.
#19 – Sen. Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY): Senator Gillibrand has been at the forefront of women’s issues, yet she still hasn’t offered any specific policy proposals. Even during the She The People event, centered mostly around female issues and featuring a mostly female audience, she gave platitudes instead of policy. Gillibrand has struggled to stand out at at time that is considered “The Year of the Woman” and she hasn’t been able to capitalize on it at all.
#18 – Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO): Bennet is your standard middle of the road politician, and he lands in the bottom half of this list. He’s bragged extensively about his ability to craft bipartisan legislation, however, at a time when most of the Republican party is extreme right (or alt-right) and the Democrats are center right because of their ties to corporations and wall street, bipartisanship is not exactly appealing to the electorate.
#17 – Fmr. Gov. John Hickenlooper: The former governor hasn’t made much noise in recent months. He also hasn’t had another town hall or public platform since his X-rated admission on CNN. He is likely to tout his record with bipartisan legislation, but most of it deals with siding with businesses over the people.
#16 – Fmr. San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro: Julian is young, ethnic and educated. He certainly should have a shot. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have any ideas. He’s openly against Medicare for All, and seems hell-bent on keeping the status quo. Castro was the former housing secretary for Obama, and seems to prove the case that working with Obama doesn’t automatically make you the best choice.
#15 – Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ): Once considered an early front-runner for his eloquent speeches and kind hearted nature, Booker has damaged his standing mainly due to legislative mistakes and hoarding corporate donors. He’s running on a platform mainly aimed at criminal justice reform– a key issue for many voters, and as long as he focuses on that he’s sure to do well, but whether or not he’s got anything else to offer will determine whether or not he’ll stay in the race long enough to gain any traction.
#14 – Fmr. Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke: “BetoMania” came and went on almost the same day. He’s been exposed for lying about his higher 24-hour haul that somehow bested Bernie Sanders by accepting an early $300,000 from the DNC for General election funds which just put him past Sanders at 6.1 million. He’s also released his plan for attacking climate change which was decent except it gave the US a lot more time to act than scientists have given us. O’Rourke, in a very short amount of time, has shown us all, he may have been born for this, but that doesn’t mean he’s actually any good at it.
#13 – Fmr. Rep. John Delaney: Delaney has some really good ideas, but he also doesn’t seem to like talking about them. He’s not making a lot of noise outside of his bubble and its something that has to be frustrating for those who support him as he’s more reasonable than most of the high profile candidates, just not as adept at grabbing headlines.
#12 – Fmr. Vice President Joe Biden (D-DE): Welp, it’s official. Joe Biden has entered the race, and while that may mean it’s over for everyone else for some people, I would argue, it’s not even close. Biden doesn’t have the greatest legislative or voting record, and his lengthy career in politics makes it easy to find old clips of Biden on the wrong side of history. He also seems to be running on the “Remember me? I’m Obama’s VP!” ticket, and without much policy set towards the future of our country, Biden is looking more and more like a bad choice and even makes some question why Obama picked him in the first place.
#11- Washington Gov. Jay Inslee: Inslee is running on one key issue: Climate change. And that’s desperately important, but beyond that, Inslee isn’t making much noise otherwise. As a key issue candidate, his goal is a lot different from everyone else in the race. He’s more trying to push positive legislation into the eventual nominees’ platform. But he’ll need to make the debate stage to actually make that happen.
#10- South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg: Mayor Pete came in like a firebrand, and the mainstream media has fallen head over heels in love with him, and all that means is he’s not nearly as good as they think he is. Since the news media became beholden to corporate power, their only job is maintaining the status quo and they believe Pete is the guy to do just that. Pete has openly said he doesn’t want to bog people down with policy, which means he either has none or he’s sure to keep them hidden so he isn’t held to any standards that he’ll have to answer for.
#9- Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA): Harris has had the most up and down movement in the polls in recent months. She lands in the same spot she did last time on our list. Kamala is really good at saying what people want to hear. It’s one of the things she’s good at, but it’s also one of the things she’ll have trouble with if she’s caught off guard. You see how well she does in a controlled environment like the She The People event or a CNN town hall, but the reason she made the gaffe that she did on the Breakfast Club is because she’s so rehearsed that a genuine moment slipped through and she fumbled it. She’s a crafty politician, the exact one the establishment would fall in love with. And she’ll be the hardest one to get rid of when voting starts.
#8- Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH): Tim has said that he’s not running as a socialist, however much of his platform is aligned or inspired by Bernie Sanders. And without being prompted, he’s also come out in favor of the Green New Deal, particularly when it comes to incentives for renewable energies and green technologies. Ryan also ran against Nancy Pelosi for Speaker of the House.
#7- Florida Mayor Wayne Messam: Messam became the first black mayor of the small town of Miramar. He’s also taken progressive stances on environmental issues, gun rights, and immigration. He’s currently running on one key issue of eliminating 1.5 trillion dollars in student loan debt. He believes it will free up the people struggling to get out of debt, and allow them to unleash innovation onto the economy. He’s not wrong about that, he may just need a bit more to really capture the entirety of the American people.
#6- Andrew Yang: This could just be me, but Yang has a trust issue that I simply can’t get past. However, he is mostly progressive and has very good ideas. While I’m not in favor of a universal basic income until we’ve actually started paying workers fairly, it’s become the central mark of his campaign, and who would argue against a free $1000 a month? It’s added to his popularity, and certainly has drawn some interest. We’re eager to learn more about Yang and how he plans to implement his ideas and how they will work.
#5- Fmr. Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel: Gravel is 88 years old. He is the oldest candidate in the race, and he would be the oldest person to ever assume the office of the presidency and along with Tulsi Gabbard and Bernie Sanders, touts quite possibly the strongest anti-war agenda. The other interesting thing about Gravel is he’s not running to win, he’s running to push a narrative into the public consciousness, and he should have every opportunity to do so. https://www.mikegravel.org/
#4- Marianne Williamson: the former author and spiritual guide is starting to make a real push in numbers needed for the debates. She’s diagnosed a lot of the key issues concerning Americans and has some sound strategies to help heal the country mentally as well as economically. She also needs just a few more donors to reach the debate threshold: Marianne2020.com
#3- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA): Warren’s new tagline: “I’ve Got A Plan For That” is the stuff of genius. She’s not been able to compete with Bernie when it comes to donors, or Tulsi when it comes to war, or even Biden when it comes to centrism, so she’s gone the route of releasing detailed policy proposals for just about every issue. And it’s working. She’s gained a bit more in polling even if I think she’s incapable of defeating Trump, she’s certainly making a strong case for Air Force 2.
#2- Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI): Tulsi is taking the fight to the media and all detractors in meaningful ways. She recently had a viral moment at a rally where a Yemeni girl expressed her gratitude towards Tulsi for shedding light on the crisis happening in the middle east. Tulsi also has deeply progressive domestic policies, but it’s her anti-war stance that is the linchpin of her campaign and it is drawing both ire and inspiration, both of which you need to win an election.
#1- Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT): Still, no one has been able to knock Bernie out of his top spot. He currently has raised more money himself than the entire Democratic party combined. Even though Sanders did run into a bit of a snag when asked whether he believed inmates should have voting rights including a domestic terrorist, he held to his moral position and the establishment has tried hammering against that due to its unpopularity, it hasn’t knocked the independent senator out of his top spot. The mainstream media would have you believe Joe Biden is now the frontrunner, which is fine by me. Being a frontrunner at this early stage is a terrible thing. There are more eyes on you than ever, and far more people looking and poking and prodding into your record than ever before. With Bernie, that’s not an issue, with others, it very much is.
So there you have it, our list of the most progressive presidential candidates this month. I (hopefully) doubt anyone else is going to enter the race, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they did, and we’ll keep an eye out for them in case they do.
Do you agree with our list?
Where would you rank everybody?
Let us know!