Early Odds on the 2020 Democratic Nomination

November 8, 2018

For the next couple of years on these pages we’ll track the possible US presidential candidates already seen as contenders – and add to those, over time, others that haven’t surfaced yet – to report on their campaigns and measure their progress.

The “odds” (set here as percentage numbers to indicate the chance each has at the 2020 Democratic nomination) appear on the right-hand sidebar and will be regularly updated. We begin, today, by grouping these possible candidates into tiers. As some rise and some fall we’ll regularly update the numbers on that sidebar.

Welcome to Organize and Win. Some of the content in this space will be free to everyone, including the rankings on the right. Other content will be password-protected, exclusively for subscribers to the newsletter, Al Giordano’s América, which goes to donors of $70 or more to the nonprofit Fund for Authentic Journalism. (The opinions expressed here and in the newsletter are my own, not those of the nonpartisan Fund or any other organization. The newsletter is merely my way of sharing the fruits of my labors with a worthy cause.) To subscribe for all of 2019 (and receive upcoming 2018 issues gratis), click here. (A link to subscribe will also appear below at the end of this entry.)


“The first to grasp the portent of what was taking shape was the prophet of the Obama paradigm shift, the journalist-activist-online editor-blogger Al Giordano.”

– Vanity Fair, January 2009


The newsletter does not follow any set publishing schedule. I send it out only when I have something to say. That’s been 70 times so far in three-and-a-half years. Projections on the 2020 primaries and caucuses – the presidential contest projections I’ve been publishing in one form or another since 2004 – will go exclusively to subscribers. These pages will have no paid advertising, no public comments section, and the subscribers-only features will be troll-free zones.

After the toxicity of social media spaces surrounding the 2016 presidential elections we are creating here an oasis for the 2020 cycle for those who prefer organizing, collaborating and winning together to a never-ending online food fight.

Those social media wars ended up weakening the value of the 2016 Democratic nomination and opened the door for Trump’s presidency. If we haven’t learned that lesson we’ll be doomed to repeat it. The blame is shared by all of us, on all sides, who fell into the trap of debating with people of bad faith, especially those who simply use political poses on social media as a vehicle to seek their daily narcissistic supply, which distracted too many good people from the boots-on-the-ground organizing that really does win elections. I’m not knocking anyone who still does have the stomach for the constant conflict of social media: Best of luck to you. But posting messages on the Internet will never be enough to change the world or even a small corner of it, and worse, it supplants and often eclipses more effective paths of people-to-people organizing. Organize and Win exists to help those of us who do the real work of democracy to aid each other in doing it effectively in the real world, offline, where hearts and minds – and elections – are won or lost.

Heading into the 2020 cycle we ought to, each of us, resolve to unite and rally behind whoever wins the Democratic nomination. As long as the candidates who are seeking the nomination – or their supporters – are not going so negative as to lower the value of the nomination itself then each will get a fair hearing here. The eventual nominee will have to borrow the best that each of the many candidates offer to run the biggest, widest possible candidacy against the eventual GOP nominee (likely to be Donald Trump, if – and it’s not a fait accompli – he serves out his entire term).

With no further ado, here are the current “odds…”

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