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Bernie wins Daily Kos Straw Poll by razor-thin margin, Warren nips at his heels

If you didn’t know, Warren has skipped the big-dollar fundraising circuit. There are benefits to eschewing those rich-donor checks—it allows her to focus on voter outreach, and the substance and visibility of her campaign is a testament to that. The downside? She’s raising far less money than most everyone else. Will that tradeoff pay off for her? TBD. Much will depend on whether she can ramp up on the small-dollar-donor side. Bernie is the model. (It sure beats the traditional circuit: Pete, KamalaBiden, Beto, ugh.)

No one gives a shit that Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is running. And it’s no surprise that he’s about to camp himself out in Iowa, hoping that a state that looks like him (and not his party) will bail out his utter lack of relevance at the national stage. 

If Bullock really cared about his country, he’d be running for Senate, helping Democrats retake that chamber to give our next president real legislative support. Instead … he’s another generic white male Democrat with zero chance to do anything. With just 233 votes out of 60K cast … yeah, he’s gone. 

Also relegated was Marianne Williamson and Tulsi Gabbard (again), failing to get the 1,200 votes she needed to hit 2% and avoid relegation. But look who made it—Andrew Yang. Lots of serious top-shelf Democrats have failed to stay atop that mark, yet Yang pulled it off. Why? Because his supporters know how to promote their guy online: 

The dude, woefully unqualified for the gig as he might be, is building himself quite the online following, enough to push him to 2%, which is more than can be said for most of the Democratic field.

Out of curiosity, Elizabeth Warren also has a subreddit. No one there pushed people to this poll.

They definitely did in the Bernie Reddit world. 

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In our stats, we see a very effective Bernie supporter Facebook operation. Lots of small local groups and whatnot, all pushing their guy hard. Again, nothing wrong with that! In fact, I want to see the supporters of all candidates doing this, because once we have a nominee, online advocacy will be crucial. So hopefully people learn from Bernie’s and Yang’s supporters. These are good skills to hone at this time. 

What else? Kamala Harris has steadied herself in the 11% range. Beto survived relegation, but is shaping up to be the biggest bust of this cycle. And Biden gets far less support online (where people are higher-information political junkies) than in the “real world,” where polling shows him in the 30s and 40s. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Harris and Biden switch the 3rd and 4th slots in the next month or so. 

Now’s the fun part: you get to hate me for hating on your candidate! It’s been weird, but it feels like this cycle is nowhere near as nasty as previous ones. Perhaps it’s the massive field—diffusing the intensity of any single candidate. There’s also a real lack of a real villain. I mean, anyone in this field who is genuinely unacceptable ideologically is nowhere near viable. So it’s hard to get overly riled up at the thought of most of these people winning. So, for example, as much as I rag on Buttigieg for being a small-liberal-college-town mayor, fact is I’d be perfectly happy with him as our nominee. (I’d just rather get excited about him being governor of Indiana, or Senator Buttigieg.) 

Or perhaps it’s too early, and that stakes aren’t particularly high when no one is running away with the race. 

And that’s what we really have now, both in our straw poll and in the real world—a crap-ton of candidates, with plenty of undecideds and a willingness from Democrats to give the whole field a fair shake, and plenty of time for people to audition the field. 

So far, I’m finding this a fun ride. I hope you are too. 


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