WATCH: C-SPAN Ranks the Presidents and It MIGHT Be Liberally Biased

C-SPAN came out with its Presidential Historians Survey for 2017, and Glenn's co-hosts had a heyday going through the rankings.

"Number 11 is Woodrow Wilson," Stu Burguiere revealed.

"That is unbelievable," Pat Gray chimed in. "Racist, another internment guy, a guy who brought us --- well, this is what they'll love about him, but we hate --- all the progressives policies, the income tax. I mean, so much about him to hate, so much.

Wilson was also a catalyst for reviving the Ku Klux Klan.

"The KKK was essentially . . . he brought them back out of obscurity as president," Stu said.

Other abominations include Calvin Coolidge at #27 (just one slot ahead of Richard Nixon even though Coolidge brought the U.S. out of a devastating depression and into the Roaring '20s), Bill Clinton (#15) listed ahead of James Madison (#17), the father of the US Constitution, and the introduction of Barack Obama at #12.

"Now, this is a disgrace," Stu said.

Listen to this segment from The Glenn Beck Program:

Featured Image: Original cartoon created by Pat Cross Cartoons for glennbeck.com. Pat Cross loves drawing, America and the Big Man upstairs.

PAT: Pat, Stu, and Jeffy in for Glenn on the Glenn Beck Program. 888-727-BECK.

Happy Presidents Day. I guess pretty much every year it's traditional that they -- they do some sort of ranking the presidents who have been president of the United States. And who is this one from, Stu?

STU: That's a good question. By C-SPAN, I believe. C-SPAN does this, I guess, every year, and they get a bunch of historians -- 50 historians or so. One hundred historians. And they believe up with a list of who is the best.

And it's always --

PAT: One hundred historians. You know this is going to be -- this is going to be liberally biased, I would assume.

STU: Uh-huh.

PAT: It's just a wild guess of mine. Just a stab in the dark.

JEFFY: But you don't know that.

PAT: I don't know that for a fact. So...

STU: Shocking, yeah. Number one is going to be -- let's see. Blaze story. Blaze has the list up there.

PAT: Let's see if we can guess who number one is. Who would you think, Jeffy, if you had to guess, 100 historians.

JEFFY: Off the top of my head?

PAT: I'm going to say --

JEFFY: It's going to be -- it's going to have to be either WW, right? Woodrow or Franklin, right? Or Roosevelt.

PAT: It's got to be FDR.

STU: No. Come on, guys. Look, we know they are biased. But you're going to put either Lincoln or George Washington at number one. Is that a surprise?

PAT: Really? No, not usually. A lot of times it's FDR.

STU: My understanding is it's always been Lincoln or Washington.

JEFFY: Oh, okay.

STU: And top ten, number one is Abraham Lincoln.

PAT: Abraham Lincoln is a good choice. I can't argue with that. I mean, I get this email from this Abe Lincoln hater every single time we mention his name.

JEFFY: Yes.

PAT: You do too?

JEFFY: I believe I'm copied on that.

PAT: Like come on, man. Has history not exonerated this guy by now? Because I think so. Did he do some extraordinary things for extraordinary times? Yes, he did. But he gave back the power, which is also extraordinary. The guy was amazing. And I love Abraham Lincoln. And I don't care how many emails I get on the subject, I'm still going to love Abraham Lincoln. So I've got no issue with that, with Abe being number one.

STU: Yeah, you put it in perspective, here's a guy who went through basically the most till --

PAT: Most difficult time in our.

STU: We talk about, "Well, we're very divided." We had a Civil War. We were more divided then, I can assure you.

PAT: Not as divided as we were, that's for sure. So Abe was number one. Was George number two?

STU: George Washington, number two.

PAT: That's pretty good. I'm okay with that so far.

STU: Not a huge surprise. Again, you want to talk about a guy who surrendered power.

PAT: Yes. A guy who was offered to be king. They asked him, in fact, would you -- you should consider being king. And he told them not to even bring that up to him again. Don't even mention that to me again.

STU: Do you think we would get that from today's politicians?

PAT: Oh, jeez. No, no.

STU: Really? So you're saying no?

PAT: No. I'm kind of saying no.

STU: So here's the -- this is looking back. In 2000, Abraham Lincoln was number one. 2009, number one. 2017, number one. So he's been number one for all three of the years they've done this.

George Washington was number three in 2000. Number two, 2009. Number two, 2017. So those two really have been consistent. And number three has been pretty consistent as well. The only time that George Washington wasn't number two, FDR was number two. And he is number three this year.

PAT: FDR, the third -- okay. This -- on the 75th anniversary -- this is the 75th anniversary of the Japanese internment camps. Thank you, FDR. The third best president of all the time.

JEFFY: Was he responsible for that?

PAT: Sure was. Yes, he was. Yes, he was.

STU: Amazingly, the same people who will today come out and bitch about Donald Trump and his immigration roundups across the country --

PAT: Right.

STU: Where there's been 100 -- I think the number is 174, in America since Donald Trump took over. 174 illegal immigrants that were not already criminals for something else have been arrested and deported or in the process of being deported in these raids. 174 people. How many people do we have in this country? Like is it a thousand? Two thousand? I don't know. It would be really disturbing if it was 2,000 people we had in this country.

PAT: Stu, it's 320 million. So it's higher than you thought for sure.

STU: Wow, that's higher. That's much, much higher. So the same people who will be complaining about this will give FDR, the number three president of all time, after he took an entire race of people who were citizens, by the way.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: Not illegal immigrants. They were citizens of the United States of Japanese descent and put into camps because we thought we might not be able to trust them during the war.

PAT: Right. For whatever reason, the other thing about FDR is, they always give him credit for getting us out of a depression.

STU: Right. Which is not true.

PAT: Getting us out of the depression, we were in it for 12 years.

STU: He extended it.

PAT: Virtually his entire administration was the Great Depression. And the only reason why we got out of it was because of amazing manufacturing in World War II. We manufactured so -- we manufactured our way out of the Great Depression. And it had nothing to do with FDR, except for the fact that he asked Congress to declare war. That's about it. I mean, it is -- it's amazing to me that people don't see that the depression lasted for 12 years here. And one or two years everywhere else. That's because of the incredible overreach of FDR.

STU: And a lot of economists have come around to that. For a long time, it was just, that was the truth. FDR was the guy who bailed us out of this Depression, even though he had like 97 terms as president to do so, and it took him all of it.

PAT: Hard to make that case. Yeah.

STU: But really, recently, you start looking at these policies and how they affected the rest of the world, as you pointed out, and things that just really extended it and made it worse. Right?

PAT: Yes. Made it much worse.

STU: You know, everybody likes to praise the Obama recovery in the media. And it's like, it's the worst recovery since World War II.

PAT: When we had another super progressive president.

STU: When we had FDR. Right, yes. It's like, what is the pattern here? Number four.

PAT: Jeez.

Another one that's going to drive you out of your mind.

STU: Yes. Theodore Roosevelt. Now, if Glenn were here to scream about this, he would. It's again another typical pick. He's been fourth every single time.

PAT: Those two progressives right next to each other and always ranked in the top five.

STU: Now, they do have the same last one. Is it possible they're voting for the wrong ones? I don't know.

PAT: I don't know.

PAT: But it does seem like Theodore Roosevelt always gets that.

And this is the -- this is the thing they do to say it's okay for Republicans: See, it's a Republican.

Now, obviously Lincoln. But he's a little bit of an exception to this story. Theodore Roosevelt is like, well, it's John McCain's favorite president. It's Newt Gingrich's favorite president. See, we're not just crazy liberals putting this list together. And that's one of the sad truths that has happened with the Republican Party, that has turned into -- again, the guy ran -- he started the Progressive Party.

Like, this is not --

PAT: It was named that for a reason. Because it was progressive. That's why.

STU: Yeah, that's really what he meant. That's what he meant.

PAT: That's what he really meant, yeah.

STU: Number five is Dwight Eisenhower. And interesting about Eisenhower is in 2000, he was number nine. In 2009 --

PAT: Moving all the way to number five.

PAT: Eight. And then all the way up to number five this year.

PAT: Number five with a bullet.

STU: Now, I don't know what he's done since 2000 to justify this.

PAT: A lot. He's done a lot. Yeah, he's done a lot.

STU: Really? It's weird because you look at a historical legacy of a president, and it might move you over time. You might say, "Wow, that policy worked."

Like, for example, LBJ might have looked like a better president when he left. What he left behind was basically all of our financial problems.

PAT: The scourge.

STU: Right? You know, $100 trillion, where, what? 75 trillion are that are policies that he passed.

PAT: Easily.

STU: I mean, this is a disaster.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: For our country as far as finances go. And over time, I think you can look at his -- you might have left that and think, "Wow, he really wanted to help people." Fifty years later, you're going to say, "Wait a minute. He ruined the country with these policies."

That's not the way that the left looks at it, of course. But I'm surprised to see -- what with Eisenhower has moved people in the last 17 years, where he would go from ninth to fifth?

PAT: Yeah, it's interesting. I don't know. Just maybe over time. And he realized his policies did kind of have a stabilizing effect during the '50s. I don't know. The economy was pretty good during the '50s.

STU: Sure.

PAT: So, you know, maybe -- maybe that's moved them a little bit.

STU: Harry Truman in sixth. Which he's been right around that area for a long time as well. Thomas Jefferson.

PAT: Number seven. Come on. That's ridiculous.

STU: He should be a little higher than that.

PAT: Ridiculous.

STU: JFK at number eight is obviously a controversial one.

PAT: He was in office for about 15 minutes.

STU: Yeah, he had the tragic end. But, I mean, other than that --

PAT: He saw us through the Cuban Missile Crisis. He gets a lot of brownie points for that, for standing up to the Russians and doing that courageously. And he did. He did.

JEFFY: Yes, he did.

PAT: He faced down the Russians, and that was a tough time in American history.

STU: Standing up to the Russians, that's an interesting --

PAT: Yeah, it is.

STU: Yeah. You know, you're right. But, again, that thing almost turned into -- that probably was the closest we came other than mistakes -- because there were some mistakes that we almost went into nuclear war over.

PAT: Oh, yeah, for sure.

STU: But as far as a policy issue, probably the closest we came.

PAT: I'd say definitely, yeah.

STU: And, again, you're right. He was president for 15 minutes. He did cut taxes, which is something the left likes to ignore about his reign.

PAT: Yeah, they don't like to hear that.

STU: But putting him at number eight is, I don't know. How much of that is the rock star dying after his second album and everybody just kind of gives him the full credit for the full career?

PAT: Almost all of it. Almost all of it.

STU: Probably. Right? Kurt Cobain. What's the right guy?

PAT: A Buddy Holly situation. One album.

STU: Yeah, where you just kind of give him credit for twelve good albums, even though they only put out two and then died. It's like, oh, well, he would have had ten more. I mean, look at this, this was unbelievable. That's kind of what you do with musicians. I guess you do that with presidents too.

PAT: Yeah.

JEFFY: Yeah.

STU: Ronald Reagan, number nine. Yeah, Regan should be three, four, five.

PAT: Way too low for Ronald Reagan. I've seen him as -- it seems like I've seen him high as number one. But maybe not. Because usually these historians don't do that.

STU: Yeah, I don't think with the -- you're probably not putting him number one when you're putting him against George Washington. But more than presidents, I would certainly put him as number one. What's the last president you would put potentially -- you don't even have to make the distinction? But like you put in the conversation with -- with Reagan. Coolidge?

PAT: Yes. Yes.

STU: Again, probably you're going back to Coolidge. Which, again, you haven't heard his name yet.

PAT: And he never shows well in these rankings.

STU: No. And here's a really pathetic one, as we just talked about, LBJ coming in at number ten. He's a complete embarrassment.

PAT: Terrible. He should maybe be dead last.

STU: Yeah. There's an argument to be made there, that he should be dead last. Again, we have $100 trillion of unpaid liabilities, future liabilities, along with $20 trillion of debt.

The overwhelming reason we have that are the programs that LBJ started and have sat here and drained our society for a long time. Now, there are some parts of that, that are popular. But, you know, they're not particularly run well. You can't necessarily blame LBJ for how a program that he instituted is run 50 years later. But still --

JEFFY: No, but there's evidence that he knew it was going to happen anyway.

STU: Yeah, the other part of that too is it comes with skepticism of giant federal government. If you go into this thinking, well, the government is wonderful, and they will do these things well, then you start giant programs like this. And when that fails, you should get some of that blame.

PAT: Uh-huh.

PAT: And it's part of the reason why I think -- one of the parts of the reason that I turned on things like the Patriot Act, for example, was I -- you know, you look at the guy who wrote it, Sensenbrenner. He wrote the Patriot Act. And even he says it was implemented in a way that it was not written. They did things that were not allowed in the Patriot Act, according to the guy who authored it. And that's not because the Patriot Act in and of itself was the worst thing that was ever past -- though many argue that it is -- it's because the government takes what they have, and they do 100 percent more every time.

And, you know, you have to be able to see these things because this is the pattern that happens every single time.

So the next two are the most controversial on this show. Number 11 is Woodrow Wilson.

PAT: That is unbelievable.

STU: That is absolutely unbelievable.

PAT: Racist. Another internment guy. A guy who brought us -- well, this is what they'll love about him, but we hate, all the progressives policies. The income tax. I mean, so much about him to hate. So much.

STU: And not to mention, you said the racist part. The KKK was essentially he brought them back out of obscurity as president.

PAT: Yeah, he reignited the KKK.

STU: Yeah. He -- he, you know, screened one of their movies that really tried to reignite the movement. I mean, he really was responsible for the resurgence in that era.

PAT: The movie, wasn't the movie based on a book he wrote?

STU: Yeah, I think that's the -- Glenn would be here yelling at us right now I'm sure.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: Yeah, that's how bad it is. However, I will say, Glenn I think at times -- and you've heard this over the years -- has felt as if -- especially off the air, why we even bother doing this? You know, he gets into those frustrated moments when things don't go the way we want them to go. You know, he'll get frustrated. And that's natural. Right? We all get that way at times. Sometimes you feel you push so hard and you fight so hard for something and you think it's the truth, and then it doesn't come through, and, you know, you beat yourself up over it. Glenn has been talking about Woodrow Wilson for a long time. And I'm not going to give him credit for this. But in 2000, he was ranked sixth. He fell -- in 2009, ranked ninth. In 2017, ranked 11. He's falling.

PAT: Yeah, good.

STU: He's falling down the list of presidents. Again, Woodrow hasn't done much recently to justify a move. People are just waking up to how bad of a president he was.

PAT: Right. Yeah, that he was terrible.

STU: So that's important. And number 12 is the big one.

PAT: Coming in at number 12 with his big debut, Barack Obama.

STU: Barack Obama.

JEFFY: Oh, my gosh.

STU: Now, this is a disgrace.

PAT: It is a discourse. It is. But you know these liberal professors are like, he hailed Obamacare. He insured so many people who otherwise would die from lack of medical coverage. You know that's what they're thinking.

STU: I guess. Look, if you are a progressive, you probably do like the presidency of Barack Obama. And he should get into this more in-depth because it's so revolved.

PAT: Yeah, we should. Yeah, we will. We'll do that coming up here in a second. More of the Glenn Beck Program with Pat, Stu, and Jeffy coming up in a sec.

[break]

PAT: It's Pat, Stu, and Jeffy for Glenn on the Glenn Beck Program. Presidents Day. We're kind of going over this list, ranking all of the presidents in order.

One through 44. Actually 43. Forty-three have finished their terms.

STU: Right. Obviously Trump isn't on this list yet. Barack Obama is the one who had the debut this year. And they went with number 12, which is we're going to come back and hit that after a while. At number 15 is Bill Clinton. And Clinton was -- went from 21 when he left the office all the way up to 15. You'd expect Barack Obama to have the same type of thing, right? He's going to move up. He's not moving down.

JEFFY: Wow.

PAT: Yes.

STU: Because, again, these are mostly liberal historians that are going to love this guy.

PAT: Can you believe Bill Clinton is listed ahead of James Madison? The father of the US Constitution.

STU: Inexcusable.

PAT: Now, I know this is presidency. And they're not necessarily taking the Constitution into account on this. But he was a good president. James Madison certainly was better than Bill Clinton.

STU: How is that -- how is that an argument? How is that an argument?

PAT: I don't know. I don't know.

STU: One of the things they didn't like about Madison is that he is the reason -- he basically made it illegal to -- again, he -- he wrote the -- he wrote some of our important founding documents, if you might remember. So he was kind of the expert of the time on what you were allowed to do. And one of the things he said you were not allowed to do was have direct stimulus from the federal government to states to pay for things like infrastructure. He didn't like that.

So the way they -- they have to go around and have all sorts of hurdles and loopholes and gymnastics to justify these stimulus programs they passed today because they're not allowed. They're straight-out not allowed. So what they have to do is they have to give money to the states for the states to do these things. And with some exceptions. But that's one of the things they don't like about him. But what else is there? I mean, Madison was pretty good. It's James freaking Madison.

PAT: Yeah, he was. These lists are almost always inexplicable.

STU: Oh, yeah.

PAT: When you have John Adams at 19 -- and maybe that's the Alien and Sedition Act.

STU: Yeah.

PAT: Which is kind of understandable, it would drop him down. Ulysses S. Grant at twenty-two. He was one of the worst presidents of all time: Scandal-ridden, controversial, not a good guy. How is he at number two? Unbelievable. We'll talk Obama and finish off the list, coming up.

[break]

PAT: Pat, Stu, and Jeffy for Glenn on the Glenn Beck Program. 888-727-BECK.

Kind of celebrating Presidents Day here with the latest ranking of the presidents in order one to 43. And so once again -- actually this is a decent -- the top of it is pretty good because they've listed Abraham Lincoln number one and George Washington number two. I can easily --

STU: That's fine.

PAT: That's fine. You can change those two if you want.

STU: I think I probably change them, but I'm okay with them. Right?

PAT: They're definitely the top two.

STU: I mean, I'm fine with them being the top two.

PAT: I would actually put Jefferson number three. They selected Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

STU: Yeah.

PAT: FDR number three. And then Theodore number four, followed by Dwight Eisenhower. So that was the top five.

STU: Let me give you -- because we've kind of gone through little bits of pieces of this. We don't need to hit every single name. But let me give you a quick run of presidents here. Twenty-six, Jimmy Carter. Twenty-seven --

PAT: Way too high.

STU: Way too high.

Twenty-seven, Calvin Coolidge, who should be at least top ten for sure.

PAT: Top three. Oh, definitely top ten.

STU: And then 28, Richard Nixon. So you have Coolidge one slot ahead of a guy who was impeached or almost impeached. Then you have -- you have Carter ahead of both of them, which --

PAT: Ahead of Calvin Coolidge. That's an outrage.

STU: And you have to look at like Nixon being an obvious line of demarcation of where they think -- you know, everyone below that was bad for sure, according to these historians. He's number 28.

And then number 33, five spots below George Nixon is George W. Bush.

PAT: That just shows how much they hated the guy.

STU: They just hated the guy. Now, he's risen -- he went from 36 to 33 since the last time they ran this.

But that is -- he is rising a little bit. Then you kind of get down to the real -- I think William Henry Harrison really gets screwed in this. Because JFK is a top ten guy mainly because he got assassinated. And, you know, people look at that and they look at that event as a real moment. And, look, he wasn't in office long enough to be a top ten president. If you take out that part of it, you know, I think he's remembered quite differently. But poor William Henry Harrison. The guy --

PAT: In office only a month.

STU: A month. He should be like number two on this list. Poor guy. He gets a month in office, and they throw him down at 38.

PAT: He got a cold or something. Right? He got pneumonia.

JEFFY: Yeah, because of the inauguration. It was so cold out. He wanted to do it outside. He got too cold. Got sick.

PAT: And died.

STU: That's not how colds work. But, yeah. That is, I believe, what they throw around about him. You don't get a cold because it's cold. That's not how colds work.

PAT: But I think if I have this correct -- if I have this down -- and maybe there's a scientist out there or doctor who can help us. But if you've hardware got the germs, the cold enables is how I think it works. I think the cold creates an atmosphere whereby they can better do their work. I think. I'm not sure about that.

STU: Okay. I will say this. You know, it was 73 yesterday here in Texas.

PAT: Yeah, it was so warm.

STU: And it's freezing in other parts of the country, where we used to live, for example, the northeast. And that decision -- I don't care if it causes. I don't care if warm made you sick, I'd still live here. I don't care at all. It's that devastating.

And then the bottom -- probably the biggest story from this, other than the Obama thing, which we'll get to is the fact that they put the first gay president last on this list. Which is pretty -- pretty offensive to me.

JEFFY: Thank you.

STU: James Buchanan, our first gay president, was -- he's tossed in here as last place. And obviously this shows the hatred towards him.

PAT: Now, James Buchanan, I know this, was maybe the only bachelor among these guys, right?

STU: Hmm.

PAT: And he was forever a bachelor.

JEFFY: Call it what you want, bachelor. Whatever you want, Pat.

STU: You can call it a bachelor. Or you can call it what it was, was he was gay. But had a long relationship as a gay president. First gay president. In-man gay president. And he did roll a little dude heavy. This is actually a real thing that they believe.

JEFFY: Yeah.

STU: Or at least I should say that the gay history project believes, the National Gay History Project.

PAT: Oh, well, then you can't dispute that.

STU: More than 150 years before America elected its first black president, it most likely had its first gay president, James Buchanan. Buchanan, a Democrat from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, was the 15th president of the United States. Lifelong bachelor. Served as president from 1857 to 1861, years leading up to the Civil War.

Historian James Loewen, who, by the way, I have the list right here -- James Loewen, not included on the list of historians to rank these guys because obviously they are anti-gay.

PAT: Obviously.

STU: We're putting that out there right now. It's confirmed.

PAT: Obviously. Uh-huh.

STU: So his research into Buchanan's personal life -- he says he's convinced that Buchanan was gay. Loewen is author of the book Lies Across America, which examines how historical sites inaccurately portray figures and events of America's past. Quote, I'm sure that Buchanan was gay. There is clear evidence that he was gay.

I don't know what clear evidence there would be.

PAT: Wow.

STU: And since I haven't seen any evidence that he was heterosexual, I don't believe he was bisexual. In case you were wondering that. A lot of people are like, wait a minute. I want to know, was he bisexual? We don't think so. Okay?

According to Loewen, Buchanan shared a residence with William Rufus King, a Democratic senator from Alabama for several years in Washington, DC.

JEFFY: Yeah.

PAT: Can you imagine at that time?

STU: I know.

PAT: That must have been so weird.

STU: We talk about crony capitalism -- relationships now between government and everything. Imagine a senator and a president --

PAT: A senator and president living together.

STU: And apparently according to this guy, dating.

PAT: Did they share the White House together? They didn't. I mean, I can't imagine that.

STU: Loewen said contemporary records indicate the two men were inseparable. And they would refer to them as the Siamese twins. Loewen also said Buchanan was fairly open about his relationship with King, causing some colleagues to view the men as a couple. For example, Aaron Brown, a prominent Democrat, writing to James K. Polk -- or, Mrs. James K. Polk, referred to King as Buchanan's better wife, his wife, and Aunt Fancy.

JEFFY: I don't know what's so funny about the man being gay.

STU: It's not.

PAT: Nothing.

STU: There's nothing funny about this at all, Jeffy.

PAT: Except for fact that he's ranked 43rd, dead last.

STU: Right. And that's laughable. Look, if he was our first gay president, he should be number one. I don't care what he did in office. He should be number one.

PAT: Even though he did send the nation hurdling into Civil War.

STU: Right.

PAT: Number one.

STU: I'm pretty sure our standards today are supposed to make him number one. It's hard to read these things.

JEFFY: He's so lucky that Twitter didn't exist.

PAT: Yeah, no kidding.

It's interesting down near the bottom though, you've got George W. Bush at 33, followed very closely by Martin Van Buren, a guy nobody knows anything about. Chester Arthur. Now, you can go through all 43, and you would never name Chester Arthur. Nobody even knows we have a President Arthur in history.

JEFFY: What? The only reason we know we have Chester Arthur is because in Die Hard 3, he played a prominent role, right?

PAT: Did he?

JEFFY: Yeah. It was the elementary school, that one of the bombs was --

PAT: Wow. You are weird on that movie. That is -- that's freaky.

STU: That's three? That's the one he's walking around town, and he's got the N-word on a sign as he walked through --

JEFFY: Yeah, yeah.

STU: That's a hell of a scene, man.

JEFFY: Yeah. Die Hard With a Vengeance.

PAT: Which you could not do now.

And number 36, Herbert Hoover. Then Millard Fillmore. These are all the forgotten guys. William Henry Harrison. John Tyler.

STU: John Tyler is the one, by the way, I would say -- if there was anyone on this list -- and this happened to me many years ago, when I was looking at a list of presidents and I looked at John Tyler, and I'm like, who the hell is that?

Like, he's the guy -- because you said Chester Arthur. Chester A. Arthur to me stands out for some reason. Maybe it's the middle initial, I don't know. John Tyler seems like he wasn't president. I feel like I want to write an article like the first gay president article that says John Tyler wasn't actually president. Because I just don't think he was.

PAT: Look you into that. Because you might be right.

STU: It just doesn't seem like he was, right?

PAT: It would be great to expose that hoax once and for all.

And number 40, this is really egregiously bad: Warren G. Harding is not the 40th best president of this country. He's probably top ten. Certainly top 15. He and Coolidge pulled this nation out of a Great Depression that was actually deeper in 1920 than it was in '29. And they did it by going with a hands off policy. Let's keep government out of this. Let's enable the free market. Let's lower taxes. Let's spur this economy. And they got us out of it in a year. In a year. Not 12, like FDR, who was the most celebrated man of all time, just about. And Warren G. Harding is the 40th worst president? Come on now. Come on.

STU: Come on.

PAT: Forty-one, Franklin Pierce. Then Andrew Johnson. And James Buchanan, our first gay president.

STU: Gay man, gay president. And the fact that you would put him at the bottom of the list says a hell of a lot. A hell of a lot.

PAT: Let me tell you something, that angers us. That angers us.

JEFFY: It sure does.

STU: I mean, here we are, in a nation -- you know, these guys are supposed to be the accepting, tolerant historians. And they put James Buchanan last. It's a shame.

PAT: Right! Our first gay president. And you know that's why. You know that's why.

STU: Yeah.

By the way, included in this list of historians, a really interesting note is Paul Kengor. We've had him on the show before. Really smart guy.

PAT: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, he is.

STU: So it wasn't as if they had no conservatives on the list. Kengor can't believe that it wound up being number twelve for Obama. He thinks it's a travesty. And also, there's an interesting part of the way they do this.

PAT: Did he write the book on his mentor? Right? Didn't Kengor write the book on Obama's mentor?

STU: Yeah. I think so, yeah. That's the -- what's the name of that thing? It was really good. Let's see.

PAT: Frank Marshall Davis.

STU: Yeah, the communist, was it? Yeah, the communist. Frank Marshall Davis: The Untold Story of Barack Obama's Mentor.

Now, this guy voted on this list.

PAT: Wow.

STU: He was in this panel.

PAT: So you know he didn't vote him number 12.

STU: No, he did point out -- he's going to come on with us later this week and discuss it. Because he pointed out that the way they do this is they give you -- essentially one of the main things they have you ranking the presidents on is their effectiveness, right? So how effectively did they implement their agenda? Well, I think you can make a good argument that FDR and LBJ, for example, did a really good job implementing their agenda. But the agenda was --

PAT: They were effectively bad.

STU: Right. But the agenda was terrible for the country. So, you know, saying that they implemented -- I think you could make an argument that Barack Obama implemented some of his stuff, if you're a progressive.

PAT: He was effective. He was effective.

STU: Though the stimulus, Obamacare, which looks like -- well, let's not -- let's not chicken before egg hatching and all those phrases apply here because they haven't done anything yet when it comes to Obamacare. But in theory, in the next couple of years, we're going to see the elimination of Obamacare. After that, what's his electrician? The stimulus project, where they dumped a bunch of money on bridges and --

PAT: Stu, he saved Detroit. He saved the US auto industry. He saved Ford, and Chevy. GM.

STU: You might want to look at that. Bush actually started that.

PAT: But he took the credit. And these historians I'm sure gave him the credit for that.

STU: They certainly didn't give it to Bush.

PAT: And, by the way, they didn't save it anyway. They didn't save it.

JEFFY: Let's not forget he killed the United States' vaunted terrorist.

PAT: That's true.

STU: He did. That's a legitimate good moment of his --

PAT: Yeah. It took the guys six months to even decide to pull the trigger on that operation. Come on.

STU: Again, I'm not going to give him too much credit. It was not the most difficult decision in 500 years, as Joe Biden --

JEFFY: No, it was not.

STU: I always love that one. The most difficult decision in 500 years. To take out the country's biggest enemy --

PAT: It doesn't make any sense.

JEFFY: It doesn't. It doesn't make any sense.

STU: It's not entering World War II where you're putting millions of American lives at stake.

PAT: Especially after you promised you were not going to get into the war.

STU: Right. If it went horribly -- let's look at this -- if it went horribly, what is the result of that? We would have lost some of our best, and that would have been tragic.

However, every conservative in America would have said, you know what, when you have a chance to take out Osama bin Laden, this is what these guys signed up for. And, you know what, every one of them, if they had passed away, would have said, absolutely. We take this chance to get Osama bin Laden.

PAT: Definitely.

STU: Every one of the soldiers who had to go do it.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: So to act as if that was a difficult decision --

PAT: Ludicrous. It's ludicrous.

STU: It took him months after he pulled the trigger. We could have lost it easily. Kind of a crazy one. I've never understood that. But, I mean, I'll give him credit. Look, I'm happy it happened under his watch. And I'm happy it happened. I'm glad Osama bin Laden is dead. And I'm glad our military was able to pull that off. And, you know, whatever. He was commander-in-chief at that time, fine. But outside of that, I mean, the other stuff he was commander-in-chief for, you're going to take credit for that? The world is in a very unstable situation right now.

PAT: Yeah.

STU: The economy, while it's certainly better than while it was in free fall, it was the longest recovery to reclaim a drop like that in history at least since World War II.

PAT: Well, Trump said it last week and he said it very well, I inherited a mess, an absolute mess, domestically, foreign, it's a mess, believe me.

STU: Believe me.

As we move along this endless primary season, we implement our first major adjustments to our power rankings model. Because of all the changes on the model itself, we'll keep the write ups short this week so that we can get an update posted before we hit the second round of debates.

There are now 40 separate measures of candidate performance which are summarized by the 0-100 score that helps us makes sense out of this chaos.We also have a new style of graphs, where the section highlighted in blue will show the progress (or lack thereof) made by each candidate over the life of their campaign.

In this update, we have our first campaign obituary, a couple of brand new candidates (when will it ever stop) and plenty of movement up top.

Let's get to it.

In case you're new here, read our explainer about how all of this works:

The 2020 Democratic primary power rankings are an attempt to make sense out of the chaos of the largest field of candidates in global history. Each candidate gets a unique score in at least thirty categories, measuring data like polling, prediction markets, fundraising, fundamentals, media coverage, and more. The result is a candidate score between 0-100. These numbers will change from week to week as the race changes. The power rankings are less a prediction on who will win the nomination, and more a snapshot of the state of the race at any given time. However, early on, the model gives more weight to fundamentals and potentials, and later will begin to prioritize polling and realities on the ground. If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

See previous editions here.

Campaign Obituary #1

The Eric Swalwell Campaign

California State Congressman

April 8, 2019 - July 8, 2019

Lifetime high: 20.2

Lifetime low: 19.5

I ended my initial profile on Eric Swalwell with this:

"There's a certain brand of presidential candidate that isn't really running for president. That's Eric Swalwell."

amp only placement

It's now more true than ever that Swalwell isn't running for president, because he has officially dropped out of the race.

To any sane observer, Swalwell never had a chance to win the nomination. This was always about raising his profile with little downside to deter him from taking money and building a list of future donors.

In one of many depressing moments in his FiveThirtyEight exit interview, he noted that one of his supporters told him he definitely thought he'd eventually be president, but it wasn't going to happen this time. (This supporter was not identified, but we can logically assume they also have the last name Swalwell.)

Swalwell did outline a series of reasons he thought his ridiculous campaign might have a chance.

  1. He was born in Iowa. After all, people from Iowa will surely vote for someone born in Iowa, even if they escaped as soon as possible.
  2. He had what he believed was a signature issue: pretending there was no such amendment as the second amendment.)
  3. He's not old.

It was on point number three where Swalwell made his last stand. In an uncomfortably obvious attempt to capture a viral moment that would launch his fundraising and polling status, Swalwell went after Joe Biden directly.

"I was 6 years old when a presidential candidate came to the California Democratic Convention and said it's time to pass the torch to a new generation of Americans. That candidate was then-Senator Joe Biden." This pre-meditated and under-medicated attack, along with Swalwell's entire campaign future, was disassembled by a facial gesture.

Biden's response wasn't an intimidation, anger, or a laugh. It was a giant smile that somehow successfully communicated a grandfathery dismissal of "isn't that just adorable."

Of course, headlines like this didn't help either:

Eric Swalwell is going to keep comparing the Democratic field to 'The Avengers' until someone claps

The campaign of Eric Swalwell was pronounced dead at the age of 91 days.

Other headlines:

Eric Swalwell ends White House bid, citing low polling, fundraising

Republicans troll Swalwell for ending presidential campaign

Eric Swalwell Latest 'Cringe' Video Brags About Omar Holding his 'White' Baby

Eric Swalwell's message to actor Danny Glover is 'the cringiest thing I've ever seen in a hearing'

Eric Swalwell's 'I Will Be Bold Without The Bull' Bombs

25. Joe Sestak 11.0 (Debut) Former Pennsylvania State Congressman

Joe Sestak is a former three-star admiral who served in Congress for a couple of years in the late 2000s. Besides his military service, his most notable achievement is figuring out a way to get Pat Toomey elected in a purple state.

With Arlen Specter finally formalizing his flip from Republican to Democrat in 2009, he was expected to cruise to reelection. However, Sestak went after him in the primary, and was able to knock him off in the by eight points. Sestak then advanced to face Republican Pat Toomey in the general election. He lost by two points during the Tea Party wave election of 2010.

Needless to say, losing to the former president of the fiscally conservative Club For Growth isn't exactly an accomplishment that is going to help Sestak in the Democratic presidential primary.

Unfortunately, with the current state of the party— his distinguished service in the Navy probably isn't helpful either.

Other headlines:

Joe Sestak on the issues, in under 500 words

Joe Sestak, latest 2020 candidate, says it's not too late for him to gain traction

Sestak aims to 'heal the soul of America' with presidential bid

Joe Sestak Would Move the US Embassy 'Back Out of Jerusalem'

24. Mike Gravel: 12.5 (Previous: 24th / 15.3) Former US Senator from Alaska

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Gravel was able to get celebrities and other candidates to send out pleas to raise funds in effort to get above 65,000 donations and qualify for the second debate.

We may never know if it was grift or incompetence, but Gravel probably should have known that crossing this line made no difference. He'll still be yelling at the TV when the debate starts.

Other headlines:

Gravel meets donor threshold to qualify for Democratic primary debate

Gravel spends a bit of cash to run an ad against Joe Biden in Iowa

Mike Gravel: Why the American People Need Their Own Legislature

Mike Gravel Is the Anti–Joe Biden

23. Wayne Messam: 12.7 (Previous: 23rd / 15.8) Mayor of Miramar, FL

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Messam has made no impact in this race so far, and has fundraising numbers that don't even get into the six digits, let alone seven. He's not really running a campaign at this point, so there's no real downside in staying in for now.

Other headlines:

Wayne Messam: Money Kept Me Out of the First Democratic Debate. Will It Keep Me Out of the Second?

22. Seth Moulton 17.2 (Previous 20th / 21.5) US Rep. from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Seth Moulton is the invisible man on the campaign trail. Most people don't even know who he is when they're talking to him. His appeal to the Democratic party is heavily flavored with his military service and appeal to patriotism.

Good luck with that Seth.

Other headlines:

Moulton: Buttigieg Was a Nerd at Harvard

Moulton: Democrats shouldn't go on 'moral crusade' against Trump

Moulton talks reclaiming patriotism from Trump, Republicans

Moulton: 'Trump is going to be harder to beat than many Democrats like to believe'

Presidential candidates hear challengers' footsteps at home

21. Tim Ryan 18.4 (Previous: 18th / 24.3) US Rep. from Ohio

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tim Ryan's first debate performance was so bad he lost about a quarter of his score with this update. He's not without a plan to get that support back though. He wants to bring hot yoga to the people.

Other headlines:

Tim Ryan on CNN: Trump 'clearly has it out for immigrants'

Ryan Falls Way Behind in Q2 Fundraising Race, New Poll

20. Marianne Williamson 20.7 (Previous: 21st / 20.6) Author, Lecturer, Activist

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Williamson is not going to be the nominee for the Democrats, but if you throw a debate watch party, she might supply the most entertainment. So much so, Republicans have started to donate to her campaign to keep her in future debates.

Other headlines:

"I call her a modern-day prophet": Marianne Williamson's followers want you to give her a chance

Williamson Uses Anime to Explain 2020 Candidate's Holistic Politics

What Marianne Williamson and Donald Trump have in common

Marianne Williamson's Iowa director joins John Delaney's 2020 campaign

19. John Hickenlooper 22.5  (Previous: 11th / 32.0) Former Gov. of Colorado 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Hickenlooper has been shedding campaign advisors at a relatively furious pace as he admits "there's just a bunch of skills that don't come naturally to me" when it comes to campaigning.

Probably best to pick another line of work.

Other headlines:

Hickenlooper defends campaign fundraising to The Onion: 'The race is wide open'

WP: 'You are who?' The lonely presidential campaign of John Hickenlooper

Gary Hart Warns John Hickenlooper Against Campaigning On Bipartisanship Message

Hickenlooper refuses to condemn protesters who hoisted Mexican flag at ICE facility


18. Michael Bennet 27.4 (Previous: 14th / 28.8) US Senator from Colorado

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Michael Bennet is a bit of a boring no name, but give him credit for actually trying to differentiate himself from the field. He's one of the only candidates willing to criticize his socialist opponents from the center, calling out the open borders crowd and student debt. Obviously this has no chance of success in the democratic party, but at least he's trying.

Other headlines:

George Will touts Bennet to beat Trump in 2020

Bennet: America doesn't know what the Democratic Party stands for

17. Steve Bullock 28.3 (Previous: 16th / 27.7) Gov. of  Montana 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Bullock's biggest moment of his campaign, and quite possibly his only important moment , will come in this round of debates. He missed the first round, but squeaks in for round two after Eric Swalwell decided to take his zero percent and go home.

Bullock has a theoretical argument that doesn't look half bad on paper, but it seems impossible for another "moderate*" to make noise with Biden still hanging around.

(*-None of these moderates are actually moderate.)

Other headlines:

For Democratic presidential hopeful Steve Bullock, it's all about the 'dark money'

Steve Bullock hates 'dark money.' But a lobbyist for 'dark money' donors is helping his campaign.

Steve Bullock looking to introduce himself as someone who won in Trump country

Bullock said he's not one to eliminate all student-loan debt

Steve Bullock raises $2 million for 2020 bid in second quarter, campaign says

Lowering of state flag at capitol draws criticism

15. John Delaney 29.5 (Previous 19th / 20.3) Former US Rep. from Maryland 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The power ranking model likes Delaney more than voters seem to like him. He continues to pour his own money into the race and at some point you have to believe someone in his life stops him from setting his cash on fire.

He did steal a key advisor from Marianne Williamson's campaign, which doesn't seem like a path to success.

Other headlines:

Delaney: "Non-Citizens Are Not Covered By My 'Better Care' Plan, But…"

Delaney says he opposes decriminalizing border crossings

Undaunted by low polling, John Delaney keeps his show on the road

Delaney presidential campaign theme: fix what's broken, keep what works

14. Andrew Yang 30.0 (Previous: 15th / 28.3) Attorney and Entrepreneur 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Before the campaign started, if you would have said Yang would be in the middle of the pack at this point, he probably would be happy with that result. His embrace of quirky issues like banning robocalls, giving everyone free cash, and spending $6 billion to fix the nations malls is enough to keep him in the news.

His fundraising was decent, and he remains an interesting and thoughtful candidate. But, Yang has a better chance of dropping out and running on a third party ticket than winning in this Democratic Party.

You do have to wonder how long it will be before the word "Math" moves from his campaign slogan to the reason he needs to drop out.

Other headlines:

Andrew Yang Is Targeting The 'Politically Disengaged' To 'Win The Whole Election'

You can't turn truck drivers into coders, Andrew Yang says of job retraining

Yang's plan to give $1000 a month to everyone is popular with young, poor Democrats

13. Jay Inslee 31.4 (Previous: 12th / 30.4) Gov. of Washington state

CANDIDATE PROFILEf

Expect Inslee to capture the king-czar-chancellor role of the new climate police or whatever draconian nightmare the actual Democratic nominee creates if they win.

In the meantime, he should try to avoid cringe inducing nonsense like this.

Other headlines:

Presidential hopeful Jay Inslee says Trump's immigration policies will 'end his presidency'

Crowd roars for Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee follows to tepid applause

Inslee on listening to Carole King, wanting an anchor tattoo

Inslee Says He Tried to Arrest Fleeing Republicans


12. Tulsi Gabbard 33.4 (Previous: 13th / 28.8) US Rep. for Hawaii 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Tulsi Gabbard really wants to be Joe Biden's vice president. Or, at least, she wants to hold an important role in his cabinet, like Secretary of Defense.

Gabbard has been running interference for Biden, aggressively going after Kamala Harris for her very successful but substance free bussing attack, while hammering Harris as not qualified to be President. These have been among the harshest criticisms levied by any candidate in the race so far, and there is definitely a purpose to all of it. Her presence in the same debate as Biden and Harris should be something Harris prepares herself for. Expect incoming fire.

Along with Yang, Gabbard remains among the most interesting Democratic candidates to Republicans and Libertarians, which is not helpful to her chances of actually winning the Democratic party nod.

Other headlines:

Gabbard says Harris used "political ploy" to "smear" Biden on raced

Which U.S. Wars Were Justifiable? Tulsi Gabbard Names Only World War II

Tulsi Gabbard Says It's A 'Good Thing' Trump Met With Kim Jong Un

Gabbard Sympathizes With Amash, Says the Two-Party System Sucks

Tulsi Gabbard Files Bill To Study Hemp's Uses For Just About Everything

Gabbard: '14-year-old girl hacked into a replica of Florida's election system'

11. Tom Steyer 33.5 (Debut) Billionaire hedge fund manager

Tom Steyer is a Democratic billionaire that has spent millions plastering his face all over MSNBC for the past two years begging people to consider impeaching Donald Trump.

The campaign power ranking model loves Steyer's potential because of his unlimited money and theoretical ability to put together a serious campaign team.

All of this is theory at this point though, as the millions spent so far has lead to a giant pile of zilch. If he's serious enough, he should be able to buy his way into the low single digits, and squeak his way into a debate or two.

Steyer's billionaire status isn't an obvious fit as the party of inequality attempts to take down Donald Trump. But, he does have legitimate movement credibility, tons of cash to buy support, and a long developed immunity to embarrassment—so the sky is the limit.

Other headlines:

Tom Steyer on the issues, in under 500 words

Tom Steyer announces 2020 bid, reversing course

Why We're Not Treating Tom Steyer As A 'Major' Candidate (Yet)

Steyer banks on South Carolina in 1st presidential bid stop

10. Kirsten Gillibrand 37.1 (Previous: 9th / 36.7) US Senator from New York

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There is probably no candidate that enters the second round of debates more clearly in do-or-die mode than Gillibrand. With headlines like "The Ignoring of Kirsten Gillibrand" lighting up her feed, she needs something big to happen, and fast. Her performance in the first debate wasn't actually horrible, but still went unnoticed.

She has zero percent in lots of polls, and that includes all of the benefits she says she's received from white privilege. Imagine if she didn't have that going for her.

Other headlines:

Gillibrand: I'd Tell Concerned Coal Miner the Green New Deal Is 'Just Some Bipartisan Ideas'

Struggling in White House bid, Democrat Gillibrand seeks bump in Trump country

Gillibrand Annoyed by Question About Immigration 'Reversal'

9. Robert Francis O’Rourke 40.7 (Previous: 6th / 52.8) Former state Rep. from Texas

CANDIDATE PROFILE

The free fall continues for Betomania.

When campaigns show signs of death, reporters start to write long profiles that aim to tell the story of the demise, or launch the amazing comeback.

Politico's headline (What Beto O'Rourke's Dad Taught Him About Losing) probably wasn't all that helpful.

Beto did secure Willie Nelson's vote though, meaning he can now count on 2 votes, assuming his "Republican" mother votes for him.

Other headlines:

Welcome to America—It's a Hell Hole!

A desperate Beto O'Rourke goes for broke, claims America was founded on white supremacy

Beto O'Rourke finds 'personal connection' to slavery, argues for reparations to unite 'two Americas'

Beto boldly vows not to prosecute people for 'being a human being'Rebooto O'Rourke

Fact Checker: Has Beto O'Rourke visited the most Iowa counties? No.


Beto O'Rourke: Let's Forgive All Student Loan Debt For Teachers

8. Amy Klobuchar 42.9 (Previous: 8th / 41.9) US Senator from Minnesota 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Klobuchar has been a massive underachiever so far, but is still sticking around in that third tier of candidates. Along with Beto, Booker, and maybe Castro— they aren't exactly eliminated, but can't seem to catch fire. Or even get warm.

Klobuchar would serve herself well to focus on the fundamentals and avoiding desperate pleas for attention if she wants to remain in the Biden VP sweepstakes. Or she could totally shake things up by throwing binders at her opponents in the debate.

Other headlines:

Klobuchar: I Don't Support Open Borders Like Warren, Castro

Deportation raids are about distracting from issues: Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar hoping 'nice' finishes first

Sports bookmakers put Klobuchar as "heavy underdog" in presidential race

7. Julian Castro 43.2 (Previous: 10th / 34.5) Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Castro is a good example of how overblown debates can be. His first debate performance was quite solid, but did more to sink Robert Francis O'Rourke than actually help his own candidacy.

One more good debate performance should be enough to get him into the next round of debates, as he has already passed the donor threshold. Polling, however, has been elusive. Perhaps there is a swath of America that is uncomfortable voting for a Castro for president, like say, all of south Florida?

Still, in a field of a zillion candidates that have shown no potential, he stands out as a long shot with a punchers chance to make some noise. This is reflected with a nice bump in his score for this update.

Other headlines:

Julián Castro Doubles Down On Decriminalizing Migration: Repeal Felony For Reentry, Too

Julian Castro: 'Instead of breaking up families, we should break up ICE'

Bill Maher rips Julián Castro for remark about abortion for trans women

Julián Castro declines to hold baby

Julián Castro can't speak Spanish

Julian Castro wants to solve homelessness by 2028

A consulting firm made specifically to prevent sexual harassment is providing Castro and other 2020 campaigns advice and training

5. Pete Buttigieg 65.8 (Previous: 2nd / 68.8) Mayor of South Bend, IN

CANDIDATE PROFILE

There probably isn't a campaign that has been more bizarre than Mayor Pete. He was a complete nobody to the public, though as we initially noted, he had support from a bunch of Obama era celebrinerds.

This helped him rise to a top tier candidate with all the money and momentum to make a run at the nomination. Since then we've seen a complete fizzle. He is using the cash to build the infrastructure to make himself a serious candidate, and he should last a while, but he probably must win Iowa to have a chance at the nomination.

Also, finding one African American who will vote for him would be nice.

Other headlines:

Pete Buttigieg goes on hiring spree after top fundraising quarter.

Buttigieg, Struggling With Black Voters, Releases Plan to Address Racial Inequities

South Bend police call out Buttigieg for sending pizza rather than apology after race comments

CNN's Axelrod Rips Buttigieg: Blacks Doing Worse Under His Leadership

Only Pete Buttigieg gets standing ovation from Corn Feed audience

New Republic Drops Out Of Climate Forum Over Backlash To Pete Buttigieg Op-Ed

Pete Buttigieg says it's "almost certain" we've had gay presidents

Pete Buttigieg Sets Hollywood Fundraisers With Ellen DeGeneres, Chelsea Handler and More

4. Elizabeth Warren 70.4 (Previous: 5th / 53.4) US Senator from Massachusetts 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Looking back at my initial analysis of this field, I'd say it's played out pretty closely to what I expected. Warren has surprised me though.

In an election where beating Trump is the most important characteristic for democratic voters, she seems to be grown in a lab to lose to him. She comes across as a stern elementary school principal who would make kids terrified to be called into her office, because she'd bore them to death by reading them the handbook.

Her DNA kit roll out was so catastrophic, I assumed democrats would see that her political instincts are awful. When put under the intense pressure Trump is sure to bring, she's going to collapse, and I figured democrats would recognize that.

Instead, she's in the top tier. This rise has been legitimately impressive for Warren.

It's also a dream come true for Donald Trump.

Other headlines:

The Activist Left Already Knows Who It Wants for President

Netroots Nation was the day Elizabeth Warren became president of the American left

Elizabeth Warren pledges to decriminalize border crossings

Warren plans to increase annual refugee admissions nearly 800 percent from FY2018

Warren, Biden Campaigns Appear to Find Loophole Around Paid Internships

Warren says she'll push to end Israel's 'occupation'

Warren staffer: 'I would totally be friends with Hamas'

Elizabeth Warren reintroduces legislation requiring corporations to disclose climate risk exposure

Elizabeth Warren Wants Reparations For Same-Sex Couples

Elizabeth Warren proposes executive orders to address race and gender pay gap

This is how Elizabeth Warren plans to close the pay gap for women of color

How much would a wealth tax really raise? Dueling economists reflect new split in Democratic Party

Elizabeth Warren Brings Ad Buying In-House

Elizabeth Warren says she raised $19 million in the second quarter of the year

3. Bernie Sanders 71.1 (Previous: 3rd / 67.2) US Senator from Vermont

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Sanders has fallen slowly but steadily in the polls the past couple of months, and while not every metric yet reflects it, the socialist wing seems more likely represented by Warren.

That being said, Bernie holds her off for third place. Warren and Bernie have reportedly struck a truce to not attack each other, an arrangement which benefits Warren far more than Sanders.

Bernie's machine and name recognition continues to keep him near the top of the heap, but one wonders how long that lasts as name recognition for other candidates get higher, and Iowa gets closer.

No matter if he wins or loses, he's moved the Overton window of the party in a dramatic way. And don't underestimate the appeal of his Medicare-for-all-humankind dream. Bernie may be too old and cranky to see socialized health care into the end zone, but he has advanced that ball much further than he had any right to.

Other headlines:

Bernie Sanders has 'deep sense of satisfaction' his positions are now 'centrist' among Dems

Bernie Sanders: I Will Cancel All $1.6 Trillion Of Your Student Loan Debt

Sanders hits back at Biden over criticism of 'Medicare for All'

Bernie Sanders: Nancy Pelosi shouldn't 'alienate' freshmen House Democrats

Why Sanders Wanted His Meeting With a Rabbi Kept Secret

Bernie Sanders Says Being the First Jewish President Would Be 'Another Barrier Broken Down'

Liberal billionaire calls Bernie Sanders a 'Communist' and 'a disaster zone'

Blackstone's Byron Wien: Markets are terrified of far-left Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren

Antiwar candidate Bernie Sanders faces backlash over the $1.2 trillion war machine he brought to Vermont

The time Bernie Sanders ranted about baseball in a low-budget film

Bernie Sanders shows off sword Ross Perot gave him

Bernie Sanders Raises $18 Million in 3 Months, Trailing Buttigieg

2. Kamala Harris 79.2 (Previous: 4th / 65.9) US Senator from California 

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Harris has given back a good chunk of her post debate bounce, which is to be expected. While she rockets to number two in the power rankings, there are a few things to worry about.

The difference between Warren and Harris is notable. The candidates are nearly tied in most polls, but much of the strength of Harris is based on one spectacular moment. Warren alternatively seems to have a lower ceiling, but a stronger foundation.

The good news for Harris is she does incredibly well among voters that are actually paying attention, while her weakness lies with those who haven't really tuned in yet.

At some point, Harris has to clean up her mess of a policy package, which includes supporting a Bernie style Medicare for All without the Bernie style middle class tax hikes-- a combination that even the left admits makes no sense.

Quotes like this still feel way too accurate, "She's the easy-to-listen-to, poorly defined identity candidate." This needs to be sorted out eventually if she's actually going to win.

Other headlines:

It's Hard To Have A Conversation With Kamala Harris When She Doesn't Even Know What She's Talking About

Kamala Harris: Immigration Raids Are 'A Crime Against Humanity', there are 'babies in cages'

Harris doubles down on criticism of Biden's busing comments on The View

Mother Jones: Kamala Harris Wants to Bring Back Busing? Really?

Kamala Harris's Call for a Return to Busing Is Bold and Politically Risky

Race is 'America's Achilles' heel,' Harris tells African-American group

Kamala Harris claims her campaign is being targeted by Russian bots, also says she's not a plan factory

Harris proposes $100 billion plan to increase minority homeownership

What's Kamala Harris's record on Israel?

Kamala Harris Called Young People "Stupid" in 2015

Kamala Harris lags behind top-tier candidates in Q2 fundraising

Utah man arrested after alleged scheme to plan fake Kamala Harris fundraiser

1. Joe Biden 80.8 (Previous: 1st / 82.3) Former US Senator from Delaware and Former Vice President

CANDIDATE PROFILE

Biden's polling has mostly rebounded to his pre-debate status and he remains the favorite to be the nominee.

He can't survive too many more performances like his first debate however, and he needs to show voters that he can stand up to the heat President Trump is going to bring. In other words, don't get smoked again, fall over on your walker, or look like your dentures are going to fall out in the middle of a debate.

This is a real test for Biden's candidacy. He's had time to prepare, and he's had time to stretch the old muscles. No more excuses.

If Joe can get spry, he probably wins the nomination. But, that is far from a sure thing.

Other headlines:

NBC/WSJ poll: Biden tops 2020 Democratic field...

Joe Biden Decides He Doesn't Need to Stay Above the Fray After All

Biden campaigns as Obamacare's top defender

Biden says Democrats haven't been straightforward about 'Medicare for All'

Biden under fire for mass deportations under Obama

Biden refuses to apologize for high deportation numbers during Obama years

Joe Biden's campaign office opens in Philly with a protest, not a party

AOC: Segregationist controversy and debate performance raised question Biden could be too old for office

Are Biden's Apologies Killing His Electability Argument?

Liberal activists at Netroots Nation bet Joe Biden drops out of race

Joe and Jill Biden have made $15M since leaving White House

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No, stealth Obamacare won’t fix the failed status-quo

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Another day, another proposed fix to a pressing national problem by a Democratic presidential hopeful. Former Vice President Joe Biden has positioned himself as the "moderate" leader of the Democratic Party, putting pressure on him to come up with a "sensible" alternative to Sen. Sanders' (I-Vt.) Medicare for All plan. But Biden's healthcare proposal, released July 15, doubles down on flawed, top-down solutions without offering any new ideas. Presidential hopefuls should instead pledge to unleash market innovation and lower healthcare prices for all.

Of course, a former vice president will inevitably find it difficult to make a clean policy break from the administration he has repeatedly hailed and defended. Biden's tenure as vice president made him into a second-tier political rockstar, and it makes sense that he's reluctant to separate himself from former President Obama's Affordable Care Act (aka "Obamacare"). It's also no surprise that "Bidencare" preserves Obamacare's disastrous expansion of Medicaid, the federal government's insurance program for low-income Americans. His plan even provides a public option for residents of states that have not expanded Medicaid. Perhaps more surprising, or just disappointing, is how thoroughly the Democratic orthodoxy has embraced government medical insurance even at gargantuan cost, despite little evidence that it'll work.

RELATED: Medicare for all: Obamacare was only the first step

Back when he was a heartbeat away from the presidency, Biden vigorously defended Obamacare, criticizing Republican governors for failing to expand Medicaid and predicting that all states would eventually see the light. That never quite happened (as of now, 17 states wisely refuse to expand health insurance targeted at low-income Americans). But the Obama administration tried to cajole red and purple states into expanding the Medicaid eligibility threshold "up to 138 percent of the poverty level." Nevertheless, states such as Texas, Florida, and North Carolina wisely considered the evidence that Medicaid was breaking the bank — without helping the poor get access to the care they needed.

This evidence isn't just based on one or two stray studies produced by the "right" think-tank. In June 2018, Health Affairs published a blockbuster analysis of 77 studies on Medicaid's effectiveness, and the results may be disappointing for fans of government-provided insurance. Around 60 percent of the studies included in the meta-analysis found that health status and quality of care failed to improve for low-income patients after Medicaid expansion. The analysis also finds that a majority (56 percent of studies) found no improvement in the financial performance of hospitals post-Medicaid expansion. This finding contradicts claims by Obama, Biden and co. that Medicaid expansion would shift patients from the emergency room to doctor's offices, lowering system-wide costs.

These findings are scandalous for an expansion program that costs federal taxpayers at least $70 billion per year. How could all of this money be failing to improve outcomes? Plausibly, the types of institutions that accept Medicaid are larger facilities that aren't as great at delivering quality health-care as smaller offices? The copious paperwork and documentation required by the program don't really allow smaller facilities the bandwidth to deal with Medicaid in an efficient manner. Yet this documentation is necessary to curb rampant fraud in the program that costs taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment.

Greater Medicaid funding and corresponding anti-waste measures fail to address the cancer undermining the healthcare system: sky-high drug prices and expensive medical equipment. Instead of pushing for ever-higher government spending, a President Biden could push for a streamlined Food and Drug Administration approval process for drugs and medical devices, which would keep medical costs down and give a green light to innovators everywhere. The cost to develop a single medication is now more than $2 billion, and an onerous FDA approval process costs lives by being too risk-averse.

Presidential hopefuls such as Biden should also pledge to work with states to roll-back "certificate of need" laws, which force medical institutions to jump through countless barriers to expand their facilities and invest in new services. It's not just hospitals and their patients that suffer from these needless laws; Harvard medical scholar David Grabowski sums up the evidence that these laws make nursing homes far worse and costlier than they need to be. Getting rid of these laws nationwide would give patients and consumers far more options when shopping around for the care and facilities they need.

The price problem gripping the American healthcare system simply won't go away while regulatory barriers and onerous approval processes continue to stifle the sector. Presidential hopefuls such as Biden can make a dent in this problem by supporting market reforms, instead of doubling-down on failed government healthcare.

Ross Marchand is a Young Voices contributor and the director of policy for the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both fulfilled their goal of living to see the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Then, both died later that day — July 4, 1826. Adams was 90. Jefferson was 83.

Because of their failing health, Jefferson and Adams each declined many invitations to attend July 4th celebrations. Adams sent a letter to be read aloud at the 50th Independence Day celebration in his local town of Quincy, Massachusetts. He wrote that the Declaration is:

... a memorable epoch in the annals of the human race, destined in future history to form the brightest or the blackest page, according to the use or the abuse of those political institutions by which they shall, in time to come, be shaped by the human mind.

It's remarkable how well the Founders understood human nature and what could happen to the United States. It's the postmodern mindset that increasingly rules the U.S. now. It has infected our institutions and untethered us from the bedrock principles of the Declaration. In its place? Hypocritical and vitriolic partisan righteous indignation.

Less than a century after Adams' and Jefferson's deaths, the most serious attempt to undermine the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution came from America's 28th president — Woodrow Wilson. He wrote:

Some citizens of this country have never got beyond the Declaration of Independence.

As if that's a bad thing.

During Wilson's career as a college professor, he thought deeply and wrote extensively of his contempt for our founding documents. His issue with them formed the core beliefs of Progressivism that are still alive today.

In 1911, before he was elected President, Wilson said in a speech:

I do not find the problems of 1911 solved in the Declaration of Independence ... It is the object of Government to make those adjustments of life which will put every man in a position to claim his normal rights as a living human being.

See what he does there? He completely inverts the Declaration — he's saying, you don't have inherent rights until government puts you in a position to claim them. That's the heart of Progressivism.

In a later speech, Wilson said:

If you want to understand the real Declaration of Independence, do not repeat the preface.

Wilson did not think the equality, natural rights, and consent-of-the-governed parts of the Declaration defined the proper role of government. He preferred the Declaration's list of grievances because they addressed specific problems. That's what he thought government existed to do — solve problems for people. And since people's problems change over time, so should the Constitution and government to keep up with the times.

Wilson said:

No doubt we are meant to have liberty; but each generation must form its own conception of what liberty is.

We hear this sentiment echoed all the time today: follow your heart, find your truth, etc.

Another key to Wilson's Progressive theory of government was human evolution. He thought that because humans were now more enlightened, they could be trusted not to abuse government power. The Declaration's committee of five (Adams, Sherman, Franklin, Livingston and Jefferson) would've laughed Wilson out of the room.

It's hard to believe that less than 150 years after the signing of the Declaration, the U.S. president — Wilson — was saying this:

We are not bound to adhere to the doctrines held by the signers of the Declaration of Independence: we are as free as they were to make and unmake governments. We are not here to worship men or a document. Every Fourth of July should be a time for examining our standards, our purposes, for determining afresh what principles, what forms of power we think most likely to effect our safety and happiness. That and that alone is the obligation the Declaration lays upon us.

Wilson was so effective at imposing his philosophy on government that he forever diverted the U.S. presidency away from the Constitution. Progressives have kept Wilson's torch alive ever since.

Progressives are still hostile to the Declaration of Independence because of this idea of “historical contingency" which holds that truths change over time. Progressives think the “self-evident" truths of the Declaration are outdated and may no longer apply. And that means the Constitution based on those truths may no longer apply either. Wilson and Progressives especially don't like the whole separation of powers thing, because it hinders the fast action they want out of government. They want a justice warrior president who will bring swift change by fiat.

The current trend in attacking the Declaration and Constitution is to tear down the men who wrote them. In late 2015, students at the University of Missouri and the College of William & Mary, placed notes all over the statues of Thomas Jefferson on their respective campuses. The handwritten notes labeled Jefferson things like, “racist," “rapist," “pedophile" (not sure what that one's supposed to mean), “How dare you glorify him," “I wouldn't be here if it was up to him," and “Black Lives Matter."

That is the handiwork of students who are blinded by self-righteous victimhood and can't see the value and merit that the Declaration still holds for us today. After these incidents, Annette Gordon-Reed offered a reasoned defense of Jefferson. Reed is a respected history professor at Harvard Law School, who also happens to be a black woman. She wrote:

I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal. I think Jefferson's contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story to pretend that he was not there ... The best of his ideals continue to influence and move people. The statues should be a stimulus for considering all these matters at William & Mary and the University of Missouri.

At the opposite end of the spectrum from Woodrow Wilson's disdain for the Declaration of Independence, Abraham Lincoln loved it. If there is one overarching theme in Lincoln's speeches, it is the Declaration. Lincoln pointed the nation back to the Declaration as a mission statement, which ended slavery and preserved the Union.

Unlike Wilson, who recommended leaving out the Preamble, Lincoln considered it the most vital part. To Lincoln, the self-evident truths were universal, timeless, and more important than the list of grievances. Lincoln wrote that these truths were:

... applicable to all men and all times ... that today, and in all coming days, it shall be a rebuke and a stumbling block to the very harbingers of reappearing tyranny and oppression.

In a speech Lincoln gave in 1861, shortly after he was first elected president, he said:

I have never had a feeling politically that did not spring from the sentiments embodied in the Declaration of Independence… I have often inquired of myself what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the mother-land, but that sentiment in the Declaration which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time.

Lincoln went on to say that he would rather be assassinated than see the nation forfeit the principles of the Declaration. His Gettysburg Address is a brilliant, concise renewal of the Declaration:

... that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

We cannot assume that this radical idea of freedom will always be embraced by Americans. It has found hostility on our shores every step of the way. The Declaration's principles must be continually defended. Because while humans do have certain unalienable rights that are endowed by our Creator, there is darkness in the world, and for some strange reason humans, while valuing freedom, also seem to have a natural bent toward tyranny. That's why we must understand and discuss the Declaration. It's not alarmist. It's not a quaint history lesson. It's a reality, right now, that the fundamental principles of the Declaration are under attack. The Founders would have undoubtedly shuddered at most of the rhetoric from last week's Democratic presidential debates. Left to its own mob devices, even America would turn its back on freedom.

Shortly before his death in 1826, 90-year-old John Adams was asked to recommend a toast that could be given in his honor on July 4th. Adams didn't hesitate. He suggested, “Independence Forever." The small group of visitors silently glanced at each other for a moment, before someone asked Adams if he'd like to add anything else. Adams shifted forward in his chair, leaned on his cane, stared intently at the men, and replied, “Not a word."

China is having its Boston Tea Party moment

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Freedom. It usually begins as a whisper. A secret passed on between patrons at a secluded bar or private meeting. And no matter how hard the tyrants may try and stop it, no matter how many dams they throw up to try and contain it, the whispers eventually become a flood. Sometimes it takes longer to break through, but it's the same EVERY TIME. Liberty and freedom always wins. It's an unstoppable force that knows no immovable object.

For us it was exactly 243 years ago to this month that those whispers became a flood. A group of ragtag colonists took on the world's only superpower —and won. Our forefathers proved it — freedom refuses to recognize tyranny as an immovable object. The world was forever changed.

And I can't help but see the poetic justice as more whispers became a flood, defying their own immovable object, just three days before all of us were buying fireworks to celebrate our Independence Day. But this time it was just off the coast of mainland China.

Last week over a MILLION protesters filled the streets in Hong Kong. Literally a FLOOD of humans looking for one thing — freedom. They stormed the government building that is the equivalent of their Congress. They smashed windows, broke down doors, and a photo was taken that I think just might be the picture of the year.

A British colonial flag, a symbol thrown out when Hong Kong was given back to China, was draped — BY THE PROTESTORS — over the chair of their head of government. I can't restate how historic this actually is. The people of Hong Kong, with a population that is over 90 percent ethnic Han Chinese, are saying to the mainland that they prefer colonial rule over the tyranny of the Chinese government. Leftists would tell you that communism is the remedy for colonialism, but for those living in the dark shadow of communism, they actually prefer colonial rule over what they now face.

The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

When Hong Kong was given back to the mainland, China agreed to allow them a few freedoms that the rest of the Chinese don't enjoy. They're free to engage in protest against the government and they maintain a legislative body — both of which are outlawed on the mainland. But, as every tyrannical oppressor always does, China has been looking to reel that in. Most recently, China attempted to make it possible to extradite dissenters back to Beijing. The result? The quiet whispers of freedom, the secrets told in private at clandestine meetings, became a flood of millions in the streets.

On July 3rd, police began a crackdown. More than 13 people have been arrested so far. If China eventually gets their way, those 13 people will no doubt be the first of many to be extradited over to the mainland. Their crime? The dream of freedom. As of right now, the extradition law has been temporarily delayed. The local Hong Kong government is caught between the immovable object of the Chinese communist government, and the unstoppable force of liberty.

History has shown who will win in the end. Yesterday, over 200,000 protestors gathered at the high speed train station that links mainland China to Hong Kong. The message was just as clear as the British colonial flag hung inside their legislative building. For our forefathers it was symbolized with the Gadsden Flag and the phrase “Death To Tyranny." The message is simple: “we will not be ruled. Freedom knows no immovable object."

News of the protest movement has been censored in mainland China, but how long will they be able to contain THEIR OWN whispers with over two hundred thousand freedom lovers camped out at the bridge between Hong Kong and mainland China? How long before those whispers spread to secret meeting locations in Beijing or Shanghai? How long before that cascades to the Christian and Muslim minorities that are tired of being rounded up and thrown into camps?

We might have just witnessed the Chinese version of the Boston Tea Party. July 4th is still a long way away for them, but — as it does time and time again — freedom and liberty always win in the end.