Democrat candidate power rankings by Stu: April 17th edition

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.

These power rankings include only announced candidates. So, when you say "WAIT!! WHERE'S XXXXX????" Read the earlier sentence again.

If you're like me, when you read power rankings about sports, you've already skipped ahead to the list. So, here we go.

Check out other editions here.

18. Wayne Messam: 13.4 (out of 100)

Troy McClure voice: "You may remember him from such college football teams as the Florida State Seminoles in the mid 1990's.

Look, there's no way someone is going from a small city mayor directly to the White House.

Forget I said that as you read on.

17. Marianne Williamson: 17.1

Williamson is a new age "spiritual advisor" to celebrities like Kim Kardashian. She's firmly in the Bernie Sanders wing of the party (which more and more seems like the only wing of the party.)

If you want to make an argument for Williamson making an impact, it starts with people like the Kardashians spamming their social media following like Marianne is the new Fyre Festival.

Unfortunately, they sort of already did that last time when Marianne ran for congress in 2014, and she still finished fourth.

16. Eric Swalwell: 20.2

Swalwell provides very little that is different than your typical left-wing candidate policy wise. But, he really likes seeing himself on TV, and he's willing to say outlandish things for attention. This raises his profile slightly above the hundreds of other representatives that you've never heard of, and that's what this run is all about.

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

15. John Delaney: 20.3

John Delaney has been a candidate for 2020 since you were a small child. He announced his candidacy in July of 2017, which makes it more depressing that you didn't know he was running.

He was a businessman and then congressman in Maryland for six years. He was running for president for about a third of that time.

To his credit, Delaney is one of the few democrats attempting a run as a moderate. He actually will admit that capitalism has done good things, and opposes the socialist edges of the party, being one of the only candidates who will stand up against Medicare for All. He's a throwback to the old days of the Democratic Party... like 2012.

14. Tim Ryan: 20.7

Ryan doesn't think he's going to be president, but there's probably some very unlikely path to be in the running for VP. He's from Ohio and... probably has other things that are interesting about him. He's another somewhat moderate option, which makes it nearly impossible to win in a party who is falling all over itself to nuzzle up next to Che.

13. Tulsi Gabbard: 25.9

Gabbard is a strange candidate, which sort of makes her interesting. Her current collection of policy preferences is hard to differentiate from the Bernie/Socialist group.

Oddly, she has a history of taking strong positions against the LGBT party line, including supporting groups pitching gay conversion therapy. Her father was an activist in this world for a long time. She says she no longer believes in those things.

She seems to be the head of the Bashir Al Assad fan club (member #2). The other member of the fan club is David Duke, who has actually endorsed Gabbard in the past. On top of all of this, she's about twenty-five times better looking than the typical David Duke endorsee, and she interviews like a dull foreign policy wonk. It's hard to imagine her path to the nomination, but a VP consideration isn't out of the question. There's a lot of baggage to deal with however.

Whatever strain of the flu that allows Alex Jones to be besties with Cynthia McKinney, that's what Tulsi Gabbard has.

12. Andrew Yang: 27.1

Yang gang unite! Andrew Yang is a tech entrepreneur who has made some noise on the inter-webs talking a lot about the future of technology and universal basic income. Give him credit for at least attempting to talk about important issues, and for outlining a lengthy list of policy proposals. He's smart and actually makes some sense occasionally. The prediction markets sure do love him, showing the limitation of prediction markets.

As the only candidate to outline an anti-circumcision position, he leads the field in commentary about the private parts of male babies.

11. Jay Inslee: 30.4

See: Lindsay Graham 2016.

Like Graham in 2016 who was running a one issue campaign around hawkish foreign policy, Inslee is running a one issue campaign around hawkishly fighting the weather.

He does have executive experience as governor of Washington, which is something. He might be fighting for a shot at VP, but realistically he's in the race to try and force the frontrunners left on the climate.

Whether he can stop the evil burning orb in the sky is still unknown.

10. John Hickenlooper: Score: 32

Hickenlooper is a former governor running on his executive experience. He's portraying himself as a moderate, which is probably true in this field, or in the former Soviet Union.

As a purple state governor with some non-socialist tendencies, one could see him pairing well as the VP for someone like Kamala Harris or Cory Booker. However, you have to wonder if the Democrats want to pick yet another hard-to-remember-vanilla-zilch of a VP candidate, following the disaster of Tim Kaine.

Also, it's hard to imagine a president with the last name of Hickenlooper.

9. Julian Castro: 36.2

There was a time when Julian Castro had the glow of an Obama approved up and comer. Think of Castro as a big high school football recruit, that won a full scholarship at an SEC school. But after a few mediocre seasons, he's going late in mock drafts.

On paper, Castro should be in the mix, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. It reminds me of Bobby Jindal's run in 2016, except Castro has nowhere near the actual record of Jindal.

On a positive note, he has a twin brother, so if Julian wins the White House and disappoints, we can probably switch everything over to his brother pretty easily. I'm pretty sure that's in the Constitution.

8. Kirsten Gillibrand: 37.8

Gillibrand started as a moderate, transformed into someone from the far left, and contorted herself to fit in to every big news cycle. She became the most prominent voice for the #MeToo movement when she took the bravely calculated stand to call for Al Franken's resignation.

The problem is, Gillibrand didn't realize that the left had little interest in consistently enforcing these new standards. They didn't actually care about #MeToo when it meant getting rid of a mediocre-yet-beloved comedian who voted the right way.

Now her support of a woman who "told her truth" about an alleged series of assaults with photographic evidence is her Achilles' heel. Apparently #BelieveAllWomen has its limits.

This was supposed to be Kirsten Gillibrand's time. But, it looks like #TimesUp.

7. Amy Klobuchar: 45.5

The case for a Klobuchar candidacy is a decent one. She's a woman from the Midwest, who has consistently out-preformed her electoral expectations. For example, in Beto O'Rourke's highly praised Senate run against Ted Cruz, he outperformed the average Democratic house candidate by 4 points. Klobuchar outperformed the average by 13.

If she runs a great campaign, she has a shot. Even if all she can accomplish is to stay mostly mistake free, she should be in the top tier for a potential VP nod.

I know this all sounds really positive, but I'm only saying it so Klobuchar doesn't throw something at me.

6. Elizabeth Warren: 46.0

Elizabeth Warren is not a good candidate. She's almost as crazy on policy as Bernie, she gaffes like Biden, and she's as likable as Hayden Christensen's performance in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones. She shows no ability to deal with the pressure that Donald Trump will bring to the campaign, and when she tries to act naturally, she is as convincing as Hayden Christensen's performance in Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones.

Warren does have a following, a real point of view, and she's one of the only candidates who actually seems to release policy plans. The problem is her policies are basically Marxist-blogger fever dreams, such as a wealth tax and nationalizing a large portion of the prescription drug industry. These ideas are of the quality of Hayden Christensen's performance in the Star Wars: The Attack of the Clones.

The bottom line is only a completely insane party would again run Hillary Clinton: Part 2 against Trump. It would be like casting Hayden Christensen in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

5. Cory Booker: 55.5

There's a moment in the bloopers during closing credits of some Jim Carrey movie, where they prank him by calling him an "overactor." (It doesn't sound like much, but it's a lot better than his crappy paintings.) Cory Booker makes a Jim Carrey performance look like it's full of subtle nuance.

Booker simply tries too hard. The bulging eyes, the screaming, the explosive Spartacussing — it's just tiring. It's also part of Booker's act. He's in a constant battle to portray what he thinks any given audience wants him to be. Unfortunately, you can feel him doing it, and his lack of authenticity will likely be his downfall. He's also far too attention hungry to work as a vice presidential pick, which leaves his options as limited as his charisma.

4. Pete Buttigieg: 62.9

Two things you need to know about Mayor Pete.

First, his name is pronounced thusly: Boot-edge-edge.

Second, he's openly gay. The reason you need to know he's openly gay is because you should not be prejudiced against people who are openly gay. You are obviously an evil person, as evidenced by your visit to this website, and need to understand that being openly gay doesn't mean you aren't capable of governing in an effective matter. This means treating him like he's any other boring white guy.

However, you shouldn't just treat him as if he's any other boring white guy. This is historic!!! You must focus on the fact that he is openly gay, revel in the history his candidacy provides, and say the phrase "openly gay" approximately 457,034 times per day.

To summarize, always forget and focus on while always remembering and ignoring the fact that he's openly gay.

Oh yeah. Also, Buttigieg is a veteran, is a Rhodes Scholar, a calm and effective speaker, has support from some former Obama officials, and has exceeded all expectations so far. He's the mayor of Pawnee, Indiana, so he is uniquely qualified to solve our nation's bus scheduling and pot hole filling needs.

Finally, he is openly gay.

3. Robert Francis O’Rourke: 62.9

While Beto O'Rourke isn't actually Hispanic, he really hopes you think he is. Or at least he hopes you think he's more Hispanic than your average white Irishman.

O'Rourke is one of the exciting new breed of Democratic candidates that are most famous for losing elections, falling short of defeating Ted Cruz in his 2018 Senate race.

Bob Frank O'Rourke's path to the nomination is paved with massive fundraising, the ability to entertain millions of "Now This" YouTube subscribers with nonsensical platitudes about the rights of below average quarterbacks, and being the candidate with the most disturbing use of his hands since Joe Biden.

Flailing, is a word commonly used to describe both his hands and his campaign.

2. Bernie Sanders: 68.3

In 2013, Bernie Sanders proposed Medicare For All and welcomed exactly zero co-sponsors. Now, supporting Medicare For All is basically a litmus test to be allowed into the party.

We've come so far, so fast.

Sanders earns points for being the Democrat who most consistently will actually admit he's a socialist. As the party has moved towards him, he has moved even further left. You're not going to out-socialist a guy who went to the Soviet Union on his honeymoon.

Revisionist historians like to make the case that Bernie was the rightful winner of the nomination in 2016. But, this is nonsense. Hillary Clinton won the popular vote in the primary by 12 points. Debbie Wasserman Schultz can barely dress herself in the morning, let alone exude the competence to move four million votes to Hillary Clinton.

A Sanders nomination is a risky path for Democrats.

Do you really want to go from losing with Hillary Clinton, to a dude six years older that is best known for losing to Hillary Clinton?

1. Kamala Harris: 69.1

Kamala Harris has a lot going for her. She's a fresh face nationally, largely falls in line with the activist left on policy, and is one of the only Democrats running who isn't even trying to hide taking money from big donors. She has a wealthy base of support in California, has run a smooth campaign early on, and hits enough intersectional lines to please the woke masses.

Harris has a history as a sometimes strict prosecutor, district attorney, and attorney general which seems a little too "law and order" for a Democratic primary audience. But the things your opponents leak against you in the primary are the things you feature in your own commercials in the general.

She is used to high pressure situations and likely won't fold under a Donald Trump style barrage like Hillary Clinton did. She comes off as likable and personable (to some), and if she can get through the primary, she's not going to be a pushover. The media does the Republican party endless favors by focusing on a relative dunce like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, when this face of socialism is a far more astute and realistic threat to the priorities of the right.

Is she too far left to be elected in the United States? In any other time, sure. But, when it comes down to a one-on-one battle in a country largely locked into a structure based on binary choice, anything can happen.

Some might find it odd for the democrats to pick a candidate that benefited in her career from an extramarital workplace affair with a powerful man more than twice her age. Potential hashtag: #MeTooPartTwoSometimesItWorksOutGreat!

To be fair, her affair was with Willie Brown, just a decade or so after he was named one of 1984's 10 sexiest men in America by Playgirl magazine. Who could resist such an attractive job opportunity?

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.