Democrats and Republicans think differently. It’s not just about policy. It’s about the strategies they utilize to achieve their goals. Republicans generally root against anything or anyone they believe is a threat, and with the growing ranks of Democratic candidates for president representing tremendous threats to the American way of life, it’s natural for Republicans to want to root against all of them.
Perhaps it’s time for Republicans to pull from the Democrats’ playbook when it comes to the primaries. Instead of rooting against everyone, Republicans should identify the real threats to President Trump and start rooting for the Democrats who will be easier to beat. This should apply to conservative media as well. We won’t see leftist mainstream media doing this, and while there may be some applied strategy at Fox News, their main goal will continue to be railing against everyone.
We saw the Democrats’ strategy in play during the 2016 election. They universally decided candidate Trump would be the easiest for Hillary Clinton to beat, so through the GOP primary they did everything they could to prop him up. This was a tremendous miscalculation, of course, but they were able to effectively eliminate Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio by painting them as evil early on. Some will recall that not all press about candidate Trump was positive during the primaries, but compared to the coverage he received after he secured the nomination, it was like night and day.
Instead of attacking everyone, Republicans on social media and conservative media should focus on the biggest threats to President Trump. Who are they? Let’s list the current and potential future Democratic candidates based on their likeliness to threaten President Trump in 2020. This is a dynamic situation, of course, so I’ll edit the list as candidates become more or less likely to be threats.
Threat Level: Zero
Here are the candidates who have no chance of winning the nomination, let alone challenging Trump even if they did get nominated. We only included the ones who may actually make it to the first set of primaries and caucuses. There are dozens of declared or potential candidates who aren’t going to get that far:
- Eric Swalwell
- Terry McAuliffe
- Stacey Abrams
- Pete Buttigieg
- John Delaney
- Michael Bennet
Threat Level: Low
As crazy as the nomination process is, there’s always a chance that someone can make the news and start getting serious consideration for the nomination. These people are those who today seem to have very little chance but with a little spark, they might be able to light a fire. Nevertheless, they wouldn’t be a threat to President Trump if they were given the nod:
- Tulsi Gabbard
- Bill de Blasio
- Eric Holder
- John Hickenlooper
- Kirsten Gillibrand
Threat Level: Moderate
Now we’re getting into the people who could challenge for the nomination and also give the President a bit of a challenge in the right circumstances. Some of this list should be propped up by Republicans as they emerge into prominence because if they can be used to stop a stronger candidate, so be it. Better to take on another weak candidate than the stronger ones in the next section of this list:
- Michael Bloomberg – Some would say the billionaire belongs higher on the list, but he just doesn’t seem to have the will to want to run a long campaign. If he were a decade younger, perhaps, but he’ll be almost 78-years-old by the time the first caucus rolls around.
- Amy Klobuchar – She, too, could be higher on the list because she’s a midwest candidate with a reputation for toughness and some in the media already falling for her. Nevertheless, she’s still a dark horse at this point.
- Cory Booker – Try as he might, Spartacus can’t seem to shake his credibility issues. He seems like someone who has to try really hard to pretend like he’s just one of the guys. It’s disingenuous and voters are going to see through it.
- Julian Castro – It may be an election cycle too early for the young rising star to make an impact in the election. His name recognition outside of Texas is minimal despite a relatively long career in the public eye.
- Elizabeth Warren – She’s just a joke. On paper, she’s a strong candidate, but it’s getting too hard to take her seriously as she seems to be the less-likable female version of Bernie Sanders.
- Sherrod Brown – If the party starts getting scared about far-left radicals dominating the primaries, they may turn to the more moderate Brown to save the party. If they turn quickly enough, he could move up on the list, but for now he’s still buried as a non-factor.
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Threat Level: High
If the President can prevent any of these candidates from getting the nomination, that would be the best case scenario. They all have strengths that could be used to their advantage against the President in the general election, which is why they’re on this list:
- Kamala Harris – She has California on her side, and with the largest state in the land securing an early primary, it may be difficult to dismiss her even if she doesn’t fair well in the earlier states. Her leftist bonafides are questionable, which will be what her competitors latch onto during the primary season. If they can paint her as a moderate in progressive clothing, it may be enough to stop her. Otherwise, she’s the type of candidate that President Trump doesn’t want to face in the general election because she represents every demographic that’s opposed to him – young, female, and a minority.
- Bernie Sanders – Never underestimate the Senator’s appeal, especially to Independents that learn to trust him like a grandfather. He may be the person to either secure the nomination for the socialists, or who can anoint a new replacement to take up his mantle. Expect Harris and Beto O’Rourke (and every other socialist-leaning candidate) to want Sanders out early and ready to endorse them.
- Beto O’Rourke – Next to Harris, O’Rourke offers the second best contrast to Trump. His policies seem to be mercurial, which may endear him to the base or may alienate him from the pack, depending on how he’s received by the press. But his greatest weapon is likability. Unlike Harris who often loses people when she speaks, O’Rourke seems to energize the people even more with his words. He’s the closest to a young Barack Obama on this list and has the fundraising skills to match.
- Joe Biden – If reason wins out in the party, this is Biden’s nomination if he wants it. The way things seem now, reason isn’t winning. Hyper-leftism seems to be the way of the Democratic Party going forward unless Biden decides to run, secures the nomination, and brings order to the chaos of his party. Of course, if he gets the nomination and loses to President Trump, it will be the end of the Democratic establishment forever. They will go so far to the left that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez may be the new normal in the Democratic Party.
The dust is still settling. The time to act isn’t here just yet, but the time to prepare is now. Republicans need to pick their targets wisely and guide the Democratic nomination in the right direction. President Trump’s reelection chances go up dramatically against certain candidates. We need to help these candidates win their nomination.