Evaluating Effects of Endorsements

Where Things Stand

Eric Swalwell jumped in, and Booker and Buttigieg both made it official with kickoff rallies this weekend:

-      John Delaney

-      Andrew Yang

-      Elizabeth Warren

-      Tulsi Gabbard

-      Julián Castro

-      Kirsten Gillibrand

-      Kamala Harris 

-      Pete Buttigieg 

-      Cory Booker

-      Amy Klobuchar

-      Bernie Sanders

-      Jay Inslee

-      John Hickenlooper

-      Beto O’Rourke

-      Tim Ryan

-      Eric Swalwell


Who’s up next?

-      Joe Biden– any week now


Keep an eye on …

-      Seth Moulton is still traveling around the early states and keeping his options open

It appears that, save for Biden, the field has pretty much taken shape. Now is the fun part!


On Endorsements

It’s a question that’s been on my mind the last few weeks – and on pundits’ mind for the last few cycles. Do endorsements really matter?

Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight thinks the answer is yes. The gist of his argument is that in most primaries in history, “the party decides;” in other words, there’s a strong correlation between endorsements and success rates at winning the nomination in both parties. And in a massive field like this, the candidate influential figures in the party are flocking towards might indicate a growing movement – especially if many go the same direction.

I’m leaning toward buying this theory, so I figured I’d include the top five current endorsement numbers (according to a measurement FiveThirtyEight) in today’s column:

1.    Booker- 57 points

2.    Harris- 55 points

3.    Klobuchar- 44

4.    Sanders- 21

5.    Biden- 18

Just off the top, here are some thoughts. It’s impressive that, without announcing yet, Biden has accumulated a fair amount of endorsement points. And it’s notable that Booker is performing better in endorsements than in the polls. And for a comparatively small fundraising haul, Klobuchar has certainly attracted a fair number of endorsers (including a commitment from Walter Mondale!)

The candidate that has the most synergy between performance in polls, endorsements, and fundraising is California Senator Kamala Harris. With command over California’s powerful political network, Harris is demonstrating that she can build a strong coalition of party leaders, donors, and voters, offering her a very apparent path to victory.

Of course, a Biden entry could shake things up and there is a chance that the Bernie Sanders campaign’s anti-establishment energy could make endorsements irrelevant. It is certainly very early in the process. But – considering Nate Silver’s theory still holds true after failing to predict a tumultuous 2016 Republican primary – it seems like Harris is in a good position in this race.


On My Mind

I’m not into Game of Thrones at all, but in case you are – I’ll just leave this here.



Max Magid