In this week’s edition of the Political Edge, we look at how many votes Democratic Senators running for president have missed and highlight an analysis comparing 2016 primary endorsements to 2020.
The Absent Senators Running For President
Running for president is a full-time job, so how do those who already have another job manage? Looking at the data, it would appear that many candidates are simply shirking their responsibilities. There are currently seven Democratic Senators running for the 2020 nomination and many have skipped multiple votes in favor of attending fundraisers, rallies, and other campaign events. A recent analysis from The Mercury News crunched the numbers and found New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker was absent for more Senate votes in 2019 than all of his fellow members of Congress running for president. A full breakdown of where the candidates stand is below
Sen. Cory Booker (NJ): Missed 118 of the 262 votes (45%)
Sen. Kamala Harris (NY): Missed 116 of the 262 votes (44.3%)
Sen. Bernie Sanders (VT): Missed 105 of the 262 votes (40.1%)
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (NY): Missed 105 of the 262 votes (40.1%)
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA): Missed 74 of the 262 votes (28.2%)
Sen. Michael Bennet (CO): Missed 71 of the 262 votes (27.1%)
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (MN): Missed 60 of the 262 votes (22.9%)
Endorsements: 2016 vs 2020
At one point during the 2016 election cycle, 17 Republicans were running for the presidential nomination. Due in part to candidate Donald Trump’s rise in the polls as well as the large field, many elected Republican officials took their time before making an official presidential endorsement. Fast forward to 2019, and Democrats have an equally large presidential field (even with recent dropouts). With this in mind, FiveThirtyEight conducted an analysis to see what, if anything, the 2016 Republican primary can tell us about the 2020 Democratic race.
Looking at endorsements made by senators, representatives and governors in the 2016 and 2020 cycles, so far it appears that Democratic Party elites have been more likely to endorse candidates than Republicans in 2016. So far, 26 percent of Democrats have endorsed a candidate compared to 17 percent of Republicans who had made an endorsement at the same point in the 2016 cycle.