Democratic Presidential Candidate Power Rankings: Post first debates

Our first democratic presidential debates are in the books, and after analysis on both nights (story HERE and HERE), as well as input from my colleagues here are my latest power rankings.

NOTE: These are state of the race power rankings. Not rankings after the debates alone.

1.Joe Biden: The former Vice President took some bumps this week, but don’t believe this is the end of “Uncle Joe” or that he’s still anything less than the front runner. He has to adapt to a party that has moved left on him, but he’s still the guy… right now.

2 Bernie Sanders: Bernie also had a lackluster debate performance, but he’s still got the name ID and the following. Just like Biden, he might have to adjust some of his talking points to get people interested again.

3. Kamala Harris: She did win the debates. A great performance of both rehearsed lines and unscripted personal stories, she took the fight to Joe Biden and now people are really paying attention. She’ll get a post debate push, but what will she do with it?

4. Elizabeth Warren: The Massachusetts Senator had no problems with the weak draw on the first night and should maintain her standing as a real Bernie alternative.

5. Mayor Pete: I’m putting Buttigieg up here based on the feedback I’ve heard from others, post debate. While I thought taking responsibility for the officer involved was honorable, it will be used against him later. Others believed the honesty will make him a stronger option to voters that are tired of half truths. We’ll see.

6. Julian Castro: The former HUD Secretary might have a better understanding of the immigration challenge than any of his peers in the Democratic field.

7. Beto O’Rourke: Si, habla espanol, y el tambien tienes la energia por los votantes.

8. Amy Klobuchar: I still believe Amy might have the most policy knowledge on stage, but her calm personality hurts her in this big field. It’s mean to tell her “be more interesting” but it’s also true.

9. Cory Booker: Booker held serve.

10. Kirsten Gillibrand: was the only “bubble” candidate to act like another debate invite wasn’t an automatic thing. She can and wants to fight. I want to see her on stage again.

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