Cockburn is introducing the Donkey Dow: a round-up of the movers and shakers in the race to face up against Donald Trump. Here’s how the candidates fared over the last few days.

donkey dow dnc

It’s crunch time, and presidential campaigns are dropping like flies. The Democratic National Committee’s third-debate hurdle is proving too much for several members of the zero percent brigade. But it’s not all bad news…


Andrew Yang has triple the support of Beto O’Rourke in this poll. Who could have imagined THAT at the start of this year????’, tweeted so-called expert Chris Cillizza. Who? Well…take a peek at the first edition of the Donkey Dow back in March and you may find one person. Re-examine Caroline McCarthy’s article a week later in these pages entitled ‘Andrew Yang is the Democrat Ron Paul…except he might actually win‘ and you may happen upon another. Even Michael Avenatti, one week before his indictment, could see that Beto doesn’t have what it takes. Yang has the social support: now he has the stage. Can he make it count in Houston?

Climate is having a moment at the tail-end of August, with a hurricane careering towards Florida and Greta Thunberg docking in New York for a school walkout protest. Therefore it’s not surprising that Green New Deal proponent Bernie Sanders is on the up. Bernie and Warren are still head-to-head competing for the coveted AOC endorsement, and a much-discussed Monmouth poll this week had them a point ahead of Biden on 20 percent each. The Vermont senator is also breathing down his Massachusetts neighbor’s neck by releasing a series of new policy plans. Hopefully his debate prep is going slightly better than his boxing practice…

Speaking of debate prep, Cockburn is delighted to give a slight boost to the candidates who met the DNC criteria (130,000 individual donors and two percent in at least four polls which they consider reputable) despite doing nothing of any significance. A toast to mediocrity: here’s to you, Julián Castro, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke. Better make your minutes count.


Really the ultimate loser of the last few days is the DNC, whose baffling rules have cheated two of the more interesting contenders from their place on the debate stage. Tulsi Gabbard had surged past 130,000 after her mauling of Kamala Harris (still languishing by the way) in Detroit. The Hawaii congresswoman had also garnered two percent support in 26 national and early-state polls according to her campaign. ‘There’s a whole bunch of different polls that have come out. The DNC has only recognized some of them as being qualifying polls for the debate,’ Gabbard told Tucker Carlson. Why on earth wouldn’t the DNC want another woman of color, another veteran on the Houston stage? Surely it couldn’t have anything to do with how she tanked Momala…

Another loser thanks to the DNC rules is us, the audience, because we won’t get to see Marianne Williamson. The author, like Gabbard, reached 130,000 donations, and, like Gabbard, shone in the last debate with her anti-war message. But who cares about that when you can treat viewers to another schmaltzy Cory Booker soundbite?

Neither here nor there

Joe Biden might just be sleepwalking to the presidency. He traipses from fundraiser to fundraiser, telling the only anecdote he can get through without messing up (‘Charlottesville…the soul of America…’) and then blows virtually every other line. Yet nothing matters. Who was the last contender this unstoppable?

Uncle Joe considers Elizabeth Warren to be the main threat to his ascendency. Her most significant recent achievement was extending a peace pipe (sorry) to the Native American community for ‘the hurt she caused’ by claiming tribal heritage. We’ll chalk this one up as a tie.

Skidding out

Since we last wrote, a few campaigns have evaporated in the August heat. Green-fingered Jay Inslee reached 130,000 donors before peacing out to fight for the Washington governorship once more. The highlight of his campaign was probably his reaction to the satirical Onion article published after his demise:

Another tactical retreat came from ex-Marine Seth Moulton, who didn’t make either of the first two debates and came nowhere close to the third. Moulton’s candidacy was noteworthy because he sometimes swore (naughty!), but never did so in as high-profile a fashion as Beto did.

Finally, our hearts broke at the conclusion of Kirsten Gillibrand‘s run. ‘A sad day for the Democrats, Kirsten Gillibrand has dropped out of the Presidential Primary. I’m glad they never found out that she was the one I was really afraid of!’, tweeted President Trump. The New York senator’s pink-tinged, women-focused campaign was always going to overshadowed by the likes of Warren and Harris. But she did give us this video of her yelling ‘gay rights, loud and proud’, for which we can be eternally grateful.

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