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The Democratic Primary From Hell


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Karl Rove

Mar. 6 2019

With the addition of Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, 14 Democrats are now running for president.

Though Hillary Clinton, Michael Bloomberg and—lest we forget—Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley this week demurred, the Democratic presidential field is likely to be even larger than the GOP’s rambunctious 17-person battle in 2016. Former Vice President Joe Biden, Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Texas Senate wünderloser Robert Francis O’Rourke and several congressmen you’ve never heard of could still jump into the race.

In the resulting battle, expect the unexpected. The Democrats’ problem goes beyond the number of candidates. Changes to the electoral calendar and rules have introduced further complications.


The ensuing controversy and anger overpower the bad vibes left by the 2016 primaries, damaging the nominee and undermining the Democratic Party’s claim to be, well, democratic. But the chaos would be grand theater.

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