Democrats are Right to be Wary of Howard Schultz

The frenzy over businessman Howard Schultz’s announcement that he is considering an independent run for president is understandable.

Democrats think President Donald Trump is headed for defeat in a one-on-one general election contest, and anything that changes that trajectory improves his re-election prospects.

Unfortunately, few of the people who panicked about Schultz — or praised him — seemed to look at the numbers. So, let’s do just that.

First, let’s stipulate that if he runs, Schultz will position himself as fiscally conservative and socially progressive. He’ll stress his business credentials, pragmatic approach, centrist views, commitment to tolerance and diversity, and frustration with the two parties.

Let’s also note that Schultz has very deep pockets and would be the ultimate outsider and disruptor, giving him appeal to many voters, especially if the Democrats nominate an extreme liberal.

Let’s also acknowledge that American politics has become something less than predictable.

The impossible has already happened, so something else impossible could happen again.

But while more than four in ten Americans identify as independents, let’s not get carried away about Schultz’s chances.

Many independents are closet partisans, just as many “weak” partisans actually vote as if they are strong Republicans or strong Democrats. That’s just how people behave.

They like to think of themselves as more independent than they really are.

With Schultz positioning…

2020 House Overview: It’s Not Too Early

February 15, 2019 · 2:30 PM EST

2020 House Overview (Feb. 15, 2019): Alabama - Iowa

February 15, 2019 · 2:29 PM EST

More Presidential questions for the Democrats

by Stuart Rothenberg February 13, 2019 · 9:12 AM EST

What do Democrats Want in a President?

by Stuart Rothenberg February 7, 2019 · 11:00 AM EST

A Few Thoughts on the State of the Union Address

by Nathan L. Gonzales February 6, 2019 · 8:51 PM EST

2019-20 Gubernatorial Overview (Feb. 1, 2019): Lean Opportunities

by Leah Askarinam February 1, 2019 · 2:30 PM EST

Reports by State

United States Map Select a State