Which 2020 Democrat Is the Most Conservative?
Candidates for the 2020 Democratic nomination are even more liberal than you might think. On Thursday, the American Conservative Union (ACU), the group behind the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), released its ratings from the 2017-2018 Congress. Eleven of the Democrats running for president in 2020 appeared in the report, and here is how they scored, from most liberal to most conservative.
PJ Media has included one Democrat who is considering a presidential run. Seven of the twelve ranked more liberal than an outright socialist.
12. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.)
According to the ACU, the most liberal 2020 Democrat is Eric Swalwell. In 2017, he voted conservative 4 percent of the time, and he did so in 2018 as well. But his lifetime rating is 3.98 percent, the worst among presidential candidates.
11. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.)
Liz Warren, a.k.a. "Pocahontas," is the most liberal Senate Democrat running for president in 2020, according to the ACU's ratings. Warren voted zero percent conservative in 2017 and 9 percent in 2018, for a lifetime rating of 4.16 percent.
10. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)
Kirsten Gillibrand is the third least conservative, according to ACU. She voted zero percent conservative in 2017, 9 percent in 2018, and had a lifetime rating of 4.41 percent.
8. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.)
Even Kamala Harris, notorious for prosecuting pro-life activists whose speech is protected by the First Amendment and applying a religious test to President Donald Trump's nominees, was only the fourth least conservative Democrat. She voted zero percent conservative in 2017 and 5 percent in 2018, taking a lifetime score of 4.7 percent.
8. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Amy Klobuchar may be an abusive boss and a champion of pizza as a vegetable, but she is also radically anti-conservative. She voted zero percent conservative in 2017 and 5 percent in 2018, earning a lifetime score of 4.7 percent, tied with Kamala Harris. She wants to have her Obamacare cake and eat it, too, and she doubled down on global warming despite launching her campaign in a snowstorm.
7. Cory Booker (D-N.J.)
Booker may have enjoyed his "I am Spartacus" moment, but referencing an old movie based on a historical event does not make him any more conservative. According to the ACU, Booker voted zero percent conservative in 2017 and 14 percent in 2018, earning a lifetime score of 5.1 percent.
6. Sen. Michael Bennett (D-Colo.)
Michael Bennett is only considering a presidential run and he has yet to enter the race, but if he does, he will be the sixth most conservative Democrat in the 2020 campaign, according to the ACU. He voted zero percent conservative in 2017 and 14 percent in 2018, for a lifetime rating of 5.45 percent.
5. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)
Yes, the 2020 Democratic field is so liberal that an outright socialist is the fifth most conservative candidate. While Sanders voted zero percent conservative in 2017 and 9 percent in 2018, he still has a lifetime rating of 6.78 percent, higher than seven of the other radical liberals running in 2020.
4. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii)
Tulsi Gabbard may oppose anti-religious bigotry and she may be one of the most moderate 2020 Dems, but she's still extremely liberal. She voted 4 percent conservative in 2017 and 8 percent in 2018, earning a lifetime rating of 7.36 percent.
3. Former Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.)
Former Congressman John Delaney was the first Democrat to announce his 2020 candidacy, on July 28, 2017. He founded two companies, but he's hardly conservative. According to the ACU, Delaney voted 4 percent conservative in 2017, 12 percent in 2018, and he has a lifetime rating of 7.41 percent, just a hair more conservative than Tulsi Gabbard.
2. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas)
Robert Francis "Beto" O'Rourke has a creepy cult-like following, and he seems totally obsessed with himself, but he is one of the most conservative Democrats running in 2020. That said, he still has less than a 10 percent lifetime conservative voting record. According to the ACU, he voted 4 percent conservative in 2017 and 8 percent in 2018, earning a lifetime rating of 8.08 percent.
1. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio)
Tim Ryan, the only 2020 Democrat to score more than a 10 percent lifetime rating with the ACU, is running a Midwest-focused campaign aimed at the "forgotten men and women" Donald Trump courted in 2016. That said, Ryan is far from moderate, and he ranks among the least memorable of the 2020 field.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.