Everyone Calm Down

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Here are two sides of the same coin that are worth holding in your hand simultaneously: Joe Biden’s potency as a candidate in the Democrats’ 2020 primary shouldn’t be understated, but we also shouldn’t despair at reports of Biden-mentum, because it’s just still way too early.

Here are some useful reminders if polls from past elections, when they too were in their infancy, are a salve to your weary soul:

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Or maybe this well-reasoned, measured analysis will resonate with you:

Here’s another set of data points that I would urge you not to freak out about:

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Am I inclined to call Biden a frontrunner? Yes. I also think comparisons to Jeb Bush are a bit apples and oranges—although Bush flamed out after building a massive campaign war chest and campaign infrastructure, Biden has a built-in base of support in a way Bush never had. (People who still liked George W. Bush but could be convinced that his less-charismatic brother was also worth supporting proved a pretty soft group.)

The 2020 Iowa caucuses, set for Feb. 3 of next year, are 279 days away. Underestimate Biden at your own peril, but bear in mind that it’s too early to know anything—polls show the majority of Democratic voters have no idea who they’ll support and even posting strong fundraising numbers aren’t the best metrics, at this point, for where we’ll find ourselves in six, or even three, months.

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It’s like those t-shirts say: Keep calm and don’t make electoral predictions.

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