We’re over a year away from the election, but the 2020 campaign is already ruff. Fur is flying in the dog-eat-dog world of contemporary politics, as the barrage of candidates try to convince the American public to throw them a bone. It all seems a little much, which is why it’s important to pause for a moment and recognize what’s really important here. Yes, you should research the positions of the candidates and review their tax returns and read a thousand tepid hot takes about the way they move through the world, but the most important criteria for a potential future president is “Do you like their dog?”

Like most modern presidents before them, many of the 2020 candidates have prominent pets who are stealing the spotlight. Notably, the current president, Cruella de Vil, does not have a dog because he does not like anything that diverts focus from him. So, while this guide may seem paw-tisan (I’ll stop; I promise), we’re actually just reporting the facts about who has a dog and whether we would vote for that dog and if that dog would win an MSNBC Dog Debate, sort of like the Puppy Bowl but with Sarah McLaughlan singing while a bunch of excellent puppers ran around podiums.

Bailey!

Candidate: Elizabeth Warren

Breed: Golden retriever

Social media handle: @FirstDogBailey

Fun fact: Bailey is named after the Jimmy Stewart character in It’s a Wonderful Life, which is a very Elizabeth Warren thing to do. It also appears that Bailey is the only 2020 dog that joined the candidate on stage during the initial announcement. Bailey is angling for a prime position in the Department of Boneland Security.

Could Bailey beat Trump: Yes.


Truman and Buddy Buttigieg!

Candidate: Pete Buttigieg

Breeds: A puggle (Buddy) and a beagle/lab (Truman)

Social media handle: @firstdogsSB

Fun fact: Both Truman and Buddy are rescue dogs with a ton of personality. They’ve become so popular that Buzzfeed made a “Which Buttigieg Dog Are You?” quiz. Truman is presumably named after the former president and Buddy, I’m guessing, is named after the Elf from Elf. Another fun fact, I would fight an army to protect the honor of these dogs.

Could Truman and Buddy beat Trump: Without a doubt.


Artemis O’Rourke!

Candidate: Beto O’Rourke

Breed: Black lab

Social media handle: None! A SCANDAL

Fun fact: I am obsessed with Artemis! Also, Beto has another dog named Rosie and a cat named Silver, but like Angelina Jolie’s brother, they’re not as interested in the spotlight as their sibling. Another fun fact: Artemis has perfected the art of looking haunted by a serious psychic premonition about the future.

Could Artemis beat Trump: Totally.


Major and Champ!

Candidate: Joe Biden

Breeds: German shepherd

Social media handle: Shockingly none.

Fun fact: Major is a relatively new addition to the Biden family, while Champ was around during the Obama presidency. Another fun fact: Major is actually Joe Biden in dog form.

Could Major and Champ beat Trump: They’re major champs, of course.


Maple!

Candidate: Kirsten Gillibrand

Breeds: Labradoodle

Social media handle: None 🙁

Fun fact: Maple is a relatively new addition to the Gillibrand family and hasn’t taken as readily to fame as some of these other fine doggos. But she’s slowly inching into the spotlight and when she’s ready to break out, the world is going to be her oyster.

Could Maple beat Trump: Without a doubt.


Skye!

Candidate: John Hickenlooper

Breeds: Akita-bulldog-chow-chow mix

Social media handle: Grrrr. None.

Fun fact: Skye is an old-pro at the political game, having hung out in the Colorado governor’s office for years and shown up in multiple photoshoots with Hickenlooper.

Could Skye beat Trump: Yes. Skye could potentially even beat Hickenlooper.

This post will be updated as more candidates come to their senses and get a dog.

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