Decision 2020: How Would The Democratic Candidates Do On The Price Is Right?

Mike Toole
Feb 18 · 5 min read

The campaign for the democratic nomination is in full swing as we head towards Super Tuesday. As of today, seven candidates remain in the race. There are still many questions to be answered: Where do they really stand on health care? Who can defeat Donald Trump? Does anyone know the cost of a can of Goya beans?

I am here to answer that last question. For the purposes of this article, I will address what they might wear as a contestant, which pricing game they should play, and then I will assign them a contestant rating on a scale of 1–10. It is unscientific and based solely on how entertaining I think they would be to watch as a contestant, not necessarily how they would perform.

So, in no particular order, without further ado and in my best Rod Roddy voice… come on down!!

Amy Klobuchar

What she would wear: Something “Minnesota nice.” Maybe the outline of the state with “The Nice Is Right” written inside.
Ideal game to play: Punch a Bunch, because she is apparently prone to fits of rage. Instead of throwing binders at staffers, she can let out her aggression on pieces of paper with dollar signs on them.
Contestant rating: 4

She gets points for being a midwestern mom, but is by the book and instantly forgettable. When you see her spinning the big wheel, you aren’t sure that you recognize her and wonder if maybe you changed the channel during her pricing game.

Bernie Sanders

What he would wear: A trippy, tie-dyed Vermont-themed t-shirt. Bernie has been in politics his whole life so it’s hard to imagine him in anything less than a button down, but an appearance on TPIR would set him free.
Ideal game to play: Cliff Hangers. Can Bernie finally reach the top of the mountain without going too far and toppling over the edge?
Contestant rating: 10

Old people on The Price is Right automatically start at a 5. There is no telling what they will do, so they bring an edge of your seat entertainment value. Will they fall down? Will they say something racist? Will they win a jet ski? Bernie has that manic, old Brooklyn Jew energy that is perfect for TPIR.

Joe Biden

What he would wear: He and his wife would wear matching shirts that reference Delaware and you think might be vaguely sexual, but you can’t figure out why.
Ideal game to play: Dice Game, because Joe seems like the kind of guy who would be running a craps game in a casino.
Contestant rating: 8

With Jill Biden in the crowd helping him along, he’d get the prices right. But when he wins a car, he inevitably says something inappropriate about one of the spokesmodels, something like “do those headlights come with the car?” and it ruins the whole vibe of the show. Everyone was with him up until that point. Drew Carey awkwardly goes to commercial.

Pete Buttiegieg

What he would wear: A shirt that says “I served in Afghanistan” but it would be in a different language.
Ideal game to play: Grocery Game, because he definitely knows the price of bread.
Contestant rating: 8

Someone like Pete would definitely get called down to Contestants’ Row. He’s an adult that looks like a child, a veteran, midwestern, and gay, but not *too* gay (you know, not Wheel of Fortune gay). He’s honestly the perfect Price Is Right Contestant.

Mike Bloomberg

What he would wear: Probably a sweater vest to fit in better with the unwashed masses, but it’s much more likely he’d pay someone $150 to be his stand-in.
Ideal game to play: Switcheroo. He’s been a Republican, a Democrat, and an Independent. He’ll be whatever it takes to win a pricing game!
Contestant rating: 0

Mike is a total dud and would have no chance of getting chosen by the audience screeners. He’d never even sniff Contestants’ Row. He’d be seated in that far upper left corner that only gets shown on TV when the cameraman is wildly scanning the audience because they can’t find whose name was just called.

Tulsi Gabbard

What she would wear: She’d be with a group of girlfriends from Hawaii, so of course they would be wearing leis and shirts that say something about getting lei’d on TPIR.
Ideal game to play: Plinko, because someone has to play Plinko. And certain people think she’s a Russian asset so the conspiracy theorists will see that Plinko = Pinko.
Contestant rating: 4

She seems like the kind of person who, if she did win, would not shake hands with the loser. In my mind, that disqualifies you from being a good contestant, as well as from being president of the United States of America.

Tom Steyer

What he would wear: Similar to Bloomberg, he’d probably just go with a sweater vest. I think when a rich person has to dress like a normal person, they automatically think sweater vest. It’s billionaire dirtbag chic.
Ideal game to play: Check Game, because he would be very good at writing checks. It’s also a boring game that you forget exists until you see it show up on the stage, just like Tom Steyer.
Contestant rating: 3

He gets points for being old, but loses points because he’s a boring old. I don’t see him doing anything too unpredictable. Although being a billionaire, there’s always the potential of an “it’s one banana, how much could it cost, ten dollars?” moment. Aside from these dance moves, I don’t think he’s shown enough to be a memorable contestant.

Elizabeth Warren

What she would wear: Her usual librarian sweater, black pants and sneaker combo is perfect for the campaign trail, and perfect for The Price Is Right.
Ideal game to play: Pocket Change, because she is relying on money from small donors, and also emails me every day asking for a quarter because I gave her a dollar once.
Contestant rating: 9

Look, the woman can flat out run, so she’d probably set a record for getting down to contestants’ row. She has more energy than most people half her age. She’s from the northeast, but grew up in Oklahoma, so she has universal appeal. The only reason she’s not a 10 is because she doesn’t have the unpredictability of Biden or the crazy grandpa energy of Bernie. She’s fairly predictable and has regular old nice grandma energy. She’d do well on the show, because she absolutely knows how much a box of cereal and a three-pack of sponges cost.

If I had to predict who would win on an episode of The Price Is Right (again, this is not a prediction about who is going to win the nomination), I think the final showcase would be between Buttigieg and Warren. While I would love to see Bernie win a hot tub, I don’t think he’d win a pricing game. He’d spend too much time thinking about how the company that owns the product is charging too much and not paying their workers enough. It would be too overwhelming.

Alas, we will never know. What I do know is that the next debate should be hosted by Drew Carey and the first question should be, “How much do you think this grandfather clock costs?” Anyone who goes over should be disqualified.

Mike Toole

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Mommy blogger.

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