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Sure, the market for Democratic presidential candidates is getting a little saturated. So why are some Democrats still thinking of jumping in? Because there's almost never a downside to running.

Expand chart
Data: Axios research; Chart: Harry Stevens and Aïda Amer/Axios

The big picture: It doesn't have to be someone who might actually get close to the White House, like Joe Biden. The candidates of the crowded fields in the last few presidential elections — even the also-rans — almost always came out ahead or, at worst, ended up in the same place.

  • Unless they have skeletons in their closets that could be exposed, there's really no reason for yet another long-shot candidate not to give it a chance.

No Democrat will say they're running for something else, like vice president or Cabinet secretary. But that's where some of them will end up, if the Democratic nominee beats President Trump.

  • If Trump wins, some of them are young enough to give it another try in four years. And if that doesn't happen, they can always become a cable news talking head.

A quick look at the "whatever happened to them" file:

  • Hillary Clinton (2008) became Barack Obama's secretary of state before moving on to that other presidential race.
  • Joe Biden (2008) became Obama's vice president.
  • Mitt Romney (2008) became the Republican nominee four years later — and is now a senator from Utah.
  • Rick Perry (2012, 2016) is Trump's energy secretary.
  • Ben Carson (2016) is Trump's HUD secretary.
  • John Kasich (2016) finished out his term as Ohio governor, became a CNN commentator and hasn't ruled out running against Trump again.
  • Bernie Sanders (2016) is running again.
  • Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and Rand Paul (2016) all went back to the Senate.
  • Even Howard Dean (2004) survived "the scream" and became chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

There can be a couple of downsides, but they're rare. One is that you're taken less seriously if you don't do well and disappear (Herman Cain/Michele Bachmann, 2012) — or you're never taken seriously in the first place (Mike Gravel, 2008).

The bottom line: Go ahead, Michael Bennet, Terry McAuliffe, Seth Moulton and Eric Swalwell. Knock yourselves out. And really, Stacey Abrams — why settle for VP?

Go deeper: Track which candidates are running

Go deeper

Janet Yellen confirmed as Treasury secretary

Janet Yellen. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate voted 84-15 to confirm Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary on Monday.

Why it matters: Yellen is the first woman to serve as Treasury secretary, a Cabinet position that will be crucial in helping steer the country out of the pandemic-induced economic crisis.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Scoop: Red Sox strike out on deal to go public

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The parent company of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool F.C. has ended talks to sell a minority ownership stake to RedBall Acquisition, a SPAC formed by longtime baseball executive Billy Beane and investor Gerry Cardinale, Axios has learned from multiple sources. An alternative investment, structured more like private equity, remains possible.

Why it matters: Red Sox fans won't be able to buy stock in the team any time soon.