Comedian who predicted Trump's rise names Yang, Gabbard as top 2020 contenders

Comedian Adam Carolla said during an interview that aired Wednesday that authenticity will play a key role in determining the next Democratic presidential nominee.

Carolla, who in 2008 accurately predicted Donald Trump’s 2016 presidency, said Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFive takeaways from new fundraising reports for 2020 Democrats Overnight Defense: GOP lawmaker takes unannounced trip to Syria | Taliban leader pens New York Times op-ed on peace talks | Cheney blasts paper for publishing op-ed GOP lawmaker makes unannounced trip to northeastern Syria MORE (D-Hawaii) and businessman Andrew YangAndrew YangHillicon Valley: Intel officials warned lawmakers Russia interfering in 2020 | Pompeo condemns Russian cyberattack on country of Georgia | Tech activists see Kickstarter union as breakthrough | Pentagon agency suffers data breach Manhattan DA investigating new abuse claims against doctor accused by Evelyn Yang March For Our Lives co-founders endorse Sanders MORE stand the best chance in making that appeal, arguing that voters have lost faith in seasoned politicians.

“At this point, I think we’re looking for authenticity now,” Carolla told Hill.TV, adding that voters knew what they were getting with Trump.

“It would be more Tulsi Gabbard-type who has authenticity with a certain dignity and a more middle of the road approach to politics,” he added. “I think it will be someone a little closer to the center.”

Carolla also floated Yang as an alternative, saying he possesses a sense of authenticity that stands in direct contrast to Trump.

However, both candidates have yet to crack the top-tier list of Democratic contenders. Though Yang raked in $4 million in campaign donations in December, RealClearPolitics average of national polling shows him with just 3.5 percent support. Gabbard, meanwhile, registers at 1.8 percent, and has come under fire for her opposition to Trump’s impeachment.

Carolla's comments come as the 2020 Democratic primary enters a critical phase with roughly one month before the Feb. 3 Iowa caucuses.

Though the Democratic contest started as one of the largest and most diverse primaries in U.S. history, a number of big-name candidates have since dropped out of the race. Most notably, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisHouse to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Overnight Energy: EPA to regulate 'forever chemicals' in drinking water | Trump budget calls for slashing funds for climate science centers | House Dems urge banks not to fund drilling in Arctic refuge Democratic senators criticize plan that could expand Arctic oil and gas development MORE (D-Calif.) ended her presidential bid in December, citing insufficient campaign funds.

Harris’s exit prompted renewed criticism of billionaire candidates like Tom SteyerTom Fahr SteyerThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Dem anxiety grows ahead of Super Tuesday Five takeaways from new fundraising reports for 2020 Democrats Buttigieg and Biden haven't invested in any ads in the crucial Super Tuesday states: WSJ analysis MORE and former New York City mayor Michael BloombergMichael Rubens BloombergPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg unveils billboards to troll Trump ahead of campaign stops Bloomberg campaign: Vandalism at Tennessee office 'echoes language from the Sanders campaign and its supporters' MORE, both of whom have been accused of buying their way into the 2020 race. 

Following the suspension of Harris's campaign, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenPoll: Bloomberg stalls after Vegas debate Bloomberg unveils billboards to troll Trump ahead of campaign stops John Legend joining Warren in South Carolina next week: report MORE (D-Mass.), a top contender, issued a statement calling out the two men.

"Kamala Harris and Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandNow is the time for a US data protection agency The Hill's Campaign Report: Warren up, Bloomberg down after brutal debate Ginsburg, accepting lifetime achievement award, urges working fathers to take an active role in kids' lives MORE — who, together, won more than 11.5 million votes in their last elections — have been forced out of this race, while billionaires Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg have been allowed to buy their way in," Warren said in a fundraising email to supporters. 

White House contenders have also been critical of the Democratic National Committee's polling criteria. 

The DNC on Monday rejected Yang’s request to commission new early-state polling ahead of the January presidential primary debate to make up for the lack of surveys during the holiday season, which Yang had argued might keep him and others off the stage.

In an email to The Hill, the DNC said that commissioning its own polls would call into question the national party’s own partiality.

“The DNC has been more than inclusive throughout this entire process with an expansive list of qualifying polls, including 26 polls for the December debate, more than half of which were state polls,” a spokesperson said.

— Tess Bonn