- Alexander Lourdes Medel ’23
As we witnessed during the September Democratic presidential debate, there is a vast array of Democratic presidential hopefuls this election cycle. These ten hopefuls have many similarities but also many differences that make them unique to their constituents. Using these unique differences, Democrats can increase their chances of winning the presidency in 2020. Understanding the different aspects of Democratic candidates in 2020 is important for everyone, like students and adults, to know.
First, former vice president Joe Biden is well-known, but is also known for being the subject of word blunders and is considered “old” by his own party. Now, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) both represent states in New England. Many consider them as a better alternative to the moderate Biden. Warren looks to eliminate student debt while Sanders relies on his progressive messages to carry him through. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) is the only African-American woman in the race with a record of going head to head with Trump Administration political appointees.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) looks to bi-partisanship to guide him on his path to the presidency amidst divisive partisanship. Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana continues to impress the public with not only his language skills, but also his inspirational messages. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) is the most prolific introducer of bills out of all her 2020 rivals. Another member of the Obama Administration running for president is Julián Castro (D), who was Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. His campaign is centered on his promise of putting people first in areas such as immigration (dissolution of ICE), education (free college), and housing (affordability and homelessness), along with many other fronts.
Another candidate who is from Texas like Castro is Beto O’Rourke, who gained the spotlight after he nearly beat Senator Ted Cruz (R- TX) in the Texas senate race in 2018. Last but not least, Andrew Yang, an entrepreneur, was met with thunderous applause at the opening of the September debate after announcing his $1000 a month plan for every American. In the 2016 election, we saw an imbalance in the number of candidates from the Democratic and Republican parties. The Republicans had twelve in the primaries, including their nominee Donald Trump who was later elected president. On the other hand, the Democrats had three candidates in the primaries, with Hillary Clinton as their nominee.
The outcome of this election has spurred great uproar as an experienced politician was beaten by someone wholly new to the realm of politics. This was 2016. One could argue that the reason Republicans won the 2016 presidential election was due to the fact they had many candidates. These hopefuls appealed to not only Republicans, but also to a wider range of voters due to each candidate’s unique stance. By appealing to the masses, Republicans were able to obtain more support as candidates dropped out one by one, but remained supporting one another.
Think of the Republican and Democratic candidates as cans in the rain, with rain water as voters. There are twelve cans in the rain for each Republican candidate. As one candidate drops out and endorses another, the rain water from that candidate’s can is added to an endorsed candidate’s can, adding more water or support in this case. Twelve cans in the rain catch more water than three. As endorsements occur, support eventually is amassed with the can with the most rain water. Ergo, more candidates means more appeal. The 2016 scenario almost completely mirrors what is happening today. Except, Democrats now have a larger amount of candidates with twelve participating in the debate in October.
Now, can the Democrats imitate what the Republicans did in 2016? Can they appeal to a wide range of voters in America due to their great numbers? I believe so. If this worked for Republicans after a Democrat held the White House, it should also work for Democrats opposing a Republican wanting to stay in the White House. All ten Democratic candidates share many similar political stances and similar opinions about President Trump.
However, it is not only their similarities that unite them, but also their differences. In this sense, the Democrats have the best chance of winning the 2020 presidency due to their large, but diverse playing field, which will help them achieve their ultimate goal: to turn the White House blue come Election Day 2020. Therefore, diversity is key in politics and ultimately a deciding factor in victory.
Photo from Time Magazine