Meet the Candidates: The Democrats


Photo Credit: Kuhlmann/ MSC

Saish Satyal, Editor

The 2020 field of Democratic candidates has the most diverse group of people running for the presidency in American history. There are 16 candidates that qualify for the primary debates, but this article is dedicated to those candidates that have the best chance of winning or are the most interesting. Even by narrowing this down, the field is still extremely large and we should really get started.

Elizabeth Warren: Senator Warren was the first Democrat to announce her candidacy for the 2020 presidential election. She has frequently been mocked by President Trump for saying that she has Cherokee ancestry and has been called “Pocahontas.” After taking an ancestry test in 2018, it was revealed that she was only 1/1024 Cherokee, which is less than the national average. Being able to identify as a person of color would draw in younger voters and make them more likely to vote for her in upcoming elections. Unfortunately for her campaign, this lie backfired and she received widespread criticism from both sides of the political spectrum. However, Senator Warren has been releasing a stream of policy proposals, the most famous of which is her plan to cancel massive amounts of student debt. At the moment, her polling numbers aren’t as high as other Democratic heavyweights like Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders. That is only because we are currently in the “pre-debate” phase of campaigns. Senator Warren’s strength is her knowledge of her policies and once she starts speaking on the debate stage, it will be difficult to stop her poll numbers from rising.

Joe Biden: At the moment, former VP Joe Biden seems to be soundly beating every single one of his opponents. His association with Obama and the pre-Trump era gives him a boost with Democratic voters and his puppy-like enthusiasm for just about everything makes it hard not to like him as well. However, while Biden has a commanding lead in the party, he has a spotty past that could get him into a lot of trouble, especially in 2019. The most glaring mark on his record is the Anita Hill hearings in the 1990s. These confirmation hearings were chaired by Biden to place Justice Clarence Thomas on the SCOTUS. Anita Hill, a former employee of Clarence Thomas, came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct during the time that he was her boss. Biden was dismissive and refused to allow witnesses that would have corroborated her story to testify.

Obviously, this kind of conduct would not go over well with a Democratic base. However, the debates will allow Biden to publicly and directly address his actions in 1991, and if he does it right, his numbers will soar even higher than before.

Bernie Sanders: Once again, Senator Bernie Sanders has entered the presidential race. His 2016 run made huge waves since he was a socialist with a very good shot at the presidency. However, due to DNC meddling, Senator Sanders was not able to secure the Democratic nomination and lost to Secretary Clinton. While his socialist policies have appealed to millions of young voters across America, they have also alienated Independent voters from the Democratic party. At the moment, he is second in the polls after Joe Biden.

But even if Senator Sanders were to secure the nomination, he would lose the general2020 election. No Republican, no matter how anti-Trump they are, would ever vote a socialist into the White House. Their vote would either end up going to an Independent candidate or to Mr. Trump himself. While Senator Sanders should continue to fight for his policies and ideas, making him the Democratic nominee would be a very foolish political move. (This may have been part of the reason the DNC prevented Senator Sanders from winning the Democratic nomination in the 2016 elections.)

Pete Buttigieg: Pete Buttigieg, pronounced (Boot-Edge-Edge), is a young, openly gay mayor from South Bend, Indiana. He began to gain prominence in the Democratic Party when he ran for the chair of the DNC in 2017, and his national fame skyrocketed when he was featured on a CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper. His ability to expertly answer questions attracted the interest of many younger Democrats, and he officially entered the race a few weeks ago. His intelligence, likeability, and military service have made him into a well-rounded candidate for the Democratic Party.

His main problem is his political inexperience; his only tenure in politics is as mayor of a small town in Indiana. To Pete’s credit, he was able to transform South Bend, once on the list of Top 50 failing cities in the USA, into one of the best-run cities. Even if he doesn’t gain the nomination, this run will allow him to leave a mark on the political landscape, and with his similarity to Barack Obama, still the “reluctant leader of the Democratic Party,” he is a political name that voters should look out for in the future.